If your clients are traveling abroad in China, they no doubt will have a number of different things on their minds.
Are their travel arrangements set? Did they double check their accommodation confirmations?
Did they leave their stoves on?
With all of these things on the clients’ minds, there could be one critical item that your clients overlook: their health.
While clients often avoid imagining worst case scenarios, it is always a good idea for them to make sure they have access to the best available health care when they travel. This is where health insurance comes in.
There are certain things that can be said for all types of medical insurance coverage that can be obtained in China. For one, all of them will provide coverage for treatment in public or private health care facilities in a medical emergency. However, there are also many different benefits and features between available plans. My firm has extensive experience in this area. Here’s what we’ve learned about what types of coverage suit various types of travelers’ needs.
Short Term and Travel
Short term insurance plans will likely be very familiar to people who has travel experience. This is because the most common form of short term insurance is travel insurance. Just to be clear, while all travel insurance plans are considered short term insurance, not all short term insurance plans are travel insurance plans.
The difference here is that travel insurance plans generally cover a specific date range. Before the clients leave for their trips, they secure coverage. They must inform the insurance provider of exactly the dates of their trips, as well as their intended destinations. The travel plan then provides medical insurance coverage outside of the travelers’ home countries for exactly those dates. Short-term insurance plans, on the other hand, can last for up to 12 months, and at the end of that period can actually be transitioned into a full annual insurance plan.
As far as actual benefits, the maximum benefits allowed by short term insurance plans are actually quite high. In fact, many come with an unlimited coverage limit per person per trip. Furthermore, these plans generally cover 100% of the costs of hospitalization and treatment, while longer term insurance plans may have the insured pay a percentage of costs.
With travel insurance plans specifically, there are both advantages and drawbacks. The main advantage of a travel plan versus a purely medical insurance plan is that benefits are included for travel issues. For instance, if the travelers’ flights are canceled or delayed, or their luggage is lost, a travel insurance plan will provide benefits. The main drawback of travel insurance, on the other hand, is that it often only provides medical treatment on an emergency basis. This means that the clients will not be able to make an appointment with a specialist while traveling and have it covered by the plan. It is also good to keep in mind that the main goal of a travel plan is to get the travelers’ home in good health. In the case that the travelers are seriously injured abroad, the plans will get them well enough to get home, but any additional treatment received once they are no longer abroad will likely not be covered.
Generally, short-term/travel insurance plans are ideal for those traveling for a few days, weeks or even months, but if clients are planning on actually living in a foreign country for a significant amount of times, the options below may better suit your clients.
Long-Term, but Staying Put
While in China, your clients may find that they are content to explore the Middle Kingdom and enjoy its varying cultures and natural beauty, rather than use China as a hub to travel around the greater Asia-Pacific region. If this sounds like your clients, perhaps going with a local insurance plan is their best option.