Medical Insurance for Expatriates in Indonesia
Companies operating in Indonesia realize the importance of a comprehensive medical plan to cover sickness and accidents that happen to the staff that they hire.
December 2015 Update: The Indonesian authorities have recently made significant changes to the laws affecting the sale and purchase of Health Insurance policies. All foreigners working or living in Indoensia on a KITAS or retierment visa must have an Indonesia Insurance policy from an insurance institution established under Indonesian Law. Ask the person selling you medical insurance in Indonesia to provide proof that their company fulfills this requirement.
Find out before you come
The company that you are with, or are going to work for, should provide medical insurance for expatriate staff and their family members, as well as their permanent Indonesian staff. Ask for details from your employer to ensure that your policy will adequate cover your family members for sickness, accidents or emergencies in Indonesia, on home leave and when you are visiting other countries for work-related purposes.
If you are joining a new company, remember that they may never love you more than when you first join. Do not rely on promises that medical insurance coverage will be sorted out when you arrive in Indonesia. It could be the case that what the company considers ideal coverage may not meet your expectations. Be sure before you arrive that you understand what medical coverage your company provides for regular medical concerns, major medical situations such as surgery or deliveries, and medical evacuation both inter- and intranationally.
Medical evacuations from Indonesia
Medical evacuations are a big factor in medical coverage, as the quality of medical service available in outlying areas in Indonesia will be quite poor. In such areas, emergency medical evacuation (medevac) to a large city or a neighboring country is considered essential. For more information, consult the Medical Evacuations from Indonesia page.
Group practice medical clinics
Some multinational firms enroll their employees in a group practice medical clinics which provide all minor medical outpatient needs for an annual membership fee or on a pay-by-visit basis. Often these member-based plans include medical evacuation as well. These group practice clinics that cater to expatriates provide higher quality service and good advice from their doctors.
There have been cases when a member of one of these local group practice schemes was evacuated to Singapore for an operation. While the evacuation was covered by the scheme, the patient found that there was no medical insurance coverage once they arrived and had to pay expenses out of their own pocket. In these instances, it is necessary to purchase hospitalization health insurance in addition to the local clinic plan, which can prove to be very expensive.
Some of these local group practices have an alliance with the local office of an international insurance company so that hospitalization or serious outpatient treatment will be covered.
Options in medical insurance coverage
As an example, reputable international medical plans marketed domestcally in Indonesia include emergency medical evacuation with the possible addition of major outpatient services to cover everything but minor outpatient claims, which are often excluded to keep costs down. Therefore, outpatient claims are typically subject to a deductible related to the illness.
A patient may have several doctor and specialist visits plus prescribed medicine for one particular bout of sickness and still be subject to only one deductible amount. A point worth noting is that a person could be undergoing outpatient treatment related to a very serious illness, which would not be covered under a local clinic scheme.
There are many foreign joint venture insurance companies with offices in Jakarta and Bali selling medical, hospitalization and other general insurance products for group and individual medical insurance policies, so you do have a choice of companies and products. You could also purchase a medical insurance or travel plan from a company based in your home country which provides some medical coverage for overseas travel. However, you must be very confident about the restrictions and exclusions on such plans, as an emergency is the worst time to test the limits of your particular plan.
Finding the best plan for your particular requirements can be very time-consuming. Any local or group venture health insurance company representative will sell you on how good his company's product is. That's what he's paid to do, and it may in fact be the best plan available for you. But the representative is not paid to explain that another company does the same thing (or better) at a cheaper cost, and he's not paid to promote his competitors' products.
Good, comprehensive medical insurance is not cheap, nor is emergency medical evacuation, so most people will take cost into account when making their decision on medical insurance coverage. It is important to find out all your options from an unbiased source, which could be an agency or broker, who can assist you to make the choice based upon your individual or company requirements.
If you have medical-related questions about living in Indonesia to ask of medical professionals, see Ask the Experts.
We trust this information will assist you in making correct choices regarding your health and welfare. However, it is not intended to be a substitute for personalized advice from your medical adviser.