Health insurance in Vietnam

health insurance

Health insurance in Vietnam

If you are planning to come to Vietnam in the near future, one of the most crucial elements of your preparation is for healthcare insurance. You may have built up a delectable no claims bonus back home, but Vietnam is a different kettle of fish. Although this is generally a safe country in regard to tourism, things can still go wrong. The roads are somewhat treacherous and can be a danger to the unfamiliar. It is therefore essential that you choose the right type of healthcare insurance, to ensure your trip goes as smoothly as possible.

The healthcare system in Vietnam

Vietnam is still a developing nation, and consequently, the healthcare system is not up to the same standards as many western countries. Due to a lack of funding in the public healthcare sector, most public hospitals are poorly equipped. Additionally, their primary responsibility is the health of Vietnamese citizens. Therefore, most of the staff do not speak much English. Any of the more advanced hospitals in the major cities will most likely be overcrowded.

The private hospitals in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are equipped with much better facilities and western doctors, or at least medical professionals who have studied abroad. As a result, there is less chance of any misunderstandings during any discussions about your health. The downside is that private hospitals are extremely pricey, and any major surgery could tally up thousands of dollars. With this in mind, you should strongly consider biting the bullet and spending a little extra on your healthcare insurance.

Choosing health insurance in Vietnam

It is entirely possible to use the public healthcare system on a pay-as-you-go basis, but, as previously mentioned, there is no guarantee that you will be seen in matters requiring emergency surgery. Having a public healthcare policy in Vietnam is possible for foreigners through companies such as Pacific Prime, but be sure to read through all the small print thoroughly. To be entirely at ease during your stay in the country, it is recommended that you consider the private healthcare option. Services in the private medical institutions are more comparable to western hospitals, and you depend on English-speaking medical practitioners too.

International hospitals in Vietnam

Some of the most trusted international hospitals are listed below.

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Franco-Vietnamese Hospital

The Franco-Vietnamese Hospital sees well over 1,000 patients per day and has roughly 220 beds. With care services that span more than 30 specialities for patents in any age group, recipients can benefit from comprehensive examinations, treatment and counselling from the outstanding roster of medical professionals.

Vinmec International Hospital

The Vinmec International Hospital is praised as one of the most modern medical institutions in the country and operates as a non-profit company. At present, Vinmec hospitals are situated in six different cities including Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Nha Trang.

Hanh Phuc Hospital

Translating to “Happy Hospital”, Hanh Phuc Hospital primarily serves the female population, with assets including the Reproductive Support Centre, Women’s Care, Child Care and Beauty Centre.

Good to know:

If you have no choice but to visit a public hospital for a serious problem, take a Vietnamese citizen with you. Going alone may result in you being denied treatment, even if you speak Vietnamese.

The 6 Best Health Insurance Companies for Expats

Cigna: best for experience

Years of experienceTrustpilot ratingHospitals & medical professionalsIs access 24/7?When claims are paid
2284.11.65 millionYes3-5 days

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cigna logo16 years after the US became its own country, a collection of wealthy individuals met in Philadelphia’s Independence Hall to create Cigna’s forerunner: the Insurance Company of North America (INA).

In the 228 years since that fateful moment in 1792, through a civil war, world wars, multiple depressions, the creation of air travel, and every single US president from George Washington to Joe Biden, this company has provided insurance to people like you.

Either side of the 19th century turning into the 20th century, INA paid out on insurance policies of citizens who’d had their lives destroyed by catastrophic disasters.

In 1982, Cigna was born out of the merger with Connecticut General Corporation (CG), but that simply added to its overall bank of knowledge and know-how.

When it comes to experience, this storied healthcare insurance provider is unbeatable.

You can start building a customised plan with a free quote from Cigna today.

William Russell: best for cost

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Years of experienceTrustpilot ratingHospitals & clinicsIs access 24/7?When claims are paid
293.441,000Yes5 working days

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william russell's logoWilliam Russell reported that in 2020, it cost £2,600 for the average individual to get a year of its coverage. That’s an extremely reasonable price, and it can fall further depending on where you’re going.

The report also highlighted the welcome transparency that this company brings to the private healthcare industry.

And what’s more, William Russell won’t base your renewal premium on how many times you’ve made claims.

This allows its customers to access the medical care they need, without having to worry about it affecting their premium.

Allianz Care: best for quick claim payments

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Years of experienceTrustpilot ratingHospitals & medical professionalsIs access 24/7?When claims are paid
20N/A0.9 millionYes2 days

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Health insurance in Vietnam, Health insurance in VietnamWhen you’re living in a country where everything is a little (or a lot) less familiar, and you urgently need healthcare, the last thing you want is added financial stress.

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When Allianz Care was established in the year 2000, one of its promises was that completed claim forms would be processed and paid within two days.

That promise still stands, in all 210 countries and territories covered by the company.

Allianz Care also provides Medi 24, a service which allows customers to receive medical advice in English, FrenchGerman, or Italian at any hour of the day.

Bupa Global: best for 24/7 access

Years of experienceTrustpilot ratingHospitals & medical professionalsIs access 24/7?When claims are paid
492.91.2 millionYes10 working days

bupa global logoIf you get a policy with Bupa Global, you’ll be given 24/7 access to what the company itself calls “our highly-qualified, multilingual in-house team of emergency care coordinators, nurses and doctors.”

There’s every reason to rely on Bupa’s excellence in this area.

With 1.2 million hospitals and medical professionals across the world covered and claims paid within 10 working days, Bupa Global is one of the best around.

International Medical Group: best for customer service

Years of experienceTrustpilot ratingHospitals & medical professionalsIs access 24/7?When claims are paid
304.50.8 millionYes4-6 weeks

img logoWith a Trustpilot rating of 4.5 out of 5, IMG is far and away the best-rated health insurance company, according to the very people it serves.

This 30-year-old company is now in more than 200 countries, and in each one it provides outstanding coverage, including providing you with more than 30 health professionals who can remotely advise your location’s medical team from start to finish.

The fact that more than 1,800 people have contributed to give IMG this superb rating makes it even more impressive – particularly as the company has a longer waiting period for claim fulfillment than any other on this list.

GeoBlue: best for a big medical network

Years of experienceTrustpilot ratingHospitals & medical professionalsIs access 24/7?When claims are paid
23N/A1.7 millionYesA month

geoblue logoGeoBlue has an enormous medical network, with 1.7 million hospitals and medical professionals available to its customers across the globe.

The 23-year-old company is part of US provider Blue Cross Blue Shield, which covers a third of all Americans.

If you choose GeoBlue, you’ll also gain access to Global TeleMD, an app which provides 24/7 access to doctors around the world via a voice or video call.

It should be noted however that GeoBlue’s medical network only beats Cigna’s by 0.05 million, or 3% – and it takes GeoBlue a full month to pay out on claims.


We’ve collected all the top global health insurance companies’ most relevant statistics to decide which of them are the best, and which area they’re better than the rest in.

These areas include the companies’ years of experienceTrustpilot ratings, the number of hospitals and medical professionals they have across the world, whether they provide 24/7 access to medical help and how good it is, and how quickly you’ll get a claim paid.

READ MORE:  Universities in Ho Chi Minh City

It’s important to remember that this last category is based on how long each company claims to take. They aren’t obliged to meet these targets – but the numbers do represent an estimation of the company’s abilities, which is important to know.

For instance, if a company like International Medical Group (not featured below) tells you it’ll take as long as six weeks to fulfil your claim, you should heed that warning.


Thankfully, we live in a world with multiple world class health insurance providers, all of which will provide you with excellent service should you need them abroad.

You’re now in the perfect position to become a fully fledged expat, with the peace of mind that comes with ensuring you and your loved ones are insured against calamities.

And if you want the best, turn to Cigna. Helping more than 95 million customers all over the world, Cigna has the know-how to get you just the right cover.

FAQ: Health insurance abroad

If you take out a private health coverage policy abroad, be sure to do your research, shop around and choose a package that meets your particular needs. Most insurers offer a range of packages at varying costs.

Besides comparing prices, questions you might want to ask potential insurers include:

1. Does the package cover family members?

Unlike public health insurance which often extends to all dependent family members, private policies typically only cover the individual taking out the policy. However, you can normally purchase extended family coverage as an extra.

2. Are there any restrictions, limitations or exclusions on the policy, e.g., relating to age or pre-existing conditions?

With public health insurance, everyone usually pays a set contribution from their wages and accesses the same services. In contrast, private policies are usually risk-based and you may pay a higher premium if you have certain medical conditions or engage in certain lifestyle choices such as smoking. Check for exclusions and opt for any add-ons if needed.

3. What’s a coverage gap and could I be affected?

A coverage gap is the period between the healthcare coverage in your old country ending and the coverage in your new home starting. With international private medical insurance, you can set up your policy in advance of your move to avoid any coverage gap.

4. Do I have medical insurance coverage while I travel?

If you frequently travel abroad, it’s worth taking out a policy that covers you for medical emergencies and treatment in other countries. An international expat-friendly policy will offer global coverage at a good price.

5. What treatments are covered?

Public health insurance coverage doesn’t always include all medical treatments. Common exclusions are dental care, psychotherapy and complementary treatments. You can tailor private policies to include everything you need, including alternative treatments.

6. How straightforward is the process for making a claim?

Will you have to pay upfront and claim or reimbursement or will you insurer deal directly with the healthcare provider? If you need to pay and claim back, how easy is the process and how long are you likely to wait before reimbursement? These are questions you should ask before committing to a policy.

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