Health insurance cards for foreigners in Vietnam
This article provides procedures for a foreigner permanently residing in Vietnam and currently working for a Vietnamese company to obtain a health insurance card so as to get insurance-covered medical examination and treatment in Vietnamese hospitals.

I am a foreigner permanently residing in Vietnam and currently working for a Vietnamese company. I wish to have a health insurance card so as to get insurance-covered medical examination and treatment in Vietnamese hospitals. What procedures must I carry out to obtain such card and what are the procedures for health insurance-covered medical examination and treatment?

According to Clause 2, Article 1 of the 2008 Law on Health Insurance (the Law), which was revised in 2014, the Law applies to Vietnamese and foreign organizations and individuals covered by health insurance.

Under Clause 1, Article 12 of the Law, one of the groups of the insured consists of laborers working under indefinite-term labor contracts or labor contracts of full three months or longer term; salaried business managers; and cadres, civil servants and public employees (below collectively referred to as employees). These provisions uniformly apply to Vietnamese and Vietnam-based foreign employees. Therefore, you may get covered by health insurance in Vietnam.

A health insurance premium collection counter in Phu Yen province __
Photo: Internet

The procedures for foreigners to get covered by health insurance in Vietnam are similar to those applicable to Vietnamese citizens. According to Article 16 of the Law, a health insurance card may be granted to an insured for use as a basis for enjoying health insurance benefits in accordance with law. To be granted a health insurance card, you have to request your company to carry out procedures for the grant of such card. Within 10 working days after submitting a complete and valid dossier and completing all required procedures, you will obtain a health insurance card from a health insurer.

According to Point a, Clause 1, Article 13 of the Law, you and your employer will have to pay respectively one-third and two-thirds of the health insurance premium which is equal to 6% of your monthly salary at most. Your salary, which serves as a basis for payment of health insurance premium, is the salary level stated in your labor contract and calculated in Vietnam dong (in case your salary agreed in the labor contract is in a foreign currency). The foreign exchange rate applied is based on the average exchange rate on the interbank foreign-currency market announced by the State Bank of Vietnam on January 2 for the first half and July 1 for the second half of the year.

A foreign employee may have up to 80% of his medical care expenses covered by health insurance. However, under Clause 1, Article 4 of Government Decree No. 105/2014/ND-CP dated November 15, 2014, detailing and guiding the implementation of a number of articles of the Law on Health Insurance, you may have 100% of your medical expenses covered by health insurance if falling into one of the following cases:

- Your expense for one time of medical examination and treatment is smaller than 15% of the prescribed basic salary.

- You have paid health insurance premium for five consecutive years, counting from the time you start paying health insurance premium to the time you receive a medical care, and has an accumulated expense amount paid for medical care in a year larger than six months’ basic salary, counting from the time you attain full five consecutive years of health insurance premium payment, unless you receive medical examination and treatment at a health establishment not indicated in your health insurance card.

Procedures for health insurance-covered medical examination and treatment

When seeking medical care services, you have to present your health insurance card stuck with your photo; if your card has no photo, you have to produce it together with a document proving your personal identity (children under six years of age is required to produce only their health insurance cards).

In case of emergency, you may seek medical care services at any hospital and have to produce your health insurance card together with papers required by law before being discharged from the hospital.

In case of transferal to another hospital, you will be required to have a hospital transferal file made by the initial hospital.

In case another doctor’s consultation is required by the therapeutic process, you will have to obtain an appointment for re-examination from the concerned hospital.-(VLLF)

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