Expatriate health insurance in Vietnam

Destination Vietnam
>Guaranteed direct payment and access to the best hospitals
>Coverage extended to Thailand and France
>Benefits in line with private sector rates
>24/7 medical evacuation

See our brochure on health insurance in Vietnam

As an expatriate, hospitals in both the public and private sector in Vietnam will charge you a fee before admitting you. The quality of care will go hand in hand with the prices charged, and the latter will always be higher in healthcare facilities that welcome expatriates and tourists. International health insurance will guarantee you access to a decent quality of care, bilingual and foreign-trained caregivers, and a good level of reimbursement.


Key figures of health insurance
in Vietnam

Key figures of health insurance in Vietnam
Healthcare expenditure per capita and per year €120
Annual indexation of health expenses 12,1%
Hospitalization reimbursement rates for the Fund for French Abroad (CFE) 67%
Number of insurance companies available 12
Annual cost of hospitalization coverage for a 30-year-old €605
Annual cost of hospitalization coverage for a 50-year-old €1111

The healthcare system
in Vietnam

Adequate care in the private sector

Vietnam's universal healthcare system is still in development. In the meantime, you will have to pay your own medical and hospitalization expenses.

Only the private sector offers a few world-class hospitals, in a country where healthcare financing difficulties are felt. This is despite the ambition to provide universal health coverage by 2030, within the framework of a United Nations project. The majority of the population therefore chooses to seek private health care, if they can afford it.

Expatriate health insurance in Vietnam will not only give you access to the country's private hospitals and facilities, but also to those in the surrounding countries and cities that are better equipped (such as Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur). It is not uncommon for residents to routinely seek treatment in other countries to have access to better quality care and better equipment and technology.

Quality of care in the public sector

Public healthcare is affordable for the Vietnamese population, and even more so for expatriates. If you want to consult a physician, it’s unlikely that they will speak English or another European language. A consultation will cost around .

The quality of the equipment leaves much to be desired and this can have repercussions in terms of hygiene. It cannot be guaranteed that single-use materials are used correctly or that hygiene standards are respected in public healthcare centers.

It should be noted that progress has been made in recent years. Several JCI (Joint Commission International) accreditations have been granted, including to Vinmec International Hospital in Hanoi and FV Hospital.

The majority of residents with the financial means will opt for treatment in the private sector.

Quality of care in the private sector

There are physicians who practice only in the private sector, but they represent a minority. Less than a third of these physicians speak French; English is more common. Consultations can be done at a hospital or in a private practice.

Private clinics are mostly international structures: like SOS International or the Hanoi Family Clinic and the Hanoi French Hospital, or the Ho Chi Minh Franco-Vietnamese Hospital. The quality of care is satisfactory, despite a lack of equipment and advanced technology.

In case of serious illness or injury, you might want to consider seeking medical care in Thailand or Singapore; however, it’s not as necessary as it was even a few years ago to leave Vietnam to get quality care.

The physicians practicing in the private sector have been trained in or come from Europe or countries with higher international medical standards.

How to find a physician

The French consulate can provide you with updated contact information and full details of the physicians that French people usually visit. You just need to call. This goes for other consulates as well.

Otherwise, hospitals with international structures are mainly located in the major cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Some contact information for hospitals and physicians can be found on the websites of, for example, the French Consulate.

While the consulate can recommend a list of physicians, they will not be held responsible for your repatriation if you have health problems. Remember to take out a repatriation assistance option.

Teleconsultation services, which are now included in most expatriate health contracts, will be very useful in case of minor health problems.

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Overall sanitation

Precautions to take before leaving

No vaccination is mandatory to enter Vietnam, but some vaccines are recommended depending on the season and the duration and type of stay – vaccines such as Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Typhoid, Japanese encephalitis, Influenza, or even rabies as a preventive measure. Even if vaccines are available locally, it’s always advisable to update your vaccinations before your departure.

To avoid toothaches in the early days, it’s also advisable to get a dental check-up a month before leaving, so there is time to schedule any necessary treatments before you go.

Local health risks

Human rabies cases have been reported in the major cities of Vietnam, whereas animal rabies occurs in rural areas. Vaccines for human use, which also act as a cure, are produced using cell cultures and available in all preventive medicine centers in Vietnam.

Dengue epidemics are frequently reported. The symptoms of this disease are similar to malaria but less virulent and shorter in duration (about two weeks). There is no preventive treatment; prevention is done by using mosquito nets and repellents such as lambda-cyhalothrin (ICON 2.5 CS, ICON 10 WP) and alpha-cypermethrin (FENDONA 10 CS), which are quite easy to find.

The climate is favorable to the development of common respiratory diseases, mainly in young children.

In the case of a long-term stay, obtaining a work permit in Vietnam requires an HIV/AIDS test, which is compulsory to take in private clinics such as SOS International, the French Hospital of Hanoi, or Hanoi Family Practice.

It is strongly recommended to always cover your feet when walking, especially if you have any open wounds, since Vietnam is a tropical country. Some parasitic infections, such as leptospirosis, can be fatal.

Limit the use of ibuprofen: ibuprofen can have very serious effects in the case of dengue, so it is advised to never treat fevers and migraines with ibuprofen, especially with young children.


Social-welfare coverage in Vietnam

Social-welfare coverage from your country of origin

No international social-welfare agreement has been signed by Vietnam. Expatriates are therefore required to join the Vietnamese system.

The CFE (Fund for French Abroad) is open to EU and Swiss citizens and can be an interesting solution.

With an agreement between the French-Vietnamese hospital in Ho Chi Minh City and some other hospitals, the CFE offers – since January 1st, 2020 – 100% coverage of hospitalization fees in Vietnam. This coverage is provided through VYV and its network of hospital partners.

Apart from hospitalization in these establishments, the CFE offers a good basis of partial reimbursement, but you’ll need a complementary expatriate health insurance to cover the fees of physicians in the private sector.

Local social welfare

Vietnam Social Health Insurance (regulated by Vietnam Social Insurance) dates back to 1989 and manages the fund through two branches: compulsory health insurance and voluntary health insurance.

The first social insurance is financed by contributions of 4.5% of each worker’s salary, and offers benefits in case of illness, retirement, work accidents, disability, old age, etc. It is intended for all private-sector employees, public-sector workers and pensioners, foreign students, people over 90 years of age, and the disadvantaged.

The second is a type of health insurance (paid for by 3% employer contributions and 1.5% employee contributions, based on salary), which covers medical expenses on the basis of public sector prices, while the insured pays the rest. It covers schoolchildren, students, self-employed people, beneficiaries/family members, and people working in associations.

However, since it has only been in existence for a short time, there is still much room for improvement in the system.

Choosing a health-insurance plan in Vietnam

Why sign up?

To have access to private-sector hospitals and physicians with standards that meet the higher international level (in terms of quality of care, equipment, and hygiene). And to avoid having to pay up front in case of hospitalization.

To maintain health coverage in your country of origin during your temporary return.

To be able to get healthcare in neighboring countries such as Thailand, which provides a higher quality of care than Vietnam.

When and how to sign up

Applying for expatriate health insurance is more complex than for a traditional health insurance plan, so we advise applying about 30 days before your departure.

It’s even possible to start your preparation up to three months before your departure, which allows you to free your mind for other priorities as your departure date nears.

Our website allows you to get online quotations and to compare coverage options.

An adviser can then help you with the entire sign-up process.

Which coverage should I choose?

If you are on a tight budget, an economical level of hospitalization insurance, the minimum requirement, should suffice.

If your budget allows, and taking into account the evolving prices for expatriates, go for a hospitalization and routine medical care plan. A reimbursement rate of 80-90% will be sufficient for routine medical expenses.

For more details, compare your expatriate health insurance options online.

Do I have to pay up front?

Whether you sign up for full coverage or for a plan that complements CFE coverage, the insurer will be able to pay directly for any hospitalization lasting more than 24 hours; you will have to pay up front for all other expenses and then request reimbursements.

Today, insurers provide various digital solutions (online client platforms, mobile applications, email) to facilitate your requests for reimbursement. This allows you to get your reimbursements in a timely manner, eliminating postal delays.

It is recommended that you upload your claims as you spend money on healthcare, thereby avoiding the accumulation of potential reimbursement errors, and therefore frustration. It also helps you establish good habits so you remember how it’s done, and thus makes your claims easier.

Dental and vision costs

Dental care is not very expensive in Vietnam and is of fairly good quality. If you have very few needs, you won’t need dental coverage.

You can also find cheap vision options for simple corrections.

Don't forget that, when you sign up for vision/dental coverage, a waiting period of six to nine months will apply if you were not covered for these benefits before.

Repatriation assistance

The local level of care is of good quality; however, some cases will require treatment in a better equipped country such as Thailand or France. Repatriation assistance is therefore strongly recommended.

Repatriation is only used in the case of a medical emergency, and the assistance provider determines whether it is necessary.

Embassies and consulates do not handle repatriation.

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