According to the latest global data on COVID-19 as of May 22, the total number of confirmed cases exceeded 4.9 million and the number of deaths totalled over 320,000. As the spread of the pandemic outside our borders has not been effectively contained, the numbers continue to climb distressingly. According to data from the Ministry of Education, there are still more than 1 million Chinese overseas students who have not yet returned to China amid the spreading pandemic abroad. Their parents and the public are worried about their health. The Party and the state is even more concerned about their safety.
In order to protect the safety of overseas students, China Re’s subsidiaries China Continent Insurance, China Re P&C, China Re Life and Huatai Insurance Agency fully cooperated to integrate domestic and overseas medical resources, utilising online platforms to offer convenient insurance and service channels, so as to provide overseas students with comprehensive health protection and assist in the global fight against the pandemic.
As the pandemic continues to sweep across the world, the safety of overseas students must be guaranteed urgently
With the concerted efforts across the country, China has achieved great results in the prevention and control of the pandemic. Life and work returned to normal and businesses and schools are reopening in full swing. As a result of the widespread pandemic in the United States and the United Kingdom, many overseas students and their parents are frightened and want to come back home through various channels. However, returning to China all together will increase the risk of cross-infection and put more pressure on the prevention and control of the pandemic at home. As a result, overseas students and their parents are in a dilemma.
Due to the rapid spread of the pandemic, medical resources in various countries are in short supply. Overseas students who are not familiar with the local healthcare systems face many difficulties in terms of access to timely and convenient medical treatment. Once they are infected and diagnosed with COVID-19, they may be saddled with high costs for testing as well as outpatient and emergency treatment. At the same time, they may also suffer economic losses caused by unexpected situations such as emergency transfer and interruption of studies.
In the United States, for example, which has the highest percentage of overseas Chinese students, without insurance coverage or special subsidies from the local government, the cost of hospitalization of an individual due to COVID-19 can reach hundreds of thousands of dollars. At present, government policies on whether or not to pay for the medical expenses of non-residents diagnosed with COVID-19 vary and change from time to time, so there is inevitably uncertainty about the safety and security of overseas students. Although overseas students usually purchase some commercial insurance or enrol in local health insurance as required, the extent to which these policies cover the treatment cost of COVID-19 can vary widely. If the policy deductible is too high or the coverage is too narrow, it may result in high out-of-pocket medical expenses for overseas students. The fear of pandemic and the high cost of treatment abroad have left many overseas students and parents in China in a quandary.
Working together to build a comprehensive health harbour
As the national team and main force of China’s reinsurance industry, China Re has accurately grasped the protection needs of overseas students and timely launched a medical insurance product for overseas students, by leveraging its advantages of deep penetration into the international insurance market over the years, and integrating medical resources at home and abroad. This product not only covers the medical expenses arising from accidents and common diseases, but also provides extensive medical insurance coverage and a number of special services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, thereby providing overseas students with a "health harbour" that will closely connect them to China.
The product features comprehensive coverage and a strong service network. Routine medical treatment includes emergency outpatient, inpatient and special medical treatment after the waiting period, and COVID-19 is included in the coverage of emergency outpatient and inpatient treatment, while the cost of testing and treatment will be paid in accordance with the agreed claims rules of the insurance package.
In view of the possibility that overseas students may return China, the Group has added domestic medical insurance to the product design to provide protection for overseas students during their return, including hospitalization expenses due to infection with COVID-19. At the same time, optional insurance liabilities including accidental injury, global emergency rescue, interruption of studies, travel inconvenience and personal third party liability can be added to meet the diverse needs of medical environment and medical personnel in different countries.
This product is not only cost effective, but also can be customized as needed. Customers can flexibly choose a 3-month, 6-month short-term guarantee or a one-year protection policy. Based on age, guarantee period and package plan, they can spend as little as several hundred US dollars, and more than a thousand US dollars to obtain an overseas medical protection policy of USD500,000 to USD2 million. In addition, they can also purchase a number of additional liabilities that cover risks including accidental injury and domestic medical care.
To help Chinese overseas students across the world, China Re Group provides them with free 7*24-hour bilingual customer service in Chinese and English, offering mental comfort, pandemic prevention consultation, medical institution inquiry, appointment and assistance in the medical treatment process, etc., thereby overcoming language barriers and difficulties in medical treatment arrangement, and helping them get medical treatment as soon as possible. The Group can also provide other services including visa processing, embassy and consulate information, pandemic prevention consultation, life information, residential consultation and travel advice for overseas students. Moreover, the Group updates parents regularly on their children's health conditions and medical treatment, and provides overseas students with support and services in any aspects of their psychological, physical wellbeing and life.
Protecting Chinese at home and abroad wherever they are
In this extraordinary time, the vast majority of overseas students, out of rational analysis of the pandemic, chose to stay in self-quarantine in their localities voluntarily. After all, they might be unfamiliar with the place and it is difficult to dispel parents' worries and anxieties. With the long-term closure of some schools, many overseas students are faced with the problem of finding new place to live. The safety of accommodation, purchase of daily necessities and pandemic prevention materials, daily travel risks and timely medical treatment all put great pressure on the parents of overseas students. The Party and the state are also concerned about their wellbeing.
“Fear not the want of armour, for mine is also yours to wear”. While providing professional risk protection services, the Group is also committed to contributing to the health and property safety of Chinese at home and abroad by giving full play to its influence and integrating various professional service resources. China Re has set up a special overseas medical insurance service system of "Health Care Insurance for Chinese " to serve the Chinese overseas construction personnel and escort the construction of the BRI. At this time of crisis, besides providing professional insurance services, China Re is deeply concerned about the pandemic prevention and protection of overseas students. Adhering to the strategy of “Technology Advancement, Platform Operation and Internationalization”, the Group actively promotes the construction of a comprehensive protection service platform for overseas students' epidemic prevention. China Re also actively appeals for and promotes the participation and cooperation of various major OTA platforms, overseas hotels, resorts, B&Bs, material suppliers, catering service agencies and medical service institutions and other social resources to provide stable accommodation services for overseas students during the isolation period, so as to ensure the safety of accommodation and of daily necessity supplies for overseas students.
Love knows no borders and no boundaries. China Re will actively fulfil its responsibility as a national financial enterprise and cooperate with all sectors of society to provide comprehensive risk protection for overseas students and create a warm haven.