The Indonesia Healthcare System
There have been major changes to the Indonesian healthcare system in recent times. This is largely because the country enacted a country-wide health insurance scheme in 2014 that aimed to insure the country's 250 million citizens. The reason for this reform was manyfold. First and foremost, the government of Indonesia wanted to secure the health and wellbeing of the county’s population by providing them with guaranteed access to medical facilities and treatment. Next, it was important to the government that Indonesians were comfortable spending their income and bolstering the economy. This addressed concerns over uninsured citizens saving their money in order to be able to pay for the inevitable and pricey costs of healthcare in the country.
The premiums on these government mandated insurance schemes are quite low. In fact, after only a year, the new influx of Indonesians with serious medical troubles who could receive care have initially put a great burden on the country's medical facilities. As such, many are wondering if the premiums charged are actually enough, as the government has began to run deficits from the program due to its responsibility to subsidize the premiums of nearly 100 million poor Indonesians.
Health Insurance in Indonesia: Implications for you
While many countries exclude expatriates from their public healthcare systems, Indonesia actually requires foreigners residing in the country to purchase an insurance plan from an insurer compliant with Indonesian law. This means that those living in country should be concerned with potential raises in premiums.
Fortunately for many people moving to Indonesia for work, employers will generally provide a health insurance plan for them and their family members. Requirements of the universal healthcare scheme state that a formally employed individual’s insurance premium will be 5% of their income, 1% paid by the employee and 4% by the employer. Of course, you would want to consult with your employer first on the specifics of the plan they provide (assuming one is provided) before moving to Indonesia.
Also, there is nothing saying that a medical insurance plan provided by your employer will exactly meet the needs of you and your family. All that the plans need to do legally is meet the minimum requirements set forth by the Indonesian government. If your employer felt the need to cut costs when purchasing their group health insurance plan, the minimum coverage is all that they may have purchased. For this reason, it may be necessary for you to purchase a ‘Top-Up’ insurance plan to increase benefits to the levels that your family requires. This is another reason why delving into the specifics of your company provided insurance plan is so important.
Another consideration with local Indonesia health Insurance plans is that they are going to provide coverage inside of Indonesia only. For many people not native to Indonesia, or who travel a lot for both business and pleasure, ensuring that they have medical care when traveling abroad should be a major consideration. After all, the last thing you want to be thinking about when you are travelling is how you will be paying your medical bills. If health insurance coverage abroad is a worry for you, then upgrading your local health insurance policy to an international health insurance policy may be just what the doctor ordered.
For those that are not receiving company sponsored group health insurance, it will become necessary to obtain your own. At this point it can be beneficial to use an insurance broker, like Pacific Prime, to find your plan. This is because, as a broker, Pacific Prime’s priority is on serving you, and not the insurance companies. The other key advantage of using a broker is that you get to view plans and pricing from a number of insurers at one time.
Quality healthcare in Indonesia
By Western standards, Indonesia does not generally have a high quality of medical care. This is especially true for critical illnesses or serious medical emergencies where specialized knowledge or equipment could greatly improve outcomes. Medical infrastructure has been a major issue for Indonesia following the implementation of the country's universal healthcare scheme. Even locals in rural areas need to resort to long journeys to larger cities in order to obtain much of the medical care they need, so expats will be no different. Furthermore, outside of major medical facilities in large metropolitan areas in Indonesia, there is generally no expectation that hospital or clinic staff will speak English. As such, many people in Indonesia travel outside the country when seeking important medical care, oftentimes to major medical tourism hubs like Bangkok or Singapore.
If you foresee this kind of situation being a possibility for you and your family, an International Health Insurance plan, like those sold through Pacific Prime, would be invaluable. This is because our plans travel with you no matter where in the world you might find yourself. With International Health Insurance you get your choice of virtually any hospital or doctor abroad, as well as at home. At the very least, you will want to have medical evacuation coverage included in your health insurance policy so that you can be taken to appropriate medical facilities should your local hospital’s amenities be insufficient to address a given health problem.
Indonesia Travel Tips
Indonesia is one of the world’s favorite tourist destinations with millions of visitors arriving in the country each year from all over the world. When traveling in a new country it is important to understand, and be aware of, any local laws and customs that may be different from the ones that you are used to. To help you better enjoy your time in Indonesia we have provided some information about various local laws and customs that you should be aware of during your time in the country.
Please be advised that the information below is not comprehensive and that the status of this information may change without warning. For the most up to date travel advice please contact a professional prior to departing on your trip.
Indonesia is a predominantly Muslim country. As such many of the local laws and customs will reflect this. When visiting religious areas such as mosques and temples you should act with respect.
Do not get involved with illegal drugs during your time in Indonesia. Possession, distribution and manufacture of narcotic substances is illegal, and if caught you could face a lengthy prison sentence, or even a death sentence.
Do not gamble while in Indonesia. Gambling is illegal throughout the country, and is usually controlled by organized crime syndicates.
You must carry some form of identification on your person at all times. If asked by the Indonesian police you must display identification, failure to do so can result in a fine or custodial jail time. Photocopied passports are acceptable as a valid form of identification.
Most nationalities must have a visa to enter Indonesia. Visa’s are typically available on arrival, but will be time specific. If you plan on staying in the country for a period longer than three months you should obtain a work or residence permit before your arrival.
There are a number of disease risks throughout the country including Malaria, Dengue fever, Anthrax, and hepatitis. These diseases are spread through a number of factors, however their prevalence in the country can primarily be attributed to poor hygiene. Avoid eating foods from roadside stalls and make sure that all your drinks are sealed when brought to you.
There have been reports of polio outbreaks in Java and Sumatra. It is advisable that you obtain a polio vaccine before visiting these areas.
Due to Indonesia’s location in Southeast Asia on the continental shelf the country is prone to a number of natural disasters including earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and tsunamis. In the event of a natural disaster please follow all government directions and act accordingly.
Cases of Zika virus have been confirmed in Indonesia. You should discuss your travel plans with your doctor, especially if you’re pregnant or may become pregnant.
Rabies exists in wild and domestic animals in Indonesia. Street dogs are common. Avoid contact with all cats and dogs (including pets) and other animals, and find immediate medical attention if you’re scratched or bitten.
In the dry season, which is from May to November, forest fires can cause smoke. This results in air pollution across parts of Indonesia, especially the Riau Islands, central Sumatra and Kalimantan. The smoke can cause disruption to air travel, and the pollution can have a negative impact on health.
- For emergency medical assistance in Indonesia, dial 118 for an ambulance. Then contact your insurance company if you are taken to a hospital for treatment.