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Vietnam – Health Insurance

Vietnam has a public healthcare system known as the Vietnam Social Security (VSS). The VSS provides healthcare services to Vietnamese citizens and legal residents, and health insurance is mandatory for all employees working in Vietnam. In addition to the VSS, there are also private healthcare providers in Vietnam.

Health Insurance Requirements in Vietnam

Health insurance is mandatory for all employees working in Vietnam. Employers are responsible for providing health insurance coverage for their employees, and employees are required to contribute a portion of their salary to the health insurance fund.

State Health Insurance System in Vietnam

The state health insurance system in Vietnam is the Vietnam Social Security (VSS). The VSS provides healthcare services to Vietnamese citizens and legal residents. The VSS covers a wide range of medical services, including doctor visits, hospital stays, laboratory tests, prescription medications, and certain dental services.

However, the VSS has limitations, and there may be long wait times for appointments and procedures. In addition, the quality of healthcare services in public healthcare facilities may not meet the standards of expats from Western countries.

Applying for State Health Insurance System in Vietnam (provide answer in numbered steps)

  1. Obtain a Vietnamese identification card: To apply for health insurance through the VSS, you will need a Vietnamese identification card. If you are a legal resident, you will need to obtain a residency permit before applying for a Vietnamese identification card.

  2. Obtain a work permit: Health insurance through the VSS is mandatory for all employees working in Vietnam. To apply for health insurance through the VSS, you will need to obtain a work permit from your employer.

  3. Register for health insurance: Once you have obtained a Vietnamese identification card and a work permit, you can register for health insurance through the VSS. You will need to provide your identification documents and pay a portion of your salary to the health insurance fund.

  4. Receive your health insurance card: After registering for health insurance through the VSS, you will receive a health insurance card. You can use your health insurance card to access healthcare services at participating healthcare providers.

Advantages of Private Medical Insurance in Vietnam

While the VSS provides healthcare services to Vietnamese citizens and legal residents, expats living in Vietnam may want to consider purchasing international private medical insurance. International private medical insurance offers several advantages for expats living in Vietnam, including:

  1. Access to private healthcare facilities: While public healthcare facilities in Vietnam provide basic healthcare services, private healthcare facilities offer more specialized and personalized care. With international private medical insurance, expats can access private healthcare facilities and receive the best possible medical treatment without having to wait for appointments.

  2. Coverage for pre-existing conditions: The VSS may not cover pre-existing medical conditions. However, with international private medical insurance, expats can receive coverage for pre-existing conditions and receive necessary medical treatment.

  3. Coverage for medical emergencies abroad: International private medical insurance offers coverage for medical emergencies abroad. This is especially important for expats who may travel frequently for work or leisure.

  4. Language barriers: Expats who do not speak Vietnamese may find it challenging to communicate with healthcare providers in public healthcare facilities in Vietnam. Private healthcare facilities often have multilingual staff, making it easier for expats to communicate their medical needs.

  5. Flexibility in choosing healthcare providers: With international private medical insurance, expats can choose their healthcare providers, including doctors and hospitals. This gives them more control over their medical care and allows them to receive treatment from trusted and reputable healthcare providers.

  6. Faster access to medical care: Private healthcare facilities in Vietnam often have shorter wait times for appointments and procedures. With international private medical insurance, expats can receive faster access to medical care and receive treatment in a timely manner.


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    1. Additional services: Some international private medical insurance plans offer additional services, such as wellness programs, mental health support, and second medical opinions. These services can help expats manage their overall health and well-being.

    Overall, while health insurance through the VSS is mandatory for all employees working in Vietnam and provides basic healthcare services, expats living in Vietnam may want to consider purchasing international private medical insurance to receive more specialized and personalized medical treatment, coverage for pre-existing conditions, coverage for medical emergencies abroad, faster access to medical care, and additional services to support their overall health and well-being.

    It is important to note that healthcare services in Vietnam may not meet the standards of expats from Western countries. Expats should research healthcare providers carefully and choose those that meet their needs and expectations.


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