My $800 private health insurance cannot cover a $14 medical bill

February 6, 2024 | 05:00 pm PT
My $800 private health insurance cannot cover a $14 medical bill
Insurance companies inquire about the customer's specific condition to provide guidance. Illustration photo by Freepik
I bought a VND20 million (US$820) private health insurance that would not even pay for a VND350,000 ($14.37) medical bill.

Three months after signing the health insurance contract, I finally had to use it on January 22.

Though I have heard rumors that private insurance companies in Vietnam do not protect their customers’ rights and some buyers even felt scammed after signing insurance contracts, I was somewhat skeptical and wanted to experience it for myself.

To avoid any trouble, before going for a medical examination, I proactively called the insurance company's hotline for detailed advice on the expenses that would be covered.

Ideally, the insurance company should actively inquire about the customer's specific condition to provide guidance and ensure they receive all the benefits provided by the insurance package.

However, the person who spoke to me was an insurance company consultant, and instead of providing specific advice so I could understand the information clearly, this person cleverly dodged most of my questions and did not provide any guidance or inquire about my condition.

The consultant spoke very vaguely to make me believe that most of my expenses would be covered by the insurance.

I then confidently went to the hospital, thinking that the insurance would cover most of the fees.

After I completed my check-up and submitted the medical bill to the insurance provider.

My provider told me it could not determine the specific coverage of my insurance, so it could not directly pay the bill at that moment.

They advised me to pay the bill myself, promising that they would work out the details of the expenses later.

Trusting them, I did as advised, but after that, no insurance employee contacted me to explain or follow up.

Five days later, I called the insurance company's hotline again.

This time, an employee responded indifferently: "We thought you had understood the contract and no further explanation was needed. Do not worry, we are checking the terms and your claim has not been denied."

They also promised to address two other issues for me. Of course, after that, I still did not receive any clear answer.

By Feb. 1, the insurance company officially informed me that they refused to pay the bill. Frustrated, I called the hotline again only to have them avoid answering questions.

They, again, promised to give me an explanation the next day. Unsurprisingly, they then went completely silent after that.

Reflecting on the whole process, I realized that from the beginning, this insurance system had deceived me.

My VND700,000 social health insurance has never been denied regardless of the bill value. Meanwhile, a private insurance costing nearly VND20 million cannot even pay for a VND350,000 bill.

I truly feel scammed and have lost any trust in private insurance.

What do you think about private health insurance?

Reader Ky Chuong

*This opinion was translated into English by AI. Readers’ views are personal and do not necessarily match VnExpress’ viewpoints.

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