In 2014, Indonesia introduced a 5-year plan to have a universal social health insurance system in place that covers basic insurance for everyone. The plan is called Jaminan Kesehatan Nasional (JKN) and seeks to improve the situation for citizens that are stuck in the middle of healthcare provision. These citizens are too poor to afford health insurance, but not poor enough for government help.
Under JKN, citizens are able to gain access to a wide range of health services provided by public facilities and a few private organisations. Those who are in formal employment pay a premium equivalent to 5% of their salary, with 4% payable by employers and 1% payable by employees. Informal workers, the self-employed, and investors pay fixed monthly premiums of between 25,500 IDR (£1.34) and 59,500 IDR (£3.12) in a tiered system of first, second and third-rate care depending on the contributions they choose to pay.
However, the plan is still in progress and has received a lot of criticism so far. Studies say that the plan is too ambitious and that it's not possible for all Indonesian citizens to have access to health insurance by 2019. Critics point out that there is still the issue of unequal access regarding employed and unemployed people as well as the accessibility in different areas. The JKN plan is considered an improvement for some parts of Indonesian society, but it still has a long way to go if it is to become universal by 2019.
The need to go private
Those not covered by government schemes, however, pay for health insurance themselves privately, and foreign residents are included under this umbrella.
Given the high cost of good medical care, particularly when in more remote areas, ensuring you are comprehensively covered is important. By choosing health insurance before you leave for Indonesia, you can make sure that you are adequately covered for all scenarios (bear in mind Indonesia’s high risk of natural disasters, and read small print carefully). Make sure you are also covered for an adequate level of care; services and rooms in hospitals can be ranked from basic to ‘VIP’, so make enquiries as to what your insurance will entitle you to.
It is important to choose a provider with local knowledge, as Indonesia’s health care system will likely be very different to that of your home country. Some insurers even provide a list of doctors and hospitals whose services they cover, which can be useful in locating where your nearest go-to medical centre will be.
Make sure your policy also covers Emergency medical evacuation, or medevac, especially if you will be going to more rural areas. Specialised treatments and facilities become more scarce the further from the main cities you are, as do emergency services, and so if you or someone in your family becomes severely ill, medical evacuation may become much less of a distant possibility than it is back home.