Normally, expats working for a multinational company are provided group health insurance. If you want a more reliable insurance then you must consider an established company such as Axis Capital, a group of companies with branch offices in Bermuda, Australia, Canada, Europe, Latin America, Singapore and the United States. If hired by a local Indonesian firm, insurance provided by the company may not offer comprehensive coverage.
Other local firms cover for medical expenses under a reimbursement scheme.
Prior to relocating, expats should thoroughly study the policy coverage, benefits and exclusions. Living outside one’s home country can be stressful if not secured with reliable medical insurance. Expats are recommended to have an intensive international health insurance policy, as this is required for hospitalization and medical evacuation in Indonesia. Most expats who are seriously ill and need overseas treatment are evacuated to Singapore, which has cheaper air fare than Australia; however, the cost of medical treatment in Singapore is three times than Australia.
Jamsostek is the state-owned security program which provides compensation in the event of accidents at work, death and old age. Expats covered by social security programmes in their home country can opt not to enrol in Jamsostek.
Expats must make sure that all basic vaccinations are up to date prior to relocating. Common problems in Indonesia are dengue fever and malaria. Statistics shows that Jakarta has the highest number of dengue fever cases among Indonesia’s urban areas with 18,366 cases and 37 deaths. Dengue fever risk is high during rainy seasons (November to April). Moreso, dengue cases increase if the lower parts of Jakarta are flooded. Expats are advised to use effective insect bite prevention measures like deet containing repellents and the use of proper clothing.
Jakarta has a hot and humid temperature thus expats are advised to have sufficient liquid intake, warning, don’t drink tap water or get drinks with ice in stalls. Drinking bottled water or boiling water is advised. Expats must also avoid exposure from the sun which can lead to sunburn and exhaustion.
The World Health Organization (WHO) considers Jakarta as the third most polluted city in the world. Air pollution is a serious problem that causes high levels of respiratory disease. One of the most harmful sources of pollutants is vehicle emissions.
In Jakarta, foreign and local pharmacies are found in major malls and shopping centres where expats can buy imported and local medicines. Although, there is a pharmacist on duty to assist customers, expats may encounter some pharmacists who do not speak English fluently. Expats may write the name of the medicine and the pharmacist will know the Indonesian name of the drug.
Apotik Melawai is one of the privately owned local pharmacy (apotik) in Jakarta. Many local pharmacies sell generic medicines, which is normally cheaper. Ensure that the correct medicines are obtained prior to leaving the pharmacy as most pharmacies do not allow medicines to be returned if dispensed and paid for.