Indonesia Landscape


Health insurance in Indonesia for foreign expats

From the ancient volcanoes of Bali to the cultural hub of Jakarta, the islands of Indonesia are a diverse place to live and work. So, if you’re planning on relocating, it’s important to understand the healthcare system as it differs from its Western counterparts. 

Consisting of around 17,000 islands (many of which are uninhabited), the healthcare sector is split into private and public. The former is of noticeably higher quality, which is reflected in the price. In the public sector, the Indonesian government has implemented a universal healthcare plan, the JKN (Jaminan Kesehatan Nasional, more commonly known as the BPJS Kesehatan or BPJS Ketenagakerjaan). However, uptake has been slow and medical resources on the islands are scarce. Many of the region’s medical institutions are equipped with basic supplies and treatment facilities only. Most hospitals don’t meet Western standards and often require proof of insurance or an upfront payment. Many companies provide medical assistance to their employees in the form of health plans, but it is not a legal requirement.

Most Western governments recommend comprehensive medical insurance for expats wishing to relocate to Indonesia. Coverage for medical evacuation and repatriation is often viewed as a must, as complex surgeries and emergencies may be performed in neighbouring countries. 

 The following sections discuss the Indonesian healthcare system in more detail and provide information about private coverage for expats looking to relocate.


The JKN (Jaminan Kesehatan Nasional), more commonly known as the BPJS Kesehatan or BPJS Ketenagakerjaan, is Indonesia’s national health programme. As a member of the BPJS, medical treatment is available for free or for a small charge. The system is in its infancy and is funded by national taxation.

Below public hospitals sit the community health centres, known as ‘puskesmas’. Pukesmas are the primary health providers in many rural areas, often accompanied by the ‘posyandu’, an integrated health service for the most at risk. There are two kinds of Puskesmas, those with beds and those without. Puskesmas are often stretched to their limit.

Indonesia does not currently have a nationwide emergency service; private ambulance services are available but are limited to the larger cities and may not be reliable in urgent situations. 

Public healthcare coverage has seen vast improvements over the last 10 years. However, many of the public hospitals and clinics have yet to reach Western standards of medical care. In the main cities, such as Jakarta, Surabaya or Bandung, you will find some adequate facilities close to Western standards. However, the long waiting times, absence of English-speaking professionals and an overall lack of medical personnel make the public system undesirable for many expats. Equally, the private system has its limits. For many medical emergencies and complex surgical procedures, patients are evacuated to a nearby country.

As a result, non-natives and more affluent natives opt for private health insurance with extensive coverage.

As a non-native, you will pay for your medical care, whether it’s in a public or private facility. Since 2018, expats are eligible for coverage by the BPJS (Indonesia’s public health plan) if they have a residency or work permit for a duration of 6 months or more. Many working expats obtain comprehensive health insurance from their employers. So, if you are relocating for work, check with your employer first to see if their policy is sufficient. 

A large majority of expats and natives have some level of private coverage to avoid paying the higher fees of private hospitals.

The public health insurance, more commonly known as the BPJS Kesehatan or BPJS Ketenagakerjaan, offers basic healthcare and is comprised of the public health sector and select parts of the private sector. Under this programme, medical care is either free or subsidised. It is available to expats who possess a residency or work permit for a duration of 6 months or more. Public health facilities are modest in comparison to their Western counterparts. Consequently, many expats and natives find themselves taking out private coverage to access private medical institutions in main cities or neighbouring countries.

Emergency Care

At present, Indonesia does not have a fully realised medical emergency service. If you have a medical emergency, you can dial 118 for assistance. However, there are significant delays as some areas are poorly serviced by ambulances. Some prefer to take a taxi to nearby ER facilities or use a private ambulance service if they are in a big city. In some cases, medical emergencies and complex surgeries have to be performed in nearby countries, so you may have to be medically evacuated. 

Community Health Centres: Puskesmas and Posyandu

The community health centres, or puskesmas, offer affordable aid to those on lower income. There are an estimated 12,000 puskesmas across Indonesia providing basic healthcare. They are the primary health providers in many rural areas. The puskesmas are staffed with a medical doctor, dentist, midwife, nurse and other community health professionals and volunteers.

The posyandu is a community-based integrated health-post serving the most vulnerable members of the community. They primarily aid women and children in need of immunisations, nutrition, counselling and family planning. Many expats take out private medical insurance and opt to use private health clinics because of the notably better standard of care and access to English-speaking medical staff.

Prescriptions and Pharmacies

Called ‘apotik’, pharmacies are common in larger cities and are often found inside shopping complexes and malls. In rural areas, they can be found in the local health centre but are far less common. Medicines can also be delivered to different outlets via online pharmacies. Expats may find some medications readily available to buy without a prescription and that brand names for certain medicines are likely to differ. A good idea would be to take note of your medication’s generic name to avoid complications. 

Indonesia has strict controls regarding medical substances and has banned many medications that are readily available in English-speaking countries. Before relocating, speak with your doctor and check with the Indonesian customs authority about medications that you plan to bring with you. Often, prescriptions are mandatory for you to bring medication into the country.

There can be large discrepancies in the cost of generic and patented medicines. Some expat websites have reported that prices could be up to ten times higher for patented medicine. There has also been some doubt about the effectiveness of certain generic medicines, despite regulatory authorities stating otherwise. Expats should consult their local doctor about pharmacy recommendations and access to medicines.  

Evacuation and Repatriation

In more rural parts of Indonesia, it might be difficult to get the right standard of urgent treatment locally. In some cases, the islands of Indonesia may not have the specialist equipment and facilities required to treat you in an emergency. In both instances, evacuation and repatriation services can provide a means of transport to wherever is needed, ranging from a taxi or a private ambulance, to a flight or an air ambulance. 

To avoid paying, potentially, tens of thousands of pounds for a medical evacuation service, private health insurance can help to cover the cost. 

Many expats take out private coverage because of the inadequacies of the public health system and the risk of medical evacuation to neighbouring countries for more complex procedures and emergencies. 

Need cover for more than 11 months?

Long-term cover

When you’re planning on changing countries for the foreseeable future, healthcare can be a real concern. With our dedicated team providing 24/7 support, we won’t let those worries hold you back. A new life in Indonesia, made simple.

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Virtual Doctor Service from AXA. See a real doctor, from anywhere in the world.

With the Virtual Doctor service, you can have a medical consultation with a real doctor wherever you are in the world – from the comfort of your home, hotel or office. Better still, there are doctors on call and available 24/7.3


Renowned for its incredible wildlife, stunning architecture and historic landmarks, Indonesia is like none other. Take the first step today with comprehensive health cover. 

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Virtual Doctor service

Finding a trusted doctor in the sprawling Indonesian archipelago (Islands of indonesia) can be a challenge. So, until you’re settled, talk with one of our experienced virtual doctors instead. Available by phone or video consultation, day and night. 1

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Evacuation and repatriation

Although some procedures need to be performed in nearby countries, don’t worry, our team is ready to arrange evacuation and repatriation services

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Claims and compensation

Once we’ve received all the correct information, around 80% of all eligible claims are paid within 48 hours. So, you can get back to discovering one of the most diverse places in the world.2

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Emergency cover

In Indonesia’s emerging medical system, it makes sense to be prepared. We offer a range of international health plans, which include dental and medical scans (CT, PET, MRI) with all our cover levels. 

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Mind Health service

Despite the vibrant beauty of Indonesia, a new life can take some getting used to, especially after moving away from your support network. But don’t worry, our qualified psychologists are available via our dedicated Mind Health service.3

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Second Medical Opinion service

If you feel unsure about a diagnosis or treatment plan, want a better understanding of local healthcare practices, need details explained to you in another language, or you’d like to make sure you’ve explored every option – our Second Medical Opinion service can help bring you peace of mind.4

Who we help

Retiring to the beaches of Bali or relocating for a new role in Jakarta, we’re here to support you. Here are some examples of who we help:

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With extensive coverage plans that include eye tests, prescriptions and a range of outpatient services as standard, we take care of all the little things, so you can get back to business.

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Designed for families of any size, we can help you with all aspects of the Indonesian healthcare system. We offer coverage that includes maternity and pregnancy benefits, routine and non-routine dental check-ups, vaccinations, asthma treatments and prescription glasses. Coverage when it matters.

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Warm welcomes and even warmer days are all you’ll need to think about. Our plans include annual health check-ups, palliative care and disability compensation, giving your family peace of mind and the chance to enjoy your retirement to the fullest.

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All information in this article was correct at the time of publishing

Local insights have been provided by Oban International’s LIME (Local In-Market Expert) network’ - 

1The Virtual Doctor service is part of our Virtual Care from AXA service. Appointments are subject to availability. You do not need to pay or claim for a consultation but you will be charged for the cost of the initial phone call when using the call back service. You won’t be charged if you request a call back using the app or online portal. Telephone appointments are available 24/7/365 and call-backs are typically within 24 hours. Video appointments in English, Spanish and Mandarin are available between 08.00 and 00.00 UK time, Monday to Friday. Video appointments in German are available between 08:00 -20:00 CET, Monday to Friday

280.6% of eligible claims submitted online between July 2022 and June 2023 were paid within two days. 

3Mind Health psychologist appointments are available in English and Spanish between Monday and Friday, 09.00 - 17.30 (UK time). If you are calling from the UAE, appointments are available between Saturday to Thursday, 09.00 – 20.00, and Friday 09.00 – 16.00 (UAE time). The service, provided in partnership with Teladoc Health, provides access to six sessions with a psychologist, per mind health concern, per policy year. The Mind Health service is part of our Virtual Care from AXA service.

4Our Second Medical Opinion service is here for you anytime you’re unsure over a diagnosis or recommended course of treatment. It’s part of our Virtual Care offering, along with the Virtual Doctor and Mind Health services, so you might have already seen it on your plan or on the Virtual Care from AXA <app> or <portal>. Provided in partnership with Teladoc Health, the service unlocks access to a network of over 50,000 world-leading specialists and connects you to a doctor who will review your case alongside an expert. They’ll work with you to help you understand your diagnosis, make sure you know your options and support you throughout any treatment, wherever you are in the world.