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international health insurance

If you can afford it, then why not?

Becoming an expat means that you are going to pay for your healthcare when you need it. Whilst how much it costs you will depend on where you live. The major expat centres tend to put all the responsibility on the individual.
 
As an expat the chances are your company provides medical insurance for your family and you. If it isn’t the case then get yourself an international health insurance policy.
 
If your company does provide health coverage then you should know exactly what it is. Do your family get the same benefits as you and is it enough? Does the coverage have any limitations or does it exclude pre-existing conditions. Far too often expats are unaware of the healthcare package that’s available to them. Usually you only start to take any notice when you come to make a claim. Unfortunately, by the time we learn about any issues it’s too late. Assuming your company provides great health insurance could be a very expensive mistake.

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Direct Expat has years of experience and knowledge of dealing with expats and their finances. We've published a clear and concise guide to help expats make the most of their money. It's yours free of charge when you sign up for Direct Expat's updates.

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What should you be looking for?

So, if you find out that your company scheme isn’t all that you hoped , what then? Or it may be that you’ve got to make your own provision. As an expat then your only real option is an international health insurance policy.
 
An international health policy pays medical expenses irrespective of where you’re living. There can be geographic restrictions especially when it comes to the USA. If you can’t get the best treatment where you live then you can choose to get it in another country. Traveling overseas and you get hospitalised an international policy takes care of it. If you use a local policy then you won’t be so fortunate.
 
A local policy means that you’ll have to get treated where you live. Even if that means you don’t have the best treatment options available to you. If you want to go back home and get treatment closer to your family, then that won’t be available. When you move to another country you’ll need a new policy. If you’ve had treatment then you’re looking at a pre-existing condition.
 
That’s why an international health policy is your only option. It gives you choices and the continuity that every expat needs.

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maternity

If you’re an expat and you’re going to start or expand your family what then? Well most company schemes don’t cover matternity costs, so check if yours does. If it doesn’t then you’re going to need to make a decision. That is either fund the costs yourself or get a policy that includes maternity cover. Getting a policy will be a cheaper option, especially if there are any complications.

If you decide to go the insurance route then you’ll need to plan ahead. The thing is that there’s always a waiting period before you can make a maternity claim on a policy. This is usually between 10 to 12 months, so you’ll need to set up the policy beforehand. This is especially true if you want to claim for the pre-natal expenses also. Even if you have the policy for a year in advance it will still be cheaper than funding the cost yourself.
 

make more of your money

Direct Expat has years of experience and knowledge of dealing with expats and their finances. We've published a clear and concise guide to help expats make the most of their money. It's yours free of charge when you sign up for Direct Expat's updates.

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