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Expat Health Insurance: What You Need to Know

Expat Health Insurance: What You Need to Know

21 Dec 2023

Whether you're moving to retire or work overseas, or you're planning that life-altering vacation, it's critical to get the correct kind of health insurance that will fully cover your medical requirements. There are several insurers and plans, so choosing one may be a challenging and even intimidating procedure. This is especially true for anyone trying to purchase health insurance abroad.


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The best (and usually the only) method to ensure you'll have the coverage you need when you need it is to get international private medical insurance (IPMI), often known as expat health insurance. This is because every country has a different healthcare system.


What is international health coverage?

If you live abroad, for example, in the UK, you can use the National Health Service. The NHS is unmatched in cases of emergency since its sizable hospitals are well-staffed 24 hours a day. For more routine care, it is advised to use ex-pat health insurance, which sometimes offers faster, more flexible private treatments, sometimes in hotel-style luxury. Simply said, ex-pat health insurance provides worldwide medical coverage for single people, married couples, and families traveling for jobs or studies.


You and your family may be covered by ex-pat health insurance, depending on the type of coverage you choose, for a variety of potential medical costs, such as:


  • Hospital costs, including those for both inpatient and outpatient care
  • Specialized treatment for diseases, including cancer
  • Heart disease and diabetes
  • kidney problems
  • other inherited or congenital disorders
  • Maternity
  • Dentistry, mental health, etc


How do You know whether You need international health insurance?

Every nation has a distinctive healthcare system of its own, and some have superior healthcare than others. There are several ways to pay for healthcare abroad; some are covered by the government, while others must be paid for out of pocket by the patient via online money transfer and more.


Before migrating to a new nation, it's critical to understand the healthcare system there. You'll almost surely require expat health insurance if the nation has an out-of-pocket system (where people pay for care as they go).


If you're living overseas because of your job, be sure to ask your company if IPMI is available as part of their global employee coverage. Employers managing international personnel may be interested in your carefully chosen Employee Benefits package, which includes IPMI for your staff globally.


Which IPMI policies are suitable for you?

You should keep these three things in mind while looking for an overseas health insurance policy:

  • Will this insurance satisfy your demands, that is, will it provide all the coverage You require?
  • Will this policy be acceptable in the nation or nations You wish to reside in?
  • Are You able to afford this policy?

In the end, you want to choose a worldwide health insurance plan that meets your lifestyle and budget, provides you peace of mind for the future, and protects you from any qualifying medical issues that are pertinent to you and your family.


Your medical issues might be covered by a thorough IPMI policy, including but not restricted to the following:

  • Any chronic problems, inherited diseases, or impairments that you are already receiving treatment for when you relocate overseas, such as diabetes
  • Accidents and crises, especially when they call for immediate hospital care
  • diagnosis, treatment, and counseling regarding aftercare for serious diseases like cancer
  • Mental illnesses, since evidence suggests that expatriates have a higher chance of developing them
  • Maternity insurance that addresses all facets of pregnancy, delivery, and postpartum care
  • optional add-ons like physiotherapy and dental
  • Plans for backup if you cannot access medical care in your nation of residence, such as medical evacuations
  • A separate life insurance policy and income protection may also be something you want to think about getting, especially if you're moving your family overseas.


Who can You rely on to provide you with international health insurance?

Working with a provider with experience in all three of the following is recommended when selecting foreign health insurance:

  • Having access to a global network of reputable clinics and healthcare facilities that allows you to practice medicine anywhere in the globe, providing you with complete peace of mind wherever you go
  • In contrast to temporary solutions like vacation insurance, specific experience in offering foreign long-term health insurance
  • A range of extra services, such as maternity coverage and medical evacuations, in addition to complete health insurance

Health insurance needs to know

Expat health insurance covers scheduled exams, procedures, and surgeries when you move and work overseas, including those for the hips, cataracts, ears, and occasionally even the mind. It's a way of life decision. Here are some important things you should know if you're thinking about it or want to see how your present policy compares:


The surplus is important

You will contribute this much to any one claim or all claims in a given year (check which one per year is better, but costs more). Cost is greatly affected by it if you choose a £500 excess, a $1,000/year policy with no excess drops to £720/year.


Choose the best health insurance plan

Which hospitals are acceptable? More options equal higher prices. Check the hospital list and coverage options once you've decided on insurance.


What medical procedures do you wish to cover? Options include better cancer and mental health coverage.

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Bottom Line

Nobody wants to get sick or have a problem, yet most people ultimately require medical care. Along with many other important benefits, health insurance also pays for these costs. You are protected against unforeseen, excessive medical expenses with health insurance.


What is expat health insurance, and why do I need it as an expatriate?

Expat health insurance is a type of insurance designed for individuals living and working abroad. It provides coverage for medical expenses, ensuring that expatriates have access to healthcare services in their host country. It is essential because it offers financial protection and peace of mind in case of illness or injury while living overseas.


What does expat health insurance typically cover?

Expat health insurance plans vary, but they often cover essential medical services such as doctor's visits, hospitalization, emergency care, prescription medications, and preventive healthcare. Some plans may also include dental and vision coverage or additional benefits like maternity care or mental health services.


How do I choose the right expat health insurance plan for my needs?

To select the right plan, consider factors like your host country's healthcare system, your health needs, your budget, and the coverage options available. Compare different insurance providers, review policy terms and conditions, and assess whether the plan offers in-network providers in your location.

Can I use my home country's health insurance while living abroad, or do I need expat-specific coverage?

While some home country health insurance policies provide limited coverage for international travel, they may not adequately cover healthcare costs in your host country. Expats often need expat-specific coverage to ensure they have comprehensive protection tailored to their overseas circumstances.

Are there any requirements or restrictions for obtaining expat health insurance?

Requirements and restrictions can vary by insurance provider and host country. Some insurers may require proof of residency abroad, and certain pre-existing medical conditions may affect your coverage or premiums. It's crucial to disclose all relevant information when applying for expat health insurance to ensure accurate coverage.

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