We now offer a compliant ACA global health plan for individual expats

Previously American expats who were impacted by the PPACA (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ) had to purchase a USA local compliant health plan as well as an international health insurance policy to provide coverage abroad. Expat Financial is now able to offer the perfect solution for expats who need global Affordable Care Act (ACA) coverage under one policy that gives you both US compliant healthcare and global coverage. Or to put it another way, you shouldn’t need to buy multiple policies anymore in order to meet the Minimum & Essential Coverage (MEC) requirements and avoid the tax penalties.

Cigna International has offered this exclusive plan that to the best of our knowledge is the only ACA compliant medical plan for individual expats on the market. Only a very small number of insurance brokers in the world are allowed to offer the plan to expats and we are very proud to be considered as a key broker partner of Cigna and we can now sell the policy effective November 1st, 2016.

What is the Affordable Care Act? 

But for those of your who are asking, what is the Affordable Care Act (ACA), we should give you some insights before, is a United States federal statute enacted by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010, hence the name Obamacare. For more information on PPACA, check out our ACA page.

Which Expats Should Get an ACA Expat Policy? 

Well, that depends on several factors and you should get some tax or legal advice just in case, but we can provide some general insights. Obamacare applies to US citizens, legal US residents, resident aliens and non-resident aliens required to file tax forms unless they are exempt. There are several way to be exempt if an expat qualifies for the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion by either the Physical Presence test or the Bona Fide Residence test. Generally this will mean being out of the USA for more than 330 days or being a bona fide foreign resident. Most residents of American territories are deemed to have Minimum and Essential Coverage (MEC). Again, best to talk to your tax expert.

How Much Tax Will an Expat Pay?

If you are an expat who is a US taxpayer and you are not excluded from the PPACA rules, then the tax amount will depend on your income. The tax is referred to by the IRS as the “individual shared responsibility payment,” but is most widely known as a tax. Expat individuals or family with an income over $83,400 can pay a penalty equal to 2.5% of their income in 2016 if they don’t meet an individual mandate to obtain compliant healthcare under the PPACA rules. You don’t have to comply – you can simply pay the “tax” instead, but why not put that tax to work with an ACA compliant health plan. Check with your tax professional to see how much you will pay as it varies widely.

Who can Purchase the ACA Expat Health Plan?

To be considered eligible for the Cigna ACA Global Health Plan, you must be under age 65 and a:

  • Non-US Nationals residing in the U.S. under an eligible visa or green card (Inbound)
  • US Nationals residing out of the U.S. (Outbound)

For expats in the USA, getting a MEC policy is very difficult to obtain before they arrive and they generally want a plan that will provide coverage outside the USA, especially in their home country. Most U.S. policies in the USA don’t provide cover abroad. If you are an American expat living or about to be living abroad and require PPACA compliant health plan, having one global solution seems to be the perfect fit. However, the coverage is quite comprehensive and the premiums may be higher than some are willing to pay.

What does the ACA Global Health Plan Cover? 

This comprehensive policy offers a number of benefits for expats, including:

  • Worldwide coverage including the USA
  • Completely portable coverage for this American style plan
  • A wide range of deductibles and coinsurance
  • Optional dental, vision and evacuation
  • Meets the minimum essential coverage requirements of the PPACA so you can avoid the tax penalty that currently runs at 2.5% of income
  • Unlimited maximum with maternity cover
  • Covers pre-existing medical conditions! This is a huge benefit of the Cigna plan.
  • Great mental health and addiction coverage

Who Can’t Purchase this ACA Global Health Plan? 

The plan is not meant for everyone and Cigna can only offer this policy to a select population including:

  • US Nationals residing in the U.S. (including US territory includes: Guam, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Northern Marian Islands and Virgin Islands). There are visa requirements to get the policy.
  • Non-US national not residing in the U.S.

What Can I Do if I Don’t Qualify or Require an ACA Expat Health Plan? 

For expats who don’t qualify for the Cigna ACA plan or simply don’t want one, we still offer their excellent Global Health Options policy from Cigna via our web site. It offers similar coverage with a variety of options and deductible levels to meet almost any budget. Also, you can exclude the USA for additional savings if you don’t require coverage in the United States.

If you do want to get Cigna ACA health plan quote, click the link below.

getquote

If you have a tax or legal questions that relates to the PPACA, Obamacare or ACA, it is strongly recommended that you talk to your tax or legal adviser. The above is noted for general information purposes only and not meant to be seen as legal or tax advice.

Why expats should get the flu shot?

Every year, a contagious respiratory infection that is caused by a virus – the flu, generally occurs during the late fall and winter months in many countries around the world. Expats living and working overseas should take actions and protect against the flu, especially if they reside in countries with limited healthcare. In this article, we will discuss the general facts about the flu, why expats should get the flu shot and steps to reduce their chance of getting sick.

What Are the Symptoms of the Flu?

Generally speaking, you many have the flu if you experience cough, sore throat, headache, muscle aches, extreme weakness and tiredness, fever, stuffy nose. Some children may have vomiting and diarrhea. The more accurate name for the flue is the influenza virus. The symptom impact people in different ways and symptoms can vary.

Though many people will recover within 7 to 10 days, the elderly, younger children and people with chronic medical illness are at greater risk of severe complications. In some cases, this can be life-threatening. Expats who are old, young and with underlying illnesses or week immune systems can be more susceptible and impacted by the influenza virus.

Why Do Expats Need To Get Vaccinated Every Year?

Due to the fact that flu viruses evolve so quickly, new flu vaccines are released every year. Last year’s vaccines may not be able to protect you from this year’s viruses and may have worn off. For expats living and working overseas, the flu shot is a great way to protect yourself and your families. Good hygiene such as washing your hands can also help. And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), flu vaccination can reduce doctor’s visits, missed school and work, hospitalizations and deaths related to influenza.

It usually takes up to two weeks to build immunity after a flu shot. After vaccination, your immune system produces antibodies that will protect you from the flu viruses.

Expats Living Abroad With Younger Kids and Older Adults

Seniors (people are 65+ years), children under five years old, pregnant women usually have a higher risk of complications from the flu. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends annual flu vaccinations for everyone age 6 months or older. Expats living abroad should check with their doctor in order to be fully protected.

Check With Your Doctor If You Had Severe Reaction To Flu Vaccine

Most types of flu vaccines contain a small amount of egg protein. For people who are allergic to eggs, you should be supervised by a doctor who is able to manage severe allergic conditions. There are also flu vaccines that don’t contain egg proteins. Expats should consult a physician about vaccine options.

How To Protect Yourself and Your Family Against The Flu?

Even after getting the flu shot, expats should wash hands often, using soap and water for at least 15 seconds to prevent the spread of the virus. If conditions not permitted, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

Try not to touch your face often, and clean hard surfaces such as computer keyboards and cell phones. When you are sick, stay at home.

The Importance of International Health Insurance While You Are Abroad

As noted above, contracting the flu virus while living and working overseas can lead to serious complications and medical costs. This is another reminder of the importance of maintaining an international health insurance planAlthough in many major cities there are some satisfactory public hospitals for expats to choose, the method of payment and the quality of medical treatment may be inadequate. For the popular choice of foreign-run hospitals, expats are usually required to make payment in advance before receiving medical treatment. It can be very expensive for emergency treatment and medications in most of the international hospitals.

Expat Financial offers several different international health insurance plans for expatriates of any nationality across the world. We also offer excellent service before and after you purchase your international health insurance plan. We also offer group plans for multinational firms that have excellent coverage & wellness programs for your employees along with great rates. If you have questions about our international medical insurance plans or you want to discuss your unique needs and produce a customized expat quote, please contact us or complete the quote form. The above information is widely known and we are not providing medical advice. You must consult your doctor for more information before taking any action. 

2017 Travel Destinations: Best of China for Expats & Visitors

10 tips for expat families moving to China

China is a popular travel & expatriate destination. It has many spectacular natural landscapes and cultural heritage. However, moving to China with children can be challenging for expats. If you are planning your first family trip to China or becoming a expat there, this article gives you 10 tips for families moving, traveling or already living in China, including advice on language, weather, culture, medical insurance and more.

1. Learning Chinese Before You Arrive

Though many Chinese people can understand and speak English in urban cities, it is recommended that expats learn some Chinese language before traveling. For example, some key words and daily sentences such as how to ask for directions and eat in a Chinese restaurant. Chinese language is very useful when there is nobody around who speaks English. It also make sense to use one of the many translation apps that you can place on your phone.

2. Book Ahead Before Travelling Within China

Many popular Chinese cultural heritage and natural landscapes have fascinated Westerners to China today. For expatriates planning to travel within China, it is very important to book hotels and transportation ahead. Hotels near tourist destinations are usually very popular. And it is almost impossible to find another local comfortable hotel room after 9 pm during peak travel seasons. Same as transportation tickets. You don’t want to stay overnight with children in a public transportation center just wait to buy tickets of train or bus.

3. Know The Local Climate

China is a big country. The weather in China varies between place to place. In the Southern area of China, the climate is usually hot, mild and humid. Hainan Island, Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Yunnan all have tropical climate. The Northern part of China, however, has a subarctic climate. For example, Heilongjiang has an average temperature of  – 30°C  during winter season.

Generally speaking, the most popularly recommended time to travel to China is around Autumn. Starting October, most of the tourist attractions have cool down and the summer holiday travel crowds have gone. And the weather in many places are comfortable and mild. You should also keep updated on the pollution levels, especially in big cities such as Beijing.

4. Tell Your Children About Your Travel Plan Before Departure

To ensure a successful trip to China, it is recommended to discuss your travel plan with your older kids. You can design interesting activities for your family: visit lovely giant pandas in Chengdu, enjoy the beautiful natural scene by cruise and hiking, go to the Great Wall and Forbidden City in Beijing, learn paper-cutting and opera face mask painting, etc.

5. Medical Check-Ups Before Travelling

Don’t forget to schedule medical check-ups before departure. Especially when you are traveling with children. Talk to your doctor about your travel plan as early as possible. You don’t want to put you and your family’s health at risk of some communicable diseases.

6. Travel Medical Insurance versus International Health Insurance

Travel medical insurance is designed to provide emergency only protection while you are overseas. Unlike travel insurance that generally only covers emergency healthcare, international health insurance will not only cover routine medical care but also allow expats to receive medical treatment anywhere with their region of cover, including emergency medical evacuation and repatriation. Our most popular international health plan for  expats in China is the Cigna Global Health Options plan. Contact us to to discuss your situation. To obtain travel medical insurance plan, please click here.

7. Bring Medicine

Do remember to prepare some drugs for emergency care, as well as a copy of your family’s medical history. This is very helpful in the event you need to see a doctor in China. Make sure you bring some information on your current health from your doctor along with clearly labeled prescriptions.

8. Encourage Your Children To Taste Chinese Food

In many places of China, there are McDonald’s, pizza restaurants, steak houses and the food is often as good as you will find back home. It is recommended to encourage your children to taste Chinese food. Chinese cuisine has diverse styles in different regions. For example, in Si Chuan and Chongqing, due to the cool climate, local people favour dishes with a lot of garlic and chili, with heavy spices on top. In Shanghai, local people would prefer braising and stewing dishes. And because of different sauce, the appearance of Shanghai cuisine is usually of dark colour. Peking duck and Cantonese dim-sum are popular dishes throughout China.

9. Avoid Non-Recommended Areas

When traveling with children, you should pay close attention to safety and health risks. Though kids are generally safe from crime in China during these years, there are still a few areas you would definitely want to avoid. In China, most big and middle sized cities are safe for tourists.

10. Engage Yourself in Local Festivals

It is recommended that expats immerse themselves into Chinese culture by participating local festivals. The major festivals are China National Day, Mid Autumn Festival, Chinese New Year, May Day holiday, Qing Ming Festival, etc. There are many parties celebrating of such events. Some expats tend to take the opportunity to return back to their hometown during the Chinese holidays. However, it is a great time for expats to make friends with local Chinese who will also assist you to overcome home sickness and culture shock. If your colleagues invite you to go to the local party during Chinese holidays, it is best to join for the fun.

Expat Financial offers several different international health insurance plans for expatriates in China and around much of the world. We also offer excellent service before and after you purchase your insurance plan. If you have questions about our international medical insurance plans or you want to discuss your needs and produce a customized quote, please contact us or complete the quote form

Why choose a private expat health plan over a government plan?

When you live abroad you are often faced with the following choice: Do I go on the domestic government public health plan OR do I purchase global medical coverage? Some countries will allow you to choose while others mandate or automatically cover you under the state plan. In some Gulf State countries such as the UAE, you have to be covered by a locally admitted insurer in order to obtain and retain your work visa. In countries such as Canada, expats are often enrolled in the provincial medical system after a waiting period of 3 to more than 12 months and in the interim most will opt for a travel medical insurance plan. The key with domestic plans is that they almost always only cover you in that country. Also, domestic plans often only provide public or basic medical coverage and support. That is why expats around the world often contact Expat Financial to obtain a global medical quote.

Global Coverage?

However, if you are an expatriate, you usually require global medical coverage that moves with you and covers you locally, regionally and globally – especially back home. You may have a trailing spouse and child back home who you need to cover or a dependent attending university abroad – these people can’t be covered by a government plan.

Access to Private Care?

Domestic government health plans usually only provide access to public hospitals and doctors. This can mean access to more basic and restrictive medical facilities. Often domestic medical systems will restrict access to medical care and expats will be faced with long waiting lists to see specialists, obtain medical tests and receive surgical care. In Canada, the waiting lists can range from months to years to obtain medical treatment. Emergency care is usually received quickly in public hospitals. However, many expats want to be able to seek medical treatment in private hospitals and clinics.

Flexibility of Expat Plans

When you are an expat on a government health plan, there is no flexibility in your medical coverage – you get the same medical care that all domestic nationals are provided. Whereas with a private expat health plan, you can pick and choose what benefits are provided and as long as you have a relatively clean medical history, most pre-existing medical conditions should be able to be covered. You can even add dental and vision coverage, which is almost never provided by government run systems.

Portability of Coverage – A problem for Government Run Plans

As noted above, government run medical plans cover you only in your home country. These public health plans are not portable whereas expats are. So when you move to a new destination you will not be able to take the government health plan with you whereas the global medical plan is portable to almost all nations around the world. A global plan can also cover you when you travel abroad for business or pleasure. This is especially important for expat employers with globally mobile employees.

Government Cut Backs

Economic problems around the developed and developing world means that health budgets are being slashed and services and coverage are being curtailed. Such access and budget cut-backs can seriously impact an expat’s ability to access medical care.

US Affordable Care Act

If you are an expat in the USA and are paying taxes, it will probably mean that you will need to get a domestic health plan in the USA that is part of the Obama Care or Affordable Care Act (ACA), especially if you are not covered by your employer. If you do not have coverage under the ACA, you may be faced with tax fines that can really add up. Fortunately, our company is able to offer ACA compliant expat health plans that are fully compliant with the Obama Care regulations for individual expats. If this is of interest, please contact us for a quote.

For Expats Living Abroad – The Choice is Clear

For global citizens, it is critical that you contact Expat Financial to discuss your global medical insurance requirements and discuss the advantages of having a health plan that can cover you and your family globally and address the many concerns you may have with government medical insurance. The same problems we have talked about above also often extend to domestic health plans. We offer some excellent global medical plans for expatriates that can provide global access to healthcare and not leave you at the mercy of government run health coverage. Our most popular individual plans are from Cigna & IMG, which provide you the ability to obtain a quote and apply online. If you are an HR manager, please contact us for a group plan to cover your mobile expat population.

Weather Advisories and Alerts for Expats - Tropical Cyclone Season Tips

Weather Advisories and Alerts for Expats – Tropical Cyclone Season

Recently, U.S. State Department and The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) alerted people to the South Pacific Tropical Cyclone Season, which begins November 1, 2016, and ends April 30, 2017. Travelers and expatriates living in South Pacific countries should definitely consider the potential dangers and be prepared for any weather emergencies. In this article, we will discuss South Pacific Tropical Cyclone and provide advisories for expats residing in cyclone prone regions. China and the Philippines recently experienced a very strong cyclone.

What is a Cyclone?

A tropical cyclone, or referred as tropical storm, cyclonic storm, it is characterized by heavy rains, strong winds and thunderstorms. During cyclone seasons, regions affected may experience local infrastructure damage, such as electricity outage, flights cancellations and more. This will follow by a series of adverse events, including shortages of accommodations, medical supplies, food and water.

How Can Expats Prepare?

  • Always stay aware of any weather conditions in your destination by radio, TV or other sources of information;
  • Statistics showed that minor tropical cyclones can quickly develop into dangerous storms. Follow local safety instructions for evacuations;
  • Use our blog post Top Ten Questions and Tips for Expats Moving Abroad to help you keep organized;
  • Visit our blog post What is Your Plan for Medical Emergencies While Residing Overseas? for medical emergency evacuations information;
  • Always carry your hotel and your country’s Embassy or Consulate’s phone number wherever you go. Register with your consulate if possible;
  • Store some fresh water and bring purification tablets;
  • Keep a medical kit in a water tight container;
  • Keep your car fuel tank full;
  • Prepare your expat residence to weather the storm;
  • Remain indoors if there is a storm & evacuate the area if the authorities recommend leaving;
  • Bring a survival & disaster kit if you are residing in a cyclone prone area. Be prepared to be on your own for several days till help arrives.

Global Health Insurance Considerations for Expats 

If encounter medical emergency situations while abroad, preparation beforehand is key. A cyclone or other weather event can cause significant damage and injuries to locals, visitors and long term expatriates. Also, cyclones can damage water supplies, increase insect diseases and water born sickness, so your health plan will be critical. Medical emergency evacuation is a critical if you become sick or inured after a cyclone event where local hospitals might not be able to address your medical needs. The cost of ambulances, helicopters, traveling medical care and planes can be incredibly high if you do not have an adequate medical evacuation plan, especially in a natural disaster.

Expat Financial offers several different international health insurance plans for expatriates across most parts of the globe. If you have questions about our international medical insurance plans or you want to discuss your needs and produce a customized quote, please contact us or complete the quote form

Additional Resources

Please note that blow are other websites and are not maintained by Expat Financial:

How to lower your global medical insurance premiums – Five tips for expats

China air pollution and its health impact on expats – Expat insurance

As one of the most famous tourist destinations in the world, China has roughly a 5,000 year civilization and abundant culture and tourist resources. With its rich historical heritage, China attracts more and more visitors & expats from around the globe. However, in recent years, due to its fast growth in economies and industrialization, environmental issues – especially air quality has raised a broader concern in China. Many cities have been affected by smog. In this article, we will discuss China air quality situation and how it will impact expats relocating to China.

China Air Quality Study

According to a new study of air quality in five major cities by a team of researchers at Peking University, Guanghua School of Management, among Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu and Shenyang, the most favourable city is Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province, next to Hong Kong. The second best is Shanghai. Actually, based on the statistical report, expats relocating to China would want to settle in the Southern area to minimize exposure to polluted air.

The reason why Guangzhou and Shanghai are better is because they are closer to the sea and have more rainfall, according to Mr. Chen Songxi, a statistician at Peking University. He recommends government to cut down emissions.

Beijing has some of the worst pollution problems in China. This is because Beijing is the capital, cultural and economic centre in China. Also, this exciting and crowded city has more than five million motor vehicles along with heavy manufacturing and power plants. Though strong north wind during fall and winter would help clear the air, that still doesn’t address the source of the problem – car emissions, heavy industries, power stations, etc…

In addition, Beijing often experiences sandstorms during Springtime, which can make air quality even worse. The skyline can turn orange due to the sandy weather. Pedestrians often have to wear masks to protect themselves from the dust.

Health Impacts of Smog on Expatriate’s Health

Some expats are refusing work assignments in some Chinese cities because of the high rate of pollution. Here are some health impacts for locals and expats residing in highly polluted cities:

  • Air pollution can impact food safety in China, likely because of smog can inhibit photosynthesis in plants
  • Expats with pre-existing medical conditions can have their medical health impacted by air pollution, especially those with asthma or COPD
  • Children, elderly and children are more susceptible to the impact of pollution
  • Air pollution can irritate your eyes and lungs
  • Decreased life span caused by increased chance of conditions such as bronchitis or even cancer
  • Decreased lung function

If you are concerned, check with you doctor on how you can mitigate the impact of China’s air pollution if you are going to become an expat there.

Will high pollution levels make expats think twice before moving to China? 

One of the largest considerations for expatriates thinking of moving to China is the prevalence of hazardous levels of air pollution in the city centers, especially in Beijing. Recently in both 2016 and early 2017, there have been extremely pollution levels that make going outside hazardous for your health. This is a big concern for expatriates, especially those with families. Some expats will want to choose an expat assignment in a Chinese city with the lowest air pollution levels. A city near the ocean is an obvious choice.

What You Can Do 

The Chinese government has been working hard to solve air pollution issues and is making some progress. In the meantime, expats residing in China would want to look at the following tips in order to stay healthy and safe:

  • Check weather report often, so that you can be more careful when choosing to go outdoors;
  • Purchase green plants for your home or your office help with air purifying;
  • If smog levels are high, wear masks when going outdoors. You can buy masks at convenient store and supermarkets, but make sure you invest in a high quality mask with a high pollution blocking rating;
  • If there is severe air pollution warnings, don’t go outside if possible.
  • Think about moving to a city in China that has less air pollution.

Bring International Health Insurance

Air pollution can severely impact your health if you are living in China, which is another reason to maintain a global medical plan. If you plan to stay in China to work and live for some time, it is strongly suggested that you should obtain quality expat health insurance. With current air pollution situation in China, you will want to protect yourself and your family from health related issues. Although in many major cities there are some satisfactory public hospitals for expats to choose, the method of payment and the quality of medical treatment may be inadequate. For the popular choice of foreign-run hospitals, expats are usually required to make payment in advance before receiving medical treatment. It can be very expensive for emergency treatment and medications in most of the international hospitals. You may want to get out-patient medical option in your health coverage if you are going to live in a city with smog as you may have to visit your doctor more often.

With a comprehensive expat health insurance plan for you and your family, you can be covered for medical expenses, hospitalization and treatments, medicines and emergency evacuations – which is what you need to stay in China. If you are going for a short visit to China, then most people will purchase travel medical insurance for up to one year. Some Chinese embassies require proof of health insurance before issuing visas especially if you are a foreign student. If you are planning to reside in China, it is critical that you purchase international health insurance plan that will not only cover you in China, but globally as well – including back home.

Expat Financial offers several different international health insurance plans for expatriates of any nationality across the world. We also offer excellent service before and after you purchase your international health insurance plan. Our firm is also very experienced in sourcing group plans for multinational firms with expats in China.  If you have questions about our international medical insurance plans or you want to discuss your unique needs and produce a customized expat quote, please contact us or complete the quote form

Comprehensive insurance coverage for luxury travelers & high net worth expats

Luxury travelers and high income expats are taking advantage of what the world of high end travel and living can offer.  This rising group have higher income and spending power and advanced service expectations. They are expecting a luxury hospitality experience, expensive travel package, special privileges, glamorous activities. In essence, luxury travelers and high income expatriates living overseas are willing to spend the most. However, when talking about travel medical and long term expat heath plans, does your insurance policy fit your luxury trip and lifestyle? In this article, we will discuss comprehensive travel medical plans for luxury travelers & expats around the globe.

Travel Medical for Short Term Travels

If you are traveling abroad for a short term trip up to one year, it is critical to obtain medical and evacuation coverage for your entire trip that will cover emergency illnesses or injuries abroad. You should also maintain your domestic plan as emergency travel insurance plans do not cover you back in your home country. It is important to read through your travel insurance policy and make sure that your medical conditions and emergencies are covered. For instance, some travel plans may not cover medical emergencies. Our firm offers several travel medical plans from various insurers and providers. With IMG Patriot travel insurance coverage, you are covered with trip cancellation, lost baggage, emergency evacuation & repatriation, covering from as short as 15 days to 24 months.

travel-health-career

We also offer the more deluxe travel medical plan from BUPA travel insurance via our travel insurance web site. You can be covered for single trips up to one year purchase an annual multi-trip plan for unlimited numbers trips up to one month per trip.

For adventurous international travelers, Patriot Adventure is designed for them. This is a short term medical insurance coverage available for both individual and family sports enthusiasts: from 30 days up to six months.

International Health Insurance for High Income Expats

High income expats often expect a level of coverage and policy service that is a step above what more basic expat health plans will offer. While not wanting to overpay for coverage, these high net worth expats are often sent abroad by large multinationals, choosing to retire abroad or travel for an extended period of time. They expect a higher level of coverage than the average expatriate.

Some may choose to rely upon the local health plans, but these policies usually do not allow you to access medical treatment at more satisfactory private hospitals and clinics. Also, local plans in many countries may only provide very basic medical coverage that nay not achieve luxury traveler’s requirements. Even worse, local plans won’t cover you outside the country or allow you to seek treatment abroad. An international health insurance plan will let you select the hospital and doctor world-wide. Most of the plans will let you enjoy direct payment, no need to advance cash payment first.

The cost of international health insurance will vary by plan & insurer. Expat Financial offers several different international health insurance plans for expatriates of any nationality across the world. Our most comprehensive policy is the Cigna Global Health Options plan.

international-professional-health-coverage

We also offer excellent service before and after you purchase your international health insurance plan. If you have questions about our international medical insurance plans or you want to discuss your needs and produce a customized quote, please contact us or complete the quote form. As noted above, having excellent global medical coverage will not only give you peace of mind, but will help you maintain your health.

Great tips for expats and people traveling to Myanmar

Bordered by India, China and Thailand, Myanmar is a fascinating county located in South East Asia. It is a country rich in natural resources such as jade, gold and oil, but also in cultural terms with beautiful temples, friendly people & excellent food. The capital city is Naypyidaw. Due to the religion influence of Buddhism, Myanmar has many temples through out the country. Myanmar was previously known as Burma and was considered a rogue country during the oppressive rule of a military junta from 1962 to 2011. Luckily the country has transitioned to a democracy with the help of Aung San Suu Kyi. Note that civil strife and riots can often occur in the capital, so take adequate precautions and stay up to date on the situation there.

The climate is overall very pleasant. Myanmar is becoming a popular travel destination today. Under the development of the government, Myanmar is attracting more arrivals in the next few years. Due to the conservative culture there, you should know its customs and expected behaviours before departure. In this article, we will provide some tips for living and traveling in Myanmar.

Things You Should Do

  • When visiting religious sites such as temples, make sure that you are wearing conservative clothes.
  • Myanmar people are friendly. Try to smile often.
  • Learn some Burmese language before leaving. At least some basic words.
  • Try traditional Myanmar transportation tools: city buses, horse cart, vintage taxis, three wheelers carts, etc.
  • Use both hands when delivering and receiving something to religious people or an elderly person.
  • Shaking hands only applies to men, but this may be different depending on the persons you are meeting
  • Bow body in front of elderly people.
  • Follow instructions. If there’s a sign advised not to go, please stay away from it.

Things You Should Avoid 

  • Don’t show too intimate behaviour in front of the public.
  • Don’t wear shoes and socks inside a pagoda or temple.
  • If there is a civil disturbance or demonstration, leave the area immediately as the situation can turn violent very quickly.
  • Avoid wearing sleeveless tops or short skirt when visiting religious sights.
  • Indoor mats and carpets might meant to be sat upon. Avoid walking on them with shoes.
  • Don’t pose and take picture in front of Buddha statues because they viewed as sacred.
  • If you are a man, you should not offer to shake hands with a Myanmar lady.
  • Don’t point anybody with your foot. Especially in temples.
  • Don’t go to places where you are advised not to go.
  • Don’t take pictures of people unless you asked for their permission.

Obtaining the Right Coverage of International Health Insurance While Residing in Myanmar 

Make sure that you obtain travel medical insurance if your are visiting Myanmar for business or pleasure. If you are living in Myanmar, a tailored international health insurance plan should provide flexible and world-wide service. The medical facilities in the country are often quite basic and may not be able to handle more serious illnesses or injuries, so medical evacuation cover is recommended. It will not only let you select the hospital, medical providers and doctors, but also provide you with direct payment so that you do not need to worry about any out-of-pocket medical expenses.

The cost of international health insurance will vary depending on the insurer, policy and options you choose. The bigger the deductible, the lower the premium. Expat Financial offers several different international health insurance plans for expatriates across most parts of the globe, including expats and even some local nationals in Myanmar. We can even offer international group insurance plans for employers with expat employees in Myanmar. If you have questions about our international medical insurance plans or you wish to discuss your needs and produce a customized quote, please contact us or complete the expat insurance quote form.

Business travel insurance policies – Cover your employees traveling abroad

Business travel is a crucial part of the job. You will always carry tasks at hand and learn something new. But you want to avoid getting sick – there are ways to stay healthy and safe on the road. With an appropriate business travel insurance plan, your employee can be covered traveling around most if not the entire world. In this article, we will introduce business travel insurance policies to provide your company and the employees with peace of mind.

Why Business Travel Insurance is Important? 

Companies constantly need to expand their markets and reaching and maintaining international customers means that your company will have to send employees overseas for short and extended business trips. It is your company and management’s fiduciary responsibility to provide excellent medical and evacuation coverage when you send your employees abroad for business. Emergency medical claims that are the result of an illness or injury can be quite substantial, so it makes sense to protect your organization’s bottom line and obtain business travel coverage. This is especially important as domestic health plans often do not cover employees who travel abroad.

During your intensive business trip, you might not have the chance to consume healthy food nor the time to work out – sometimes you don’t even know what’s the place you’ll be staying. For business owners, time is money. You want to make sure that your employee is best protected with peace of mind when travelling worldwide.

What’s Included in a Business Travel Insurance Plan? 

A corporate travel insurance plan usually covers treatment for acute illness and injury. Some cover highlights are:

  • Cover for single or multiple business trips up to 1 year;
  • Full coverage for hospitalization and outpatient treatment;
  • Flexible coverage: board members, spouses, children, guests with business connections or expatriate employees;
  • Free choice of public and private hospitals.
  • Optional coverage for an employee’s dependents and pleasure travel
  • Personal Accident Coverage
  • Medical Evacuation Cover
  • Trip cancellation benefits

Click HERE if you require an individual or group travel insurance plan that your or your firm can purchase online. If your organization requires group travel insurance for a single trip for 5 to 1000 individuals, please contact us for a custom quote, especially if you require an annual multi-trip plan for a number of employees. It is a great program for organizations in need of group travel medical coverage for a group of travelers who are traveling at the same time. Finally, should your employee be traveling to a high risk country, please contact us via email and we can approach our special risk underwriters for a plan that will cover passive war and terrorism.