2017 Travel Destinations: Best of China for Expats & Visitors

Why international health insurance is critical in Beijing for expats

Beijing is the capital of China and is located in the northern China. It is a city that is well known for its cultural heritage sites such as the Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace, Ming Tombs and of course the Great Wall. Besides being the economic center in China, this fascinating city is home to many multinationals from abroad and local Chinese companies headquarters. Many firms are willing to bring in new expats from abroad with western education and experience. In this article, we will discuss healthcare in Beijing, why international health insurance is critical for expats and expatriate group insurance plans for international employers if wishing to open a market in Beijing.

Healthcare in Beijing

Generally speaking, the standard of healthcare system in Beijing is higher than in most cities within China. Since Beijing is the capital city of China with a large population, many well-known doctors and medical experts reside there. Many patients travel to Beijing just to see a well-known doctor in one of the many hospitals that are located there. Public hospitals in Beijing are not only serving local residents, but also patients come from all over the places in China. As a result, most public hospitals in Beijing are often overcrowded, with long waiting period and long line-ups. One should also note that the air pollution is a significant concern for both locals and expatriates in China. The health impacts of that pollution will impact the health of expatriates in Beijing and having medical coverage and preventative healthcare is critical.

Private hospitals and clinics are also available in Beijing. These private medical facilities usually have English speaking doctors and medical staff. Some of them are even expatriates from western countries. High end private international clinics such as Beijing United Family Hospital are one of the options for many foreigners. Such private medical firms are able to provide faster medical appointments and urgent medical treatment. Many private international clinics offer direct billing with global insurance companies, which is very convenient for expatriates living and working in Beijing. Therefore, most expats in Beijing would want to choose the city’s private medical centers.

The High Cost of Medical Care in Beijing & the Rest of China

Like most of China, private health treatment has become extremely expensive in Beijing, even rivaling the United States. Even at public hospitals with special foreign or VIP departments, medical costs are rising, according to recent reports. For example, an uncomplicated birthing procedure at private international clinics Beijing United Family Hospital costs between over $13,000 USD. The cost of one standard private hospital room can be thousands US dollar per night. In case of medical emergency, the costs are estimated to double or triple. Without an appropriate medical coverage plan, expatriates could end up with paying tens of thousands of US dollars or even more.

expat healthcare if critical

Why International Health Insurance Is Critical For Expats In Beijing? 

Many expats working in Beijing may qualify for the local public health insurance system. However, the public health insurance plans does not meet most expat needs, especially if you want to get treated at a private facility or outside of China. As noted above, medical treatment fees in Beijing are relatively high and expats may find that they still need to pay a certain amount of co-payment when go to public hospitals.

For expats who prefer private hospitals and clinics, it is critical to obtain an international health insurance plan. A typical international health insurance plan will provide coverage options such as hospital coverageoutpatient treatment, medical emergency evacuation, routine health check-ups, dental & vision care and US coverage options. It will help you maintain your health and avoid financial risks while working and living in Beijing. It is also very important to have an international health insurance plan that provides international emergency evacuation and repatriation coverage. 

International Group Insurance Plans For Expatriate Employees in Beijing

While we can source individual medical plans for expats in Beijing and the rest of China, Expatriate group insurance plans are critical for international employers who wish to open an office in Beijing or already have expat employees there. An international group insurance plan for expats in Asia will usually include life insurance, health insurance, dental, evacuation and disability insurance to expatriate employees and even some key local nationals. It will not only protect expatriate employees in Beijing, but also will protect employer’s business as providing medical coverage is a key fiduciary responsibility. The international expat group insurance plans can be tailored to meet the needs of your employees working in Beijing so that your business objectives can be achieved. It is critical that that a global benefit plan cover pre-existing medical conditions and provide easy access and direct payment to the hospitals in the city and the rest of China. 

Get Insurance From Expat Financial for Beijing Expats

Expat Financial offers independent advice, solutions and ongoing service and support to clients around much of the world and we have extensive experience in sourcing medical cover for individual expats and expat employers in Beijing and the rest of China. We can source plans from large and secure global insurance companies with excellent global service and support. Our firm can offer a wide array of individual expat health insurance plans for expats China and even Chinese expatriates living overseas. If you have questions about our international medical insurance plans and expatriates group insurance plans or you want to discuss your needs and produce a customized quote, please contact us or complete the quote form. We look forward to hearing from you soon. 

Hong Kong International Health Insurance Options

International health insurance in Hong Kong is very important to consider when moving to this city, which is one of the world’s most successful financial centers and offers an exiting array of culture and excitement for expatriates in this vibrant Asian city. In this article, we will discuss how Hong Kong international health insurance is vital for locals, travelers and expatriates in one of the most  prosperous international business areas in AsiaHong Kong is within a few hours’ flight from all major cities such as Beijing, Tokyo, Seoul and Singapore in Southeast Asia. Hong Kong has advanced medical care system, education, international cuisine and active lifestyle  that helps attract many expatriates of different countries from all over the world each year. When in Hong Kong it is important to keep healthy and active, so we will introduce the healthcare system in Hong Kong and health insurance options for locals, travelers and expats.

Healthcare in Hong Kong

Public System: The standard of healthcare in Hong Kong is generally considered as one of the best health systems in Asia. Most healthcare is government operated and managed by HK Health Authority. There are approximately 56 hospitals in Hong Kong, of which 12 are private and 44 are public. Public hospitals are equipped with advanced facilities and well-trained medical staff, while the cost to Hong Kong ID card holders are minimal and affordable. For the most part, the public system is more geared to emergency care, not preventive healthcare. There is also usually less choice, especially with regard to doctors. The one thing the public system does not provide is dental care. Therefore, expatriates seeking dental treatment must take out international health insurance plan to cover the medical cost.

Private System:  Private hospitals are often chosen by Hong Kong nationals and expatriates because of their high level of service and excellent treatment, without long waits and queues. Private facilities in the city will also provide flexible surgery bookings to suit expats’ s schedules along with more deluxe accomodations and services. You may have to pay more when a surgery is performed outside regular hours. However, the cost of using private medical facilities can be quite high. It is important that expats moving to Hong Kong should obtain international health insurance coverage before departure. Many expats in Hong Kong will add optional dental care for their family.

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Health Cover for Visiting Hong Kong as a Traveler

A visa for Hong Kong is not required for tourists from more than 160 countries within staying from 7 to 180 days. Medical payments are usually using cash in public hospitals. As travelers don’t have Hong Kong ID card, they will need to pay private hospital rates when using public hospitals. For example, the cost for an emergency visit at public hospitals can be HK$120 with ID card, but could be HK$600 as a traveler without one. Many travelers tend to use private healthcare facilities for treatment under emergency situations. It is important to obtain emergency travel medical insurance with medical evacuation coverage if traveling to Hong Kong from another country that will provide payment for medical treatment via a large network of hospitals.

Global Health Insurance for People Living and Working in Hong Kong 

As a well established international financial center, many expatriates working in trade and finance related professions in Hong Kong. Some expat employers may provide health plan with basic coverage, but it probably won’t provide much coverage beyond HK or Asia. However, this is often inadequate when apply to private medical facilities. Additional private medical insurance plan is required to cover your stay. Many expats should also obtain global life and disability insurance coverage. Our most popular global medical plan for Hong Kong is the Cigna Global Health Options plan and it can be offered to both expatriates and local Hong Kong nationals. It offers coverage from a very large, secure and respected global insurance company with many hundreds of thousands of expatriates coverage around the world. You can choose in-patient only or add out-patient medical coverage to include items such as check-ups and tests done outside a hospital setting. 

International Health Insurance Solutions in Hong Kong 

Expat Financial offers several international health insurance plans for expatriates and even local nationals living and working in Hong Kong. We offer plans from several different international health insurance companies that are designed for foreign nationals living outside the country for which they hold a passport or some local national living outside US or Canada. 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.

Expats in Africa – Important tips for living in Africa

Africa Introduction

Africa has become a very active continent for expatriates from around the world. Followed by Asia, Africa has the world’s second largest continent with about 30.3 million km including several surrounding islands. The continent of Africa has 54 independent countries, with an estimated total population of 1.1 billion. Surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Indian Ocean to the southeast, Africa hosts a large diversity of cultural traditions, natural beauty and languages. Africa can be divided into several general climate regions. Areas near the equator have a tropical rain forest climate, with high temperatures and seasonal heavy rain throughout the year. At the northern and southern parts of the continent are of subtropical climate. The number of expats in Africa is unclear, but it has been reported that there are an increasing number of Chinese expatriates in the continent due to the growing economic presence of Chinese companies in Africa. There is still a large presence of Western expats living and working in Africa.

Economy in Africa

Africa has abundant natural resources such as oil, gold and diamonds and many foreign mining companies are operating in various countries on the continent.  HR consultancy firm 24-7 has reported that after salaries for expats in Africa hit bottom in 2016, there will be new hiring in 2017 which should result in higher salaries for expatriates in the region. This is especially true in the mining sector, where Africa is believed to hold 90% of the world’s platinum and 50% of its gold. In the last ten years, Africa has an impressive 5% GDP growth. Expat Financial has several mining company clients in Africa employ large expatriate populations and require global benefit plans. Though prices for Africa’s commodities fell in 2015, decreased political instability guarantees the continued developments in Africa. The top three of largest economies in Africa are Nigeria, South Africa and Egypt. Oil and gas revenue have contributed significantly to the economy of many nations in Africa. Non-resource sectors in Africa are also making inroads, especially in the communications and banking sectors, which are also big expatriate employers.

Current Expat Working Environment in Africa

Expat assignments in Africa continue to focus on specialized industries such as oil, gold, diamonds and copper. According to a global survey, many expats working in Africa are making more than $250,000 annually. Based on InterNations‘ research, Nigeria has the highest number of high-earning expats. The overall labor environment has also been improving in recent years. Since 1994, some African governments started to take steps to secure and protect the rights of workers, and other labor friendly practices. However, government corruption at both local and national levels continues to be a major impediment to both the political and economic systems in many African countries. Political instability and civil strife in many nations in Africa is a constant concern for expatriates and their employers. It is important that companies employing expats obtain coverage that will cover war and terrorism risks.

Safety for Expats in Africa

It is widely known that many countries in Africa have serious safety concerns for expatriates and locals alike. Many countries in the continent have high crime rates and terrorism concerns, such as Nigeria, Chad and Zimbabwe. In fact, Kenya has experienced some horrific terrorist attacks in recent years, including the Westgate Mall attack in 2013. Other countries such as South Sudan are experiencing civil wars while DRC is in the midst of a political crisis that has lead to demonstrations and attacks. As an expatriate, you have to have a safety plan to avoid these civil disturbances and of course the usual crimes of opportunity such as muggings and pickpockets. Expats should remain vigilant and take steps to improve their safety, such as avoiding high crime areas at night, avoiding demonstrations and not wearing valuables or flashing cash. Probably the biggest concern for expats in Africa should be road accidents as local driving can be very dangerous on poorly run transportation systems. If you take adequate precautions and use your street smarts, you can enjoy residing in pretty much any African nation.

However, not all African countries are dangerous for expatriates. Many are quite safe for expatriates, including Morocco, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Botswana, Seychelles and Malawi. You don’t need to live in fear while residing in Africa. Be smart and take adequate precautions and enjoy the culture and local population who are keen to show you the wonders of Africa.

Health Risks in Africa for Expats

Though it has abundant natural resources, Africa remains the world’s most underdeveloped continent. Even though nations such as Nigeria, South Africa and Ghana are relatively wealthy, healthcare resources in cities and especially in remote areas can be very poor. Low standards of healthcare facilities and inadequate water sanitation have affected a large proportion of the African residents and are a concern for expats as well. The region’s health risks include malaria, dengue fever, ebola virus disease, tuberculosis and Hepatitis A and B. There also have been outbreaks of avian flu and Lassa virus, as well as HIV. Expats moving and traveling to Africa should carry water purification tablets, anti-diarrhea pills and alcohol based hand cleaning solutions along with updated vaccinations based on regional and country specific recommendations from the medical community.

International Health Insurance for Expats in Africa

It is critical that expats should include emergency medical evacuations in their international health insurance policy before moving to Africa. A typical international health insurance plan via Expat Financial will provide coverage options such as hospital coverageoutpatient treatment, medical emergency evacuation, routine health check-ups and dental & vision care.

Expats in Africa should also think about having adequate life cover, disability cover and accidental death coverage while residing in the continent. Expat health insurance premiums will vary depending on the coverage of the plan, your age, citizenship and several other factors.

Expat Financial  is extremely experienced in covering expatriate employees in Africa. We are able to source global benefit plans for groups of 2 or more expatriates in Africa and 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.

Obtain important information on the international insurance plans that are offered by Expat Financial to expatriates and some local nationals in the African region: expatfinancial.com/regions/africa/

What expats should know about UK’s National Health Service (NHS)

The National Health Service (NHS) is a free publicly funded national healthcare system. Recognized as one of the world’s leading health systems, it is the primary healthcare provider in England, including in-patient care, primary care, emergency medical care, long-term healthcare and dentistry. The NHS is for the most part funded from general taxation with a small amount contributed by National insurance payments.

The NHS has three core principles:

  • That the system meet the needs of everyone
  • That coverage be free at the point of delivery
  • That it be based on clinical need, not ability to pay

Most expats in the UK are able to access free emergency medical treatment at NHS hospitals. However, some expatriates will be responsible for payments of in-patient medical treatment and dental, depending on where they are from. Countries such as Australia, EU and New Zealand, etc, citizens are exempt from the NHS healthcare payments.

Expats Using the NHS while living in the UK

Expats living in UK must register for an NHS Number in order to make medical appointment. Due to the long waiting lines, in most cases the appointment will be in about a week or much more. Expats looking to use the NHS should be prepared for long waits.

Private Healthcare in UK

Private healthcare in UK provides best medical specialists in London. Medical cost of private clinics in UK can be expensive but free from long waiting lists. Also, they do guarantee quality treatment and don’t cover chronic conditions, pre-existing medical conditions or cover you outside the UK. Expats living and working in UK will want to obtain international health insurance plan if living the the UK. International health insurance offer global coverage when expats travel back to their home country or overseas. Most plans will cover international medical emergency evacuation and repatriation, preventive healthcare expenses, hospitalization and medicines.

Expats from Outside Europe Returning to UK

It has been reported that Expats from outside Europe who return to the UK and want to access NHS hospitals may be billed for 150 per cent of the cost of treatment if they don’t have sufficient medical coverage. Most treatment remain gratis for those with a European Health Insurance Card (Ehic) along with United Kingdom pensioners residing in the European Economic Area (EEA). Note that Brexit may impact these rules and systems. There are exemptions available to some people, but these rules reflect the current efforts by the UK government to reduce expenses related to the very expensive NHS and cover for expats. More info is noted in the nhs.uk web site for UK expats living in many non-EEA nations who may get free hospital treatment in those countries because of a reciprocal arrangement with the British government.

Obtain International Health Insurance With Expat Financial 

Expat Financial offers several different international health insurance plans for expatriates planning on living the UK who want global coverage.  We also offer group plans for multinational firms that have excellent coverage & wellness programs for your employees along with great rates and enhanced coverage. If you have questions about our services or the plans  we can source, please contact us or complete the quote form

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

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.

Why you need international health insurance in Hong Kong

Located on the southeast coast of China, Hong Kong is known as a dynamic metropolis as Asia’s World City. Once was a fishing village, Hong Kong has become a cosmopolitan centre where Chinese culture blends with Western culture. Many expatriates are living and working in Hong Kong, but expats need to remember that medical care in the territory is very expensive, so it is crucial to obtain global medical insurance coverage.

Healthcare in Hong Kong

Hong Kong has a well-developed healthcare and medication system. There are 11 private hospitals and 42 public hospitals in Hong Kong, according to government statistics.  The public healthcare system can cover not only Hong Kong citizens or permanent residents, but also non-residents. Although expatriates with valid visa and HK identification card can be covered under public healthcare system, most expatriates are encouraged to obtain international health insurance in Hong Kong in order to get more comprehensive and global medical care without the long waits for treatment associated with government run medical system. Also, dental care is not covered under public healthcare system so many expats will want to seek insurance for this important benefit. Residents in Hong Kong are entitled to see a public dentist unless in an absolute emergency. Therefore, taking out an international health insurance plan is essential if wishing to receive treatment from a private dentist in Hong Kong.

It should also be noted that the private healthcare system Hong Kong is usually more accessible, with less waiting period to see a doctor compared to public hospitals. However, the cost of medical treatment in private medical facilities is usually higher. An appropriate international health insurance plan affords you the option of choosing doctors, standard routine check-ups, and a higher level of accommodation such as private rooms and more.

What to Consider When Purchasing International Health Insurance Before Departure 

As Hong Kong continues to attract more and more global talent, the demand of quality international health insurance for expats is continually growing. When considering international health insurance plans in Hong Kong, there are a number of things that you will want to consider:

  • Emergency Evacuation and Repatriation Coverage –  Emergency evacuation is a critical part of any expatriate’s medical coverage. It will ensure you have access to high quality medical facilities in the event of an medical emergency. If you are in an area that isn’t capable of providing adequate medical treatment, you will be transported to a location that is.
  • Pre-existing & Chronic Condition Coverage – Some international health insurance plans will cover some pre-existing conditions depending on your medical history. If you’d like to know more detailed information, please contact us today.
  • Maternity Coverage and Baby Care – Maternity care in private hospitals in Hong Kong can be very expensive. Making sure that you have comprehensive coverage for pregnancy care and baby care to avoid financial risks. Most plans have a 12 month waiting period before maternity related expenses will be covered.
  • Medical Network –  Does the medical provider have a large medical network where you and your family can obtain medical care by showing your insurer card and receive treatment without out-of-pocket costs.

Obtaining the Right Coverage of International Health Insurance While Residing in Hong Kong 

A tailored international health insurance plan should provide flexible and world-wide service. 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. Our most comprehensive and popular global expat plan is from Cigna International. You can get an instant quote and even apply online.

The cost of international health insurance will vary by plan. 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 Hong Kong. We also offer international group insurance plans for employers with expatriate employees in Hong Kong. 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 quote form.

10 Great reasons to move to Panama for expats

Bordered by Costa Rica to the west, the Caribbean to the north, Panama is a popular location considered as one of the best destinations of relocation by many expatriates. In fact, the New York Times picked Panama NO.1 place to travel in 2012. In this article, we will give you suggestions on 10 great reasons to move to Panama.

1.Pleasant Weather

Panama has tropical weather, with breezes off the Pacific that makes the climate pleasant. The average temperature is 75 F in the mornings and 86 F in the afternoons. April to September is rainy season. There is no need to use heating system, so a great choice for those sick of the cold weather.

2.Tourist Attractions 

Panama is located at the geographical point between North America and South America. Expats and travelers will enjoy the modern buildings, the famous Panama Canal, Pearl Islands, San Blas Islands, a variety of water sports and activities. This is a country is a great location for adventure seeking expats and tourists. Most people travel there to visit the Panama Canal, which is oen of the world’s greatest feats of engineering. Many people like to take the partial or full crossing of the canal.

3.Low Cost of Living

It is widely agreed by expatriates retirees that the cost of living in Panama is much more affordable. The renting cost near the city’s main streets would be $700 – $900 US per month. Besides, all the inexpensive clothing, bedding and dinners attract more and more expats moving to Panama.

4.Least Language Barrier

There are many expatriates living in Panama. Though Spanish is the official language, English is considered as a second language in Panama. Most of the local residents can speak English fluently.

5.Political is Stable 

Panama has an open and stable political system. Due to a continuing economic growth, more and more foreigners are willing to invest in Panama, and this again promotes economic prosperity. The political and economic stability have made Panama a safe country to stay.

6.Clean Water

According to health expert, tap water is generally drinkable in Panama. However, most expats would want to start with bottled water and minimize amount of tap water. In general, the water in Panama has been reported to be clean, but it makes sense to check first.

7.Delicious Food

Generally speaking, Panama food has influenced by Spanish, American, Caribbean and indigenous. Except for traditional Panama dishes, American style meals are offered in many restaurants in town. Besides, there are a range of snacks, desserts and local beverages for you to choose from. Most expats will also be able to buy excellent food to make at home at the local stores.

8. Quality Medical Care

Medical care in Panama are generally of good quality. Both public hospitals and private clinics are available in Panama. However, medical services may vary greatly depending on where you go. The capital, Panama City has the best medical facilities and physicians. The doctors in Panama are usually well trained in the U.S., and speak English. Expats and tourists will want to obtain international health insurance during their stay in Panama, with emergency medical evacuation coverage, medical treatment in Panama and globally, as well as dental & vision care.

9.No Taxes on Overseas Income

Panama has a territorial tax system, which means that there is zero taxation policy of foreign income. This applies to Panama residents and companies. This policy attracts many foreigners to become a resident of Panama.

10.Expat Friendly 

Many expatriates will find that local residents of Panama are very friendly. Since Panama has been an international destination long ago, Panamanians accept foreigners and Americans. In addition, U.S. currency is the main currency being used in Panama.

If you are retiring or relocating in Panama, most expatriates will want to obtain an international health insurance plan that will cover medical treatment in Panama, but also globally. If you are an American, you will want to include cover for the United States or if you wish to be able to obtain medical treatment there. We often recommend that expats should make sure that their plan includes medical evacuation and repatriation coverageExpat Financial can source international health insurance for expatriates in Panama from large and respected international insurance companies. Please contact us today for a quote and to discuss your Panama expatriate  insurance requirements. Panama is an exciting and rewarding place to retire and work in.