Are you planning to move abroad this year and on the hunt for the countries with affordable healthcare? If so, you’re in the right place. For most people, planning to move abroad is all about packing, ensuring finances are right, choosing the right neighborhood, and renting. However, with the recent pandemic, many more expats see the importance of global healthcare. Plus, countries that have reopened their borders require proof of international healthcare coverage to enter.
You might wonder, why buy international healthcare coverage when there are countries with the cheapest healthcare options? Firstly, most local healthcare plans are specific to the locals. For expats who travel from one country to another, it can be difficult to find the right local plan. Plus, you won’t be able to carry one local plan to another country. However, the international health insurance coverage will travel with you from country to country, and you don’t have to worry about applying for healthcare every time you land in a new country.
Many future expatriates will want to think about the cost of healthcare in the country they are planning to move to before they make their decision to move overseas. Understanding how healthcare in each country works and why they are affordable can help you decide.
Here are 5 countries with some of the most affordable healthcare
Brazil is a wonderful place for expats. It is also a highly sought after country for cosmetic and plastic surgery. This country offers high-quality procedures at cheap rates. Plus, it is also known for quality service and care, and those traveling from the US for medical procedures save around 20% on their healthcare bill.
2. Costa Rica
Costa Rica has always been one of the top-ranking countries for long life expectancy. At the heart of Central America, Costa Rica is nestled between the Pacific and the Caribbean. No wonder people are happy and live long!
Expats can also take advantage of this opportunity as Costa Rica is always welcoming with open hands. One of its main attractions is through the country’s universal state-provided healthcare system. If you’re living in Costa Rica, you can access the public healthcare plan by paying a small income-based contribution, subsidized by the state. But don’t be fooled. Only designated hospitals and clinics will treat you. On the other hand, a typical out-of-pocket visit to the doctor can cost you around $25 to USD 50.
Cuba is always the center of attention for expats. Besides, it is known for having a world-class healthcare system. Furthermore, their medical team at Cuban hospitals are world-class, and they use top quality medical equipment. Their doctors are generally considered quite excellent and are relied upon by several countries in the region. Note that Cuba is definitely not considered a rich country, so there may be shortages of equipment – given the sanctioned imported by the United States.
You can also spoil yourself with the Cuban culture, beautiful scenery, and hospitality from the locals.
Japan is also another country with the highest life expectancy in the world. Expats enjoy this island nation for its strong transport infrastructure and peacefulness. Expats also rate Japan’s healthcare very highly. Healthcare in Japan is affordable due to strict government regulations on costs. The government places the top priority on healthcare affordability.
Expats who have lived in Japan for more than a year can get the same access as Japanese citizens. If you’re planning to move to Japan, getting international health insurance may be your best bet. Many expats in Japan will get a domestic plan and this may be required.
Malaysia’s culture, heritage, and delicious food bring expats from all over the world. Furthermore, it is also known to be one of the best providers of healthcare across South-East Asia. With its affordable healthcare, one can receive a luxurious experience at certain hospitals.
Malaysia has public universal healthcare, which is accessible to all legal residents of Malaysia. Through government funding, locals get comprehensive services at low costs.
Furthermore, Malaysia also won Best Healthcare under the ‘world’ category of the 2019 International Living Global Retirement Index.
Final Thoughts on Countries with Affordable Healthcare
Although the countries listed provide comprehensive medical services, it is important to note that expats who are living abroad, moving abroad, or moving from one country to another constantly, should not entirely rely on local healthcare. Getting global health insurance will give you peace of mind when traveling and get access to excellent support during a medical emergency.
Note that your international health insurance premium will depend on a variety of factors – including your health status, age, citizenship, options & deductible chosen – and finally the expat destination country you are living in. The less expensive medical services are in that country, the lower the health insurance rates should be.