Moving abroad is a big decision. As you prepare to make the move, there will be many things you will need to consider before you go. One item that should be on everyone’s list, is having a medical insurance plan. This is crucial for every expat as they prepare to move abroad. Having international medical insurance can be very helpful, especially in any emergency situations that you may face living abroad.
Here are 5 reasons why expats & global citizens should buy international medical coverage:
1- Quality of healthcare
The quality of healthcare systems can vary widely around the world, and it often may come as a surprise to those who are leaving a country that has a high-quality system in place.
When you move to a new country, you may be moving to a location that has a healthcare system that is a lower standard than the one you were used to in your home country.
Combined with the fact that you may be moving to a location where you do not speak the local language, and it can be a challenging prospect.
To protect yourself and ensure that you can receive the very best standard of care possible, you should consider buying an international medical insurance plan.
This will allow you to be treated as a private patient in your new country. Travel medical insurance plans are ok for short trips, but are not great for long term stays abroad – especially if you are working or retiring abroad.
A global health policy owner will be given access to the medical network of your health insurer, and these often allow you to access top-quality healthcare treatment.
2- Flexible treatment options
Having an international medical insurance plan will allow you to have more flexible treatment options than you would have if you were to rely on local insurance.
You will be given more freedom to select a doctor or hospital that best suits you. This can be very convenient for expats when they move abroad as they will be able to select what best suits their individual needs.
In many countries, you may also select treatment by a doctor that speaks the same language as you do.
Needless to say, this can be a big help. Most plans come with a base level of hospital care, but you can also add out-patient and wellness coverage for an additional cost.
3- Coverage for medical costs
As many global nomads will know, the cost of medical treatment can be very expensive.
Depending on the location you are moving to, these may be extremely more expensive than what you are used to paying in your home country.
When you have an international medical insurance plan, you will be covered so you do not have to pay out-of-pocket for any treatments. You should also think about adding medical evacuation if you are living in a country with more limited health facilities and also home country coverage when you visit your loved ones and friends back home.
This can be especially useful as it means you won’t have to spend a large part of your savings on healthcare costs.
Having this coverage is a huge bonus that comes with an international medical insurance plan and it can protect your health and well-being.
4- Certain visa requirements make it mandatory
More and more countries around the world are enforcing very strict rules for expat health insurance.
This means that you may not be allowed to enter a country and secure your expat visa without having a health insurance plan.
Be sure to check what the rules are in the country you are planning to move to before you go. In most cases, the visa service or embassy will let you know what coverage you require.
5- Peace of mind for your move
Last but certainly not least, having an international medical insurance plan can offer you peace of mind for your move abroad. It is very helpful to know that you are protected in case of a health emergency. You never know when you may need it and having a plan in place will help you be prepared for any medical treatments you may require.
It is better to be prepared and have peace of mind so that you can make the most of your expat move and not have to worry about your health.
Here are some companies that offer international health insurance for expats:
Allianz can provide plans for expats living in Europe, Africa, or Asia and the Allianz MyCare app allows you to access your policy documents easily and on the go.
You can discover more about Allianz’s plans HERE.
If you are an American citizen moving abroad and you wish to buy an international health insurance plan from an American provider, GeoBlue is one option.
Find out more about GeoBlue plans here
Cigna is an expert at providing international health insurance and has a vast medical network of over 1.65 million hospital and healthcare providers. Cigna plans allow you to select coverage including or excluding the USA. Learn more about Cigna plans & quote online.
Find out more about how international health insurance works, in this blog article from Expat Financial: https://expatfinancial.com/how-does-international-health-insurance-work/. You should also consider downloading our international health insurance guidebook.