The top 10 healthiest countries to be an expat

A guide to the top 10 healthiest countries to be an Expat

Countries all over the world offer a variety of appealing aspects that may drive expats to relocate there. In recent studies, 6 of the top 10 most healthy countries in the world to live in are situated in Europe. Factors that were considered for the study were life expectancy rates, tobacco use and obesity rates.  Note that any list is somewhat arbitrary and subjective, but here are the top 10 healthiest countries to be an expat for 2019 are the following (in no particular order):

1. Iceland

Iceland has been regarded as one of the healthiest places to live (outside of Europe) for multiple reasons. The population of Iceland live off of a farm-to-table philosophy, meaning they believe in eating foods that are naturally abundant and fresh. They also have phenomenal governmental policies that regulate industrial pollution and encourages businesses to use clean, renewable and sustainable energy sources that aid in the well-being of the countries health standards. The local population has also said that they believe that “Water therapy” is a reason that contributes to their happiness and health. Water therapy is when you sit in the waters on the natural hot springs found all over Iceland, and allow yourself to relax in the volcanically warmed waters. Another very important reason as to why Iceland had made it to the list is their gender equality policies. Iceland was the first country to fully remove the gender gap pay and is a leading country for all gender inequalities for the world.

2. Switzerland

Switzerland has long been known to be one of the happiest and healthiest countries in the world. The way of life encourages a healthy diet and an active lifestyle. One of the reasons Switzerland is famous for is investing in its population. Government spending is budgeted for high standards of education, excellent health care and for innovations for the country. A well-balanced lifestyle has allows the people of Switzerland to be one of the countries with the lowest level of depression in the world.

3. Spain

Why put Spain on the top 10 healthiest countries list? Spain has one of the highest life expectancy rates, and it continues to increase as the years go on. Environmental factors, such as access to clean water and sanitation, a Mediterranean diet, minimal use of tobacco, and low obesity rates are just a few other reasons why Spain continues to be a desirable and healthy country to live in. Spain is also known for its close and important familial ties and bonds that are ingrained into the local population. This, of course, isn’t the main reason why Spain tends to flourish, but it definitely is an important factor.

4. Norway

Norway has also been placed on the top 10 healthiest countries to live in. In a traditional Scandinavian way of life, Norway places a high value on a well balanced, active and healthy lifestyle. Another key point that drives Norway to the top of the list is shorter working hours, where employees are almost never required to work past 4 p.m., as well as a cultural environment that minimally encourages the drinking of alcoholic beverages.

5. Italy

The importance of leisurely dining and a well-balanced diet is extremely common in Italian culture. As the Italians say, always chose quality over quantity. It is common for Italians to source their food, oils and spices from local and non-commercialized sources. Their focus on a Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes local fruits, vegetables, oils, and fish, is also sourced as a core reason as to why Italy has continuously made it to the list.

6. Sweden

A second Scandinavian country to top the list of the healthiest 10 countries to live as an expat is Sweden. Known for a lifestyle of moderations (food & alcohol), Sweden is famous for living under the philosophy of “Lagom”, which indirectly translates to English as “not too little, not too much, just the right amount”. This allows the population of Sweden to live a casual lifestyle, eat in variation and walk everywhere.

7. Israel

The Israelian population flourishes in a culture that promotes a vibrant lifestyle, spirituality and a positive healing environment. They focus on an extremely healthy, fresh and delicious diet that promotes the well being of the nation. Their healthy eating habits and lifestyle is one of the main reasons why Israel is one of the leading countries for life expectancy rates in the world. The emphasis on family and family values are also leading causes for the countries health prosperity.

8. Japan

The first of two Asian countries to be recognized as one of the healthiest countries to live in in 2019 is Japan. One of the main reasons Japan is highly regarded for its health standards is due to their diets and lifestyle. Japan has one of the highest life expectancies in the world, which is due partly to its green landscapes, its family values, and its well-balanced eating habits.

9. Singapore

The second of two Asian countries that have made it to the top 10 healthiest countries to be an expat in 2019 is Singapore. Leading with one of the highest life expectancy rates in the world, Singapore has continuously considered as being one of the most sought out countries to live in as an expatriate. Singapore is well known for being extremely safe and has some of the best food in the world.

10. Australia

Known for the Gold Coast and beautiful sandy beaches, Australia has continuously been placed on the list for the healthiest countries to live in as an expat. Complete with a sport and outdoor culture, Austalia is one of the most active and adventure seeking countries in the world. While some may indulge in a bit too many Fosters and shrimp on the BBQ, this outback country is an excellent expat destination. The country is well known for it’s laid back lifestyle – the Australian population is known for being mostly healthy and happy!

 

Although these countries are listed as being the top 10 healthiest countries to live for an expat, it is still crucial that you obtain international health insurance if you are planning on pursuing an international relocation. Staying healthy is not easy, but everyone gets sick or has an injury at some point in their lives – that is why it is critical for you to prepare for the worst by obtaining global health coverage that will be there when you need it!

Contact us today at info@tfgglobal.com to discuss your international insurance needs and requirements.

Thai Expat Guide to Eating and Living Healthy

A Short Guide to Living and Eating in Thailand for Expats

People need to be independent in order to succeed when living outside of their home countries. If an expat gets ill, they may have to rely on themselves to get by when trying to recover from the medical conditions.  As such, expats need to be extra careful when caring for their health. We have created a Thai expat guide to eating and living healthy for expatriates overseas. One of the ways expats can care for their health is by ensuring that they eat healthily and lead healthy lifestyles. The list of tips to eating healthy and living healthy lifestyles for expats is extensive. Below, though, are just some of the tips expats may refer to in eating healthy and living healthy lifestyles if they are based in Thailand:

1. Monitor all caloric intakes, even the small ones 

Oftentimes, intakes of small doses of calories are the ones that add up quicker than the intake of larger doses of calories. Expats need to ensure that they only seldom eat fast foods. Eating small doses of junk foods often adds up to more than the large doses of calories taken by larger meals, without expats realizing of its effects. It’s important to also remember caloric intakes from beverages. Often these are forgotten about, but they have the potential to add up quickly in someone’s diet.

2. Host healthy physical activities with fellow expats & other colleagues

Expats can surely benefit from weekly group physical activities with fellow expats and other colleagues, examples of these activities are yoga, aerobics, and so on. Expats may initiate hosting these activities in gyms or local community centers. Once organized, expats can invite larger groups of colleagues to participate in order to create a healthy and social activity for everyone.

3. Participate in other travel programs that employers may offer

While working in Thailand, Expats do not need to confine themselves to Thailand for the duration of their stay. If other opportunities to travel for work come their way, it is encouraged for expats to explore surrounding countries. Seizing the opportunities to travel to Singapore, Malaysia, or Hong Kong for work shall prevent Thai expats to have idle physical activities only. Expats will have opportunities to move out and about, and thus, be more physically active, while travelling extensively.

4. Continue eating a consistent healthy diet

It is always better for expats to continue eating in a healthy manner, ideally in the way they have always previously been accustomed to. Expats need to be resourceful in finding proper stores in Thailand that sell the healthy foods which they previously ate back in their home countries. Expats will need to invest efforts and patience in order to succeed in locating these stores in Thailand. Down the road, though, expats shall realize that the efforts they invested in doing this are well worth it in the long run.

Our informal Thai expat guide to eating and living healthy is a rudimental approach for staying healthy while living abroad. Expats currently need not settle with the ways they are living their lives and eating the foods they love to eat. They need to always be open to any alterations which they may need to apply to their lives in order to eat and live healthy lives. Thailand offers excellent food choices for expatriates and locals alike. Don’t be afraid to indulge in local food chocies. In the long run, expats are the only people who may benefit from these choices themselves, and once they reap the fruits of eating and living healthy lifestyles.

For extra protection, ensure that you have an international health plan in place that will provide you with extra security in case you fall ill. Knowing that you have proper medical care will allow you to live a more comfortable and stress-free life. For your international health care needs, contact Expat Financial to discuss all your personal needs today!

What to consider when you are relocating abroad

Relocating abroad will almost always involve finding somewhere to live, looking for a new job, and finding schools for your children. With so many things to consider, it is often easy to overlook something as important as international health insurance. In this article, we explain what to consider when you are relocating abroad, and we will explore the international health insurance that you will want to take with you when relocating abroad.

The Importance of International Healthcare

The most important factor in your plan to relocate is to acquire an appropriate international healthcare plan. The most common misconception regarding this topic is that you can take your domestic healthcare plans with you when you relocate. In fact, when you leave your native country, most domestic health insurance plans are voided. From an insurance company’s point of view, an expat is no longer a resident in their home country when living abroad and therefore no longer entitled to domestic coverage.

Another misconception is that as soon as you move to a new country, you will be entitled to local healthcare coverage from the state; however, this is not always the case. In addition, healthcare standards in many destinations are often inconsistent and lesser than the standards of your home country. It is also critical that you seek out expert advice when seeking international health insurance, especially if you have any pre-existing conditions which require coverage.

Relocation considerations aren’t only measured in terms of financial costs of living, such as moving expenses and cost of living, but one must also keep in mind the adaptations of language requirements and cultural differences. It is critical that you prepare appropriately for your various needs; however, without international medical insurance, an unexpected injury could cripple your financial situation.

Find what’s best for you

Finding the right international medical insurer is an extremely complex issue. There are many different levels of healthcare around the world, as well as vastly changing local regulations. It is subsequently very important to ensure you’ve selected an international health insurance plan that fully protects you and your family.

Expat Financial offers a variety of international insurance health insurance plans on a group or individual basis. To maximize your expat experience and avoid unforeseen risks and costs, please contact us today to discuss your international insurance needs and requirements. Our toll-free number: 1-800-232-9415 or email us at info@tfgglobal.com.

Health Insurance for Canadians in the USA

Health Insurance Options for Canadian Expats in the USA

Our company is contacted almost every day by Canadians living in the USA or about to live in the United States who are not eligible for local healthcare. More often than not, it is the parent of a student living in the USA who is calling us to find a high-quality expat health plan for their Canadian son or daughter. They all know the cost of medical care in the USA is extremely expensive – some expenses can easily reach into the hundreds of thousands. For example, here are some sample medical conditions and the expected claims costs in USD:

  • Pancreatic Cancer – $100K to $150K
  • Valve Repair – $60K
  • Complicated Pregnancy: Hundreds of thousands
  • MS – $80K
  • ICU Stay – Such a claim could be huge depending on the condition and length of stay.

That is why it makes sense for Canadians in the USA to purchase a global health plan if they are not eligible for local coverage by themselves or through an employer. If a Canadian is maintaining provincial coverage and will be spending a few months in the USA, then most will obtain emergency only travel medical insurance coverage from one of our Canadian suppliers such as Tugo. However, if the Canadian is becoming an expatriate in the USA by spending a lot of time living, retiring or working in the USA and most likely losing their provincial medical coverage, an international health plan for the USA is vital.

Most Canadians are not aware of the true cost of their provincial medical plan because they pay little or nothing towards it as the costs are all paid by general tax revenue. We have all heard the stories of how expensive medical care is in the USA, especially in the news where someone forgets to purchase travel medical insurance when traveling abroad. If you are a Canadian expat in the USA and not eligible for local plans, then you will have to purchase an international health plan. Note that when you apply, there will be some medical questions and you may or may not be approved or there may be an exclusion. Also remember that individual expat health plans are not HIPAA, COBRA or PPACA compliant.

Most global health plans for expats in the USA will offer in-patient care with options to add wellness, out-patient medical and evacuation insurance. Dental and visioncare is also available. Some will choose a large deductible, but this is a personal choice. Most Americans are used to having very large deductibles and co-insurance while the Canucks are not.

For more information, give us a call or email today as we are very experienced in covering expats around the world. The best plan we can offer expats in the USA is the Cigna Global Health Options plan. You can even get a quote and apply online. Another potential option is the GeoBlue plan.

 

What is the best health insurance for a family during long-term international travel?

If you are going abroad for a year, it is highly likely that you will be giving up your domestic health coverage, which may not cover you abroad. Thus it is important to obtain a global health policy that will cover you and your family while living and travelling abroad AND also back home. You have the option to purchase an emergency travel medical insurance plan, which would be less expensive, but it will only cover emergencies and only while abroad – you will want to keep your domestic cover in place. Travel medical insurance plans are often best suited for short and medium term trips abroad.

Global Health Insurance

comprehensive global health insurance policy would generally be your best option. You can often choose from basic to comprehensive plans with small or large deductibles. Most plans offer you customisable options, beginning at basic hospital coverage with the option to add options as you need:

  1. Out-patient care – covering expenses that you may procure outside if a hospital, such as prevention, diagnosis, and rehabilitation.
  2. Wellness – such as seeing a medical doctor for a basic checkup as well as counselling
  3. Medical Evacuation – In case you are unable to be treated locally, medical evacuation is an important option to relocate you to a hospital that has the proper facilities.
  4. Dental and Vision – coverage for basic check-ups with a dentist and optometrist
  5. Coverage for the USA – this is a very important add-on if you are an American expat or reside close to the USA and are required to obtain medical care in the United-States.

global medical

Note that when you obtain a quote, you will need to tell the insurer what the main country of residence will be – meaning where you plan to spend the majority of your time as the rates are determined by where you will be living. Most plans are able to be quoted and purchase online to facilitate the process. 

At Expat Financial, we can help facilitate the process, as well as answer any questions along the way that may arise. We specialise in obtaining international health insurancelifetravel and disability insurance for individuals, as well as dependent family members while living abroad. We are a leading source of international health insurance plans with global health insurance coverage from various insurers that offer the best in international health insurance.

Thailand to mandate health insurance for expats

It has been recently reported that the Thai government is in the process of mandating mandatory medical health insurance for expatriates living in Thailand. The requirement is targeted for expatriates that are living in Thailand on a one-year non-immigrant visa, with an emphasis on those living in Thailand over the age of 60.

Over the past years, it has become increasingly difficult for those living in Thailand over the age of 60 to procure health insurance. There are very few local insurance companies that will cover those in this older demographic, and those few companies that will cover those 60 years and older are demonstrating predominantly expensive premium rates. There are even some foreign plans that will place limits on your global health coverage after age 65 or terminate coverage at age 70. The best plan for older expats that our firm has found is the Cigna Global Health Options plan we offer online to expatriates of any age – expats even in their 80s and 90s can get a quote online.

The proposed Thai legislation will require expatriates to be covered for the minimum amount of 400,000 ฿ (~ $12,570 USD) of in-patient coverage, and 40,000 ฿ (~ $1,270 USD) for out-patient care. Expatriates that are currently living overseas and meet the minimum required amount of coverage will be exempt from obtaining these Thai insurance policies.

These mandates have been derived with several government bodies in Thailand’s government. The process for finalizing these policies are currently in the stages of cabinet approval and is designed to aid and ensure the health protection for long-stay visa holders currently, or soon to be living in Thailand. It is important that expats monitor developments on this policy and make sure that they have adequate health coverage that will meet or exceed the requirements.

Thailand is a beautiful country and a very popular destination for expatriates from around the world. Medical care can be quite expensive and it is vital that you obtain a comprehensive global health policy for Thailand that will cover you both locally, regionally and globally. This is because you may move to another country or region and you don’t want to re-apply for medical coverage, especially if you develop a pre-existing or chronic condition.

Make sure you are fully prepared and covered before making your move abroad. At Expat financial, we can offer plans designed for your specific needs while living in Thailand that will exceed the requirements set up by most local governments at excellent prices and form large and respected providers. Click here to receive a quote, or contact us at info@tfgglobal.com

expat healthcare if critical

Healthcare costs in China for expatriates are soaring

Healthcare Is Expensive for Expatriates in China – Health Coverage is Vital

Many people can’t resist the appeal that China has to offer – the beautiful and diverse scenery, the local culture and is one of the main economic hubs of the world. There are so many fantastic career opportunities for expatriates in China where the economy is still growing at a fantastic rate. As an expatriate, it is not easy to resist the temptation to relocate to China – whether it be Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing or other major cities within.

Public Care

While taking into account China’s increasing population rates, increasing life expectancy rates and a stimulated economy increasing demand, the cost of China’s health care system is dramatically increasing as the years move forward. With this current trend, there is no foreseeable decrease in these costs, and it is explicitly important for non-native residents to take extra precaution. As China’s non-communicable disease rates are on the rise, the difficulty in obtaining sustainable public health care will continue to decline. As the cost of public healthcare continues to rise, the government is no longer able to support the financial demand – and is therefore forced to lower the standards of care in the general public hospitals. In our experience, expatriates do not seek healthcare in China from the public system and almost always obain medical assistance in the private clinics and hospitals.

Private care

As the general association between the cost of buying and operating in China is generally thought of as being inexpensive, this may lead an expatriate to believe that the cost of obtaining health and medical services would follow the same trend. This may be true for locals in China, as it is possible to find relatively inexpensive care in public hospitals; however, most expatriates will atomically seek medical treatment in private hospitals. It is much better for an expatriate to seek out private care, as it will be more likely to be close to their own standards of care, as well as less limitation with the language barrier. Private hospitals, albeit more expensive than the public ones, will still cost approximately 80% of what one would pay for medical treatment in an American hospital and clinics. In some cases even more than the USA. The levels of care that an expatriate will find in a private hospital is substantially better than what he will find in the public sector; it is even common for the wealthier Chinese nationals to seek private care in the country. Since you are probably from a country outside of China, it is critical that you get a plan that will also cover you back in your home country and throughout the region.

With the idea of private care in mind, it is crucial for expatriates living in any Chinese city to obtain international health insurance coverage for your relocation. Even though China is a major economic hub for many people, the cost of living is still one of the most expensive places in the world and obtaining an international health plan will allow you to have peace of mind and financial protection.

Expat Financial, a division of TFG Global Insurance Solutions Ltd, can easily obtain coverage for most expatriates in China. Our staff has the necessary knowledge to provide you with complete insurance coverage that will protect you while being posted in China. You can get a quote for healthcare in China via our quote page or by clicking the quote button below. Most people can obtain a quote in minutes and many are approved in minutes or after a few days.

Contact Expat Financial today for a more in-depth examination of your global health insurance needs for China and what plans we can offer you. If you require a quote for Chinese expat insurance, contact Expat Financial today. Please send along any relevant risk information that may be available or obtain a quote via the link above for the best plan that we can offer expatriates living in China.

Expat Tokyo - Why you need international health insurance?

10 tips on how to keep your expat kids healthy & happy overseas

Here are Some Tips for Expatriate Parents on How to Keep Your Kids Happy and Healthy Overseas

Moving abroad is often a difficult transition for expatriates and their spouses, but often even more so for their children. You want to make sure that the transition to life abroad is as effortless as possible. One of the most important considerations for expat parents is how to keep their expat kids healthy and happy abroad. We have noted several steps that expatriates can take before and after they move overseas to make sure the little ones and even teen expatriates will maintain their emotional and physical health.

1. Adjusting to their new school abroad

While you are trying to welcome your new environment, don’t forget to help your children to choose a school. Picking the right school requires you to do adequate research before moving abroad. It can be vital to the health and happiness of your children. For most children, the transition to a new environment can require sufficient counseling to help them integrate.

2. Make sure they are vaccinated

Obtaining the necessary vaccinations is important if you are moving overseas, but especially for children. Talk to your doctor and make sure they are up to date on their vaccination schedule and also make sure that they are properly vaccinated for diseases that may exist in your new home country abroad. When it comes to vaccinations, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

3. Encourage them to pack their things

Another step you can take to help your children to stay positive is to include them in the packing process. Encourage them to pack their belongings, and choose what they want to take on the plane and what gets shipped. Of course, also make sure they don’t forget their favorite toy or blanket!

Portrait of happy mother and baby girl on street overlooking rooftops of rome on sunset

4. Be mindful of their mental health and adjustment abroad

Moving abroad is a big deal for adults, but even more so for your children. They are moving away from all what they are familiar with – home, friends, cousins etc… Don’t try to avoid their questions and anxieties. As soon as you know there’s going to be a relocation, include your kids in the conversation. Listen properly to their questions and concerns. They have to make new connections in a brand new culture. While they may be excited, it can be quite daunting. If you can see assistance both before and after you go and be very mindful of their mental well-being after you move abroad. Think about having them join a team or club while abroad. Also, maybe include your kids in the process of decorating their rooms. Let them choose their furniture, paint colour and bedsheets.

5. Keep copies of your kids’ medical records

One of the biggest challenges when relocating with children is looking for high-quality medical care. It is always suggested to bring your children’s medical records wherever you go, as well as vaccination updates, and allergy history

6. Research destination illness and health warnings

Many countries are providing diseases and health warnings on their travel websites. Expats should consult these sites before moving abroad. In most cases, children are more vulnerable to infectious diseases. Through adequate research, you should be able to identify the signs and symptoms of some common local diseases. It also helps to take preventive actions such as vaccinations and checkups for your kids before you move.

Expatriate Life Insurance

7. Help your children to keep in touch with home country

Moving abroad will be a landmark event in your children’s lives. It is suggested that you help your children collect all of their friends’ contact information, put them in an address book. Another helpful step would be to create photo albums to preserve their memories from their home country. It will also be a good idea to host an unforgettable goodbye party to celebrate this life-changing decision.

8. Find local expat kids groups

There are local expats groups or communities resources online, through social media or employee networking. Bring your kids to these child-friendly activities. It has been proved that these similarly minded expat parents can help expat children to acclimatize to the new surroundings faster.

9. Learn the language together with your children

It is a good idea to begin a language course before relocation. However, to better help your kids’ transition, you are recommended to take the time to learn the new language with your kids. It will help them to see there is a learning curve for everyone. And if you are enjoying the new language, they will be more likely to also.

An elementary age girl is holding her stuffed animal at the doctors office. Her mother is talking to the doctor in the background.

10. Obtain international health insurance to cover you and your expat kids

It is crucial for every expat family to take the necessary action to ensure that their spouse and children’s health and well-being are protected and provided for via an appropriate level of international health insuranceExpat Financial offers a wide array of excellent global health plans designed specifically for expatriates of most nationalities around much of the world. You should also consider purchasing the expatriate dental coverage option.

If you have questions about our international medical insurance plans or you want to discuss your needs and produce a customized evacuation quote, please contact us or complete the quote form.

The impact of global disease outbreaks on expats and tips on prevention

With people travelling from all over the world and relocating overseas, expatriates should take extra precautions when it comes to health and safety. In the last few years, public health experts were on high alert due to the rapid spread of diseases such as the Zika virus, Dengue fever, SARS, Ebola virus, plague and more. In this article, we will discuss several pandemic disease threats and tips for expatriates to protect themselves from those diseases while working and living overseas.

Should Expatriates Worry About Disease Outbreaks? 

It is difficult to give a definitive answer to an expatriate’s chances of getting a disease if relocating to a region that has reported a disease outbreak. However, if there are a lot of people that have already been infected, then expatriates should pay close attention if visiting a specific area or region. One should note that diseases can travel vast distances because of increased global travel and mobility – it just takes a plane ride of an infected person to bring an outbreak to a new location.

According to the Public Health Watch Report, cholera, yellow fever and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) are the potential health threat given the recent pandemic report in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. There have also been reports of plague disease in Madagascar, where over 20 lives have recently been lost.

Five Disease Outbreaks that Put Expats at Risk

Cholera is an infectious disease that causes severe diarrhea, dehydration, and even death if untreated. Cholera is caused by a bacterium called Vibrio Cholerae in contaminated food and water. It is a severe medical problem in many parts of the world. According to the latest report on Africa News, World Health Organization (WHO) has declared Cholera outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), claiming that 17,000 treated in DRC.

Yellow fever was declared an outbreak in Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda between 2016 and 2017, according to WHO. The bite of infected mosquitoes transmitted it. The outbreak caused 962 confirmed cases across the three countries. Yellow fever is a disease with symptoms of fever, jaundice, muscle pain, vomiting, headache and nausea. Large outbreaks of yellow fever occur within heavily populated areas, with high mosquito density but lack of vaccination. Infected mosquitoes can transmit the virus from person to person.

Zika Virus has become a fairly widespread disease that has caused great concern for expatriates and locals alike. While Zika is not a new disease (it was earlier found in Africa in the 1950s) the disease that is spread by mosquitoes has spread to many regions around the world, including South America, Asia and even in the USA. In most cases those infected will not show any symptoms, but some can experience paralysis, or in pregnant women, it may cause birth defects in their children. There is no vaccine at this time along with no effective treatment.

Pneumonic Plague was recently declared as an outbreak in Madagascar. The Plague is a highly infectious disease caused by the Yersinia pestis bacteria and is often found in the fleas of small mammals.  People can be infected by the flea bites or direct contact with infected persons or inhalation.

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection ranges from no symptoms to severe respiratory disease and death. According to WHO, the outbreaks have occurred in several countries including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and the Republic of Korea. And no vaccine or specific treatment is currently available for MERS-CoV. It has been reported that MERS is caused by Coronaviruses, which is a large family of viruses that can cause Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The typical MERS symptoms include a cough, fever, and shortness of breath. The virus can pass from person to person through close contact.

Disease Outbreak Prevention Tips for Expatriates Living Abroad 

  • As a general precaution, expatriates visiting markets, farms, jungles, or other rural regions with animals are present should practice high caution with hygiene, including hand washing before and after contacting animals, especially sick animals.
  • Avoid consuming raw or undercooked animal products or products in developing countries, including unpasteurized milk or vegetables.
  • Based on infected cases reported, some people are considered to be at high risk of disease infection. Consult your doctor about your medical history before relocating abroad.
  • For diseases that haven’t been determined response priorities by health authorities, expatriates should maintain a high level of vigilance.
  • Avoid crowded areas if there is a disease outbreak.
  • Avoid direct contact with animals and wildlife, especially in regions where outbreaks often occur.
  • Do some research on the potential health risks in your destination country’s travel advisory page and obtain required vaccinations before departure – there’s a wealth of information from the CDC and WHO.

To ensure you and your family are protected from costly medical bills outside the home country, it is strongly recommended to obtain international medical insurance. Most medical insurance plans will include coverage for sicknesses caused by most disease outbreaks. It will be important to make sure your global medical plan includes medical evacuation coverage and will cover you for treatment outside your country of residence.

Bring International Health Insurance with You

If you fear that you may have been exposed to an infection or virus no matter how many precautions you have taken, consult with a medical doctor as soon as possible; only your medical provider can provide definitive medical advice and treatment. Expat Financial offers several different international health insurance plans for expatriates. We also provide 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.