Global Health Insurance Solutions for Expatriates & Global Nomads
Most expatriates know that they need to obtain their own insurance coverage – but what types of coverage do you require? The first coverage most expats think of is health insurance. While the country you are moving to may have a government health plan that you can join, you might want to think twice about expatriate insurance. This is because state plans are often of poor quality. It is also important to keep in mind what happens to your coverage if you move or require treatment back in your home country, such as the USA. Here’s why you should consider global health insurance.
Private Health Coverage for Expats
There are two types of plans under private health plans, “in-patient” and more comprehensive “in-patient and outpatient” plans. In-patient expenses are primarily incurred in a hospital. It includes charges for accommodation, surgeons, anesthetists, and physicians. For those who want more, choosing a comprehensive plan would cover in-patient care as described above. Additionally, this comprehensive plan will cover a wide array of outpatient care. It covers expenses such as psychiatry, organ transplants, rehabilitation, home nursing, childbirth, home delivery, general practitioner’s consultations, eye & ear specialists. It also covers other specialists such as dietetic guidance, vaccinations, lab tests, and analysis. Not to mention, x-rays, scans, EKGs, hearing aids, physiotherapy, chiropractors, osteopathy and a certain amount of prescribed drugs.
Common Coverage Add-Ons
Common additions to your health plan include vision and evacuation. If you are traveling a lot or are living in a third world country, Expat Financial recommends medical evacuation. You also have to decide if you want a plan that will cover pre-existing conditions, how large a deductible you want and if you want to be able to get treatment and coverage for the USA and Canada. Make sure you will be able to maintain your current insurance coverage if you are planning on having children, as all other plans have a twelve-month waiting period for maternity expenses. Expat Financial offers international health plans from many different carriers to meet your own unique needs.
Finally, it is important to protect your most valuable asset, your ability to earn an income. Disability insurance is the most difficult to underwrite because it is also quite expensive. Expat Financial offers an excellent plan that can cover up to 75% of your income with benefits starting after three or six months and payable to age 65. But it only covers white-collar occupations. For many expatriates, their employer plans may be their only option. Make sure that your plan covers both accidents and sickness.
Searching for the Right Global Health Insurance
In searching for the right plan, the Internet is the first and easiest way to obtain information on the plans and carriers available. You can also ask your fellow expatriates. Not all plans are made for all people, talk to an insurance broker who offers several different plans and carriers. A consultation costs you nothing as the insurance company you choose compensates the broker.
At the end of the day, make sure you have all your insurance bases covered with the plans that fit your needs and budget. Remember, what you are buying is not just protection, but peace of mind.
About the Author: David G. Tompkins, BA, CLU. An expert in global insurance for expatriates.
As appeared in Branchor Newsletter – RELOCATION…2000 Monthly International Relocation Newsletter vol.2, no.12 December 2000