North American Healthcare System and Insurance Options For Expatriates
North America has been a popular choice for expats from all parts of the globe. Being the third largest and fourth populous continent in the world, North America offers enormous geographic, natural and cultural diversity. Since the continent is inhabited by immigrants from several countries, a beautiful cultural mix can be seen in its countries. Being the second richest continent in the world, it offers great work opportunities, especially for expats.
Healthcare Systems in North American Countries for Expatriates
Travel to North America
Traveling by plane is the quickest, cheapest and the most convenient way to reach North America. Since major North American countries have their international airports, hundreds of flights fly in and out daily. While you can book your flight ticket as per your convenience, you can avail good discounts if you book tickets in advance. Remember that if you are visiting any of the countries in North America, you definitely need to purchase emergency travel medical insurance as you will not be covered there.
Health Systems in North America
All three countries in North America have different healthcare systems and challenges for locals and expats alike. Transition to a new country brings along a new set of challenges for the expats. One of those challenges involves securing health insurance coverage for you and your family. The quality of medical care in North American countries is generally high, especially in the USA and Canada.
From a cost standpoint, the United States offers the most expensive healthcare services. Medical costs are much higher in the U.S. than other North American countries due to multiple reasons including high medical inflation rate. However, expatriates have several options for their insurance coverage. Expats who qualify as permanent residents in these countries have access to the local healthcare system depending on their immigration status, but most should expect several months to years before they are eligible for local healthcare. Usually, the healthcare guidelines and standards are set by the federal government that aims to provide easy healthcare accessibility to every resident across the country. The various states and provinces employ their own rules as well.
Healthcare in North America Expats
The healthcare system in North America (primarily of the United States, Canada, and Mexico) relies upon the government for providing healthcare services and insurance coverage in some way or the other. If you have made up your mind to relocate to any of the North American countries, it is an absolute must to avail health insurance coverage. However, health insurance systems in all three North American countries have very little in common as each country has its healthcare policies.
It is to be noted that healthcare in Canada is funded publically and delivered privately and also by provincial governments. Canadians have the option to choose primary caregivers as per their will and their visits are directly billed to the government. On the contrary, healthcare in the United States is provided primarily by private hospitals and clinics. Once you reach age 65 in the USA, you should be able to apply for Medicare if you are eligible.
The Mexican healthcare system has three different components i.e. public, private and employer-funded and offers a mix of public healthcare along with options for private care. However, the standard of healthcare offered in rural areas may be way beneath what urban areas offer.
Global Healthcare for Expats in North America is Critical
Purchasing international health insurance coverage will provide you with multiple benefits including quick and easy access to global healthcare facilities, flexibility to tailor an insurance plan, shorter waiting time and more.
It thus becomes important to select the right health insurance coverage that will provide you with peace of mind in terms of one of the most crucial aspects of your life i.e. your health.