Emergency Healthcare Abroad

How do expat insurers define your country of residence?

For expats moving abroad, deciding on which health insurance plan to go with will be one of the most important decisions you make as you prepare for your expat move. There will be many factors involved in deciding which international health insurance plan to go with one of them is country of residence.

These factors can include things such as:

  • Price of policy
  • Length of policy
  • Quality of coverage & the insurer reputation
  • Area of coverage

For many expat health insurers, these companies will be looking to gather a lot of information about you as you go through the process of purchasing your policy. This information will then be used in order to calculate and determine the cost of your health insurance plan. Group plans are often determined by the expat census.

But another important detail that will need to be provided to your health insurer will be details about your country of residence. This is a very important part of your health insurance plan and will be used to determine the cost of your premium.

What does the country of residence mean?

When you are completing the details to buy your expat health insurance plan, you will be asked to enter your country of residence. This is the country that you will be living in as you prepare to move abroad. This is not to be mistaken with your nationality.

For example, if you are a Canadian citizen moving permanently to another country lets say Canada to Germany, your country of residence would be Germany. This is different to your nationality, as this will still be Canadian. Your nationality will always be the country in which you have citizenship and this will be stated on your passport.

Due to the varying health care costs around the world, the country of residence will influence the cost of what you will pay for your health insurance plan. Note that global medical plans are usually sold on the basis of covering you globally excluding the USA or including the USA, but as noted above, the insurance provider still needs to know the primary country you are going to be living in as this has a big impact on the rates. At renewal, you can update your country of residence, but note that global health plans are not renewable if you move back to your country of citizenship.

Increase in Expat Insurance Premiums

What health insurance options are available to me for area of coverage?

Most major health insurers, like Cigna, Allianz and GeoBlue, will offer you a number of options for an area of coverage. These will usually include a choice between Worldwide including USA and Worldwide excluding USA. Allianz can quote just covering Africa.

The reason this is the main option given is that the cost of having a health insurance plan with the area of coverage as worldwide including USA plans will typically be more expensive.

This is because medical costs in the USA are usually more expensive than any other country in the world. This reputation is widely known about the costs of receiving healthcare treatment in the USA, which can often be amongst the most expensive in the world.

It is worth noting that most expat health insurance plans will offer cover for emergency treatment in North America. However, this is usually limited to a set number of days per year. For example, some health insurance companies will offer you this coverage for up to 60 days per year with a per trip maximum.

expats need health insurance

Can I be covered in my home country and my country of residence?

We often find that many expats will often travel back and forth to their home country for work, or to see family and friends. The good news for these expats is that there is usually an option for them to be covered in both their home country and their country of residence.

Most major health insurance companies will have this as an option on health insurance plans so that any global citizens who want their health insurance plan to cover them in both countries can do so.

For example, if you moved from Canada to Spain, but you still wanted to receive coverage in Canada, you could choose to be just covered for medical in Canada and Spain only through one of the much more basic plans we offer called Close Care from Cigna.

Can I move to another country & still remain as an insured nomad?

Short answer is yes as the global expat health plans we source are portable from one expat destination to another. Note that at renewal you need to advise the insurance company of your new location and this may impact your renewal premium. If you are an expat and decide to move to the USA but didn’t originally buy a global medical plan including the United States, you will have to apply to underwriting and see if they will allow the change and pay the increased premium.

What other factors determine the price of expat health insurance?

Apart from the country of residence, there are several other factors that are used to determine the price of health insurance premiums.

These can include:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Nationality
  • Country of Residence
  • Medical history

It is worth noting that any pre-existing medical conditions that you have, will need to be declared to your health insurer when you are applying to purchase your health insurance plan. Your health insurer may decide to add exclusions to your plan and not cover you for these conditions. It is also possible that you could be declined coverage because of your pre-existing medical condition.

Examples of pre-existing conditions include diabetes, epilepsy, Chron’s Disease, back pain, high blood pressure, and cancer. When applying for global medical coverage, it is vital that you are complete and truthful with your answers and provide as much medical history information as possible.

What does ex-pat health insurance cover?

There are many different things included in an expat health insurance plan. Before your purchase your plan, it is very important that you read the summary of what is included in your cover. Your health insurer will provide this to you before your complete the purchase of your plan.

Typically, your international health insurance plan will include:

  • The ability to select which medical facility or hospital that you visit
  • Access to 24-hour emergency support and service
  • Emergency evacuation support
  • Prescription benefits, especially if you get out-patient option
  • If you buy via our website or company, our additional service & support & advocacy at no extra cost – all premiums are payable directly to the insurer

International Major Medical Insurance

How can having international health insurance help me?

There are many benefits that come with having international health insurance. Here are 3 benefits for you:

1- You will be given access to the medical network of your health insurer, and these often allow you to access top-quality healthcare treatment. You can get more flexible treatment options than you would have if you were to rely on local insurance.

2- As many ex-pats and insured nomads will know, the cost of medical treatment can be very expensive. By having an international health insurance plan, you will be covered by your health insurer so you won’t need to pay out-of-pocket for any medical treatments. This can be very helpful for you, especially in countries where the cost of receiving healthcare treatment can be very expensive, in places such as the USA and Germany.

3- Having international health insurance can offer you peace of mind for your move abroad. It is very helpful to know that you are protected in case of a medical 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.

Expat Financial offers international health insurance plans for individual expats as well as those who would like cover for their entire family or on a solo move abroad – for work, retirement or as a digital nomad.

For more information about the benefits of having international health insurance, please read our blog article here.