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How to secure healthcare abroad?

Nowadays in 2023, a lot of people are deciding to make the move abroad and become expats. There are loads of different reasons why people decide to move abroad to become an expat. You might be doing it as part of a career move, you might be retiring abroad or you might just like the idea of relocating to a new country.

After you’ve decided to become an expat, there will be a lot of things you’ll need to prepare for. You can’t just pack some clothes and off you go. One of the things you’ll need to prepare for will be health insurance and you’ll need to be prepared for getting access to healthcare abroad.

To help you with the move, we have prepared this article sharing tips for how to secure healthcare abroad.

Tips for how to secure healthcare abroad:

The benefits of having an expat health insurance plan

Having an international health plan can be especially worthwhile if you are moving to a remote country or a country which has a much lower standard of healthcare than you are used to.

Having an international health insurance plan gives you the freedom to select where in the world you receive your healthcare treatment. The good news is that a lot of large health insurance companies can offer you access to a vast medical network. Companies such as Cigna and Allianz can give you access to quality medical care no matter where you are living.

This can be especially helpful for anyone who wants to remain covered in their home country and also remain covered in the new country that they are planning on moving to. More often than not, your health insurer will give you the option to select coverage including or excluding the USA.

Take a look into what the rules are in your new country

In Western Europe, state-provided healthcare is well regarded. In fact, it is regarded as amongst the best in the world for care and emergency treatment. But it is worth noting that healthcare standards do vary from country to country, So there will be big differences in waiting times, cost, and accessibility for expats.

You should definitely look into what the rules are on your new country to see if there is a public healthcare system available. Some countries, such as the UK, have that in place. You should try and get your health insurance sorted as early as possible. If you are retired and you move to a country that offers free or subsidized healthcare, you may be able to buy top-up insurance for a better level of, or extended, care and service.

Another example is in Spain, where they allow expats to register for a government run scheme that provides access public healthcare and other social security benefits for a small basic monthly fee. The scheme is called Convenio Especial. Keep in mind that the rules are that you can only do this if you have been living in Spain for at least a year.

It obviously depends on where you are moving to, but you may be moving to a country where health insurance is legally required. If you are moving to a country like this, then be sure to buy a plan before you move. This will be a big help to you and cut out any unnecessary difficulties upon arrival in your new country.

When you are researching international health insurance plans, remember to keep the following factors in mind:

International Medical Insurance

Area of coverage

Only you can decide which area of coverage will suit you the best. Do you only want to receive health cover in a specific country/region? If this is the case, you can select coverage in wherever you like. Most international health plans will have two area of coverage options:

  • Global Excluding the USA
  • Global including the USA

But some such as Allianz will allow you to just cover you in Africa. Cigna has a very basic plan that can just cover you in your destination country and country of citizenship.

This could be helpful for you. Or for those that want to be covered in their new country of residence and back in their home country.

Customer support

Some insurers offer 24/7 support for their customers. They also offer support in multiple languages and this can be very helpful if you speak a language other than English. When you experience a medical emergency, you definitely want to have a policy that will give you immediate access to medical help, support and even second opinions, but also support in addressing policy renewals, payments etc… Luckily, our firm also offers clients free support and advocacy for the life of their global medical insurance plan with zero impact on their premiums!

Optional benefits

Most insurance companies will be able to offer you extra benefits, to go alongside your core plan. These extra benefits will vary depending on what options the health insurance company has on offer.

However, the optional benefits will generally include:

Keep in mind what your budget will be as this will be helpful for planning your finances accordingly.So it’s important to carry out research and consider the costs that are involved.

Payment price for global medical plan

You will always need to consider the price. The price that you pay for your health insurance plan is known in insurance terms as your premium.

Depending on which plan you choose, you could be given the option to pay for your plan in either monthly, quarterly or in annual instalments. Most companies these days in 2023 will give you the option to pay your premium in various currencies, usually including US dollar to sterling or in Euros. You may want to read our article on how to reduce your expat healthcare premiums.

Expat Financial – An Expat Health Insurance Resource for Global Citizens & Nomads

Expat Financial offers international health insurance plans for individual expats as well as those who would like cover for their entire family while living overseas. Note that expat health plans for individuals are subject to medical evidence and your premium and coverage is also subject to the insurance company’s underwriting approvals. We are here to support you now and in the future after you purchase your global medical policy.

Please get in touch to discuss your global health insurance needs or get a quote online.