Many Americans decide to become expatriates to live, work, retire and live abroad. For American expats moving abroad, one of the most important decisions is obtaining a global medical policy.
It’s critical that you obtain a global medical insurance plan to cover you in your new home country and also globally, including for some when they are back visiting friends and family in the USA, but also for seeking treatment if required. We should also note that your domestic health plan in the USA probably won’t cover you abroad, so global medical coverage is key.
Insurance for American Expatriates
Here are five benefits that American expats will receive with having an international health insurance plan.
1- Easy access to top-class medical facilities
As an American expat living abroad with an international health insurance plan, you will be able to access high-quality healthcare facilities. You will be able to access these facilities as a private patient, which can be a very helpful bonus.
Remember, you don’t want to be left facing an emergency situation in a country where you can’t speak the language and you don’t have health cover. Instead, it is best to be prepared and ensure you are covered for any emergencies that may occur. Most high-quality global health plans will give you access to a large medical network of hospitals and doctors around the globe and allow you the choice to see any medical facility you want. For treatment in the USA, some health providers will provide less coinsurance if you use their network.
So having an international health insurance plan will help keep you covered.
2- Cover in your expat country and in the USA
The area of coverage you will receive is a very important part of buying an international health insurance plan. When you are choosing your plan, most major health insurers allow you to choose the area of coverage you want to receive. Most policies will quote you a coverage area that excludes OR includes the United States. Some American expatriates will save a bit by excluding medical treatment in the USA and are comfortable with emergency-only coverage there when traveling back home for up to 30 or 60 days per policy year.
However, we find that most US expatriates will choose a global medical plan that includes medical treatment in the USA as they may be most comfortable seeking major medical treatment there, especially with their regular physicians. Note that global health plans are not renewable if an American expatriate moves back home permanently to the USA or they will spend more than 180 days there. Note that global health plans for individual American expatriates are offshore plans that are not HIPPA, PPACA or COBRA compliant.
3- Flexibility to select a plan that suits your needs and budget
Another benefit that comes with buying international health insurance is the ability to choose a plan to meet your needs and budget. Every expat is different and needs and budget will vary for each situation. We should note that we have provided some great ways for global citizens to reduce their international health insurance premiums.
You may be an individual that is just looking to get insurance just for yourself, or you may be looking to buy insurance for you and your family. Regardless of what your specific needs are, be sure to shop around for the best deal that you can find.
Be sure to keep the following factors in mind when you are looking for an international health insurance plan:
- What will the claims process be like?
- Does the policy allow you to be covered in the country you live in and also back in the USA? Some American global citizens choose to exclude the USA to save on premiums or don’t plan to seek treatment back in the United States
- Will pre-existing conditions be covered as part of your policy? Note that all individual expat health plans involve medical underwriting, so the insurer may or may not cover you or your medical condition.
4- Quality of healthcare for American expatriates
Remember that the quality of healthcare in your new country may not be to the standard you were used to back in the USA. So when you decide to live abroad, you may be introduced to healthcare systems that are very challenging to navigate.
That is why having a global health insurance plan is so important. Having a plan will allow you to be covered should a serious medical emergency happen while you are abroad. This is quite important for American expatriates who reside in countries with limited health infrastructure. Another reason American expatriates should get an international health plan that includes medical evacuation coverage.
You don’t want to be left stuck in a tricky situation abroad without having health coverage.
5- Payment of your medical bills abroad
Finally, with an international health insurance plan, you will be covered when you are faced with paying an expensive medical bill at an overseas hospital.
You will be covered by your health insurer, this means that you won’t be left paying out of pocket. But if you don’t have a plan, you may be left paying all the hospital bills on your own, which can prove to be very costly. Most of the larger international insurance providers that we work with have very large global medical networks both abroad and in the USA.
That is why it is better to do this so that you are covered in case of a medical emergency.
If you are an expatriate or about to move abroad, you should contact us to discuss your global medical insurance requirements for you and your family. Expat Financial offers global health plans from large, well-known and respected global insurance companies, including Integra Global, GeoBlue and Cigna.