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Is International Health Insurance Necessary When Living Abroad?

Becoming an expat is a very exciting opportunity for those who decide to make the move abroad. There will be lots to do as you prepare for your move and one of the items that should definitely be on your to-do list is purchasing international health insurance.

Is International Health Insurance Necessary?

Having international health insurance can help you navigate the local healthcare system of the new country that you have decided to move to. Health insurance companies are also able to guide you through the many different processes involved, making it easier for you to access available medical services and hospital treatment.

No matter what health insurance plan you decide to purchase, your health insurance provider will be obliged to provide you with a breakdown of what is included in your policy before you purchase. The health insurer will usually provide you with a table of benefits as well as the terms and conditions of your policy.

In this article, we will provide details of some of the benefits of having international health insurance and also explain why it is necessary when living abroad.

Mozambique Insurance

What is international health insurance?

International health insurance is meant for those who are living abroad for a prolonged period of time. It is a much more comprehensive level of cover than travel insurance and provides health cover for expats.

One of the many benefits you will receive by buying international health insurance is getting access to medical facilities and doctors as a private patient. Through your health insurer’s medical network, you will receive this level of access and this can be extremely helpful. It also allows you to select where in the world you receive your healthcare treatment.

Georgia Healthcare System

What will I miss out on if I don’t purchase an international health insurance plan?

One important factor to keep in mind when deciding whether or not to get international health insurance is what will you do in case of a medical emergency abroad? If this happens to you and you are facing a medical emergency, you may not be able to receive the treatment you need without having health insurance.

Another potential pitfall here is the financial costs involved because if you do not have international health insurance, you could also be landed with paying out of pocket for any immediate hospitalization. In many countries, this can lead to expensive medical bills, especially in the USA, where healthcare costs are notoriously high.

What are the major benefits of having an international health insurance policy?

There are many benefits that come with buying international health insurance. Most major health insurance companies will offer you:

• International cover
• Flexible options for you to choose between medical facilities/hospitals
Emergency evacuation support
• Prescription benefits

International health insurance plans also offer extra benefits as optional add-ons to your standard policy. These extra benefits will vary with each health insurer but can often include:

Dental care
• Vision care
Repatriation plan
Maternity plan

Your health insurer will give you the option to select any of the extra benefits that they have available. Not all insurers will offer the same benefits, so be sure to check to see what benefits will best suit your needs.

For example, if you require vision care, you will need to select a health insurer that has this benefit available. Then, once you have purchased your international health insurance plan, vision care will be covered for routine items such as prescription glasses and eye tests.

International Health Insurance vs Travel Insurance

Coverage in case of visa requirements

Another reason why international health insurance is necessary when living abroad is related to visa requirements. Many countries around the world are now enforcing very strict rules that require expats to have health insurance.

Depending on which country you move to, they may not allow you to live there permanently if you don’t have an international health insurance plan. So if you are moving to one of these countries, you will need to provide proof of your international health insurance plan during the visa application process.

You will need to do your research in advance of your move to check what the visa requirements are in the country you are moving to.

Health Coverage for Covid Infections & Destination Requirements

The Covid pandemic has had an enormous impact on the lives of local nationals, expatriates and global nomads – quite an understatement to say the least. The omicron and other variants have helped spread Covid-19 to almost the entire world and global expat destinations are gradually opening up to travel and entry, but the immigration and public health departments are requiring that expatriates have adequate global health coverage that fully covers Covid-19. Our website is able to provide some excellent international health policies that treat Covid-19 as any other medical condition.

It is advisable that you have your covid vaccinations up to date as they can drastically reduce your chance of hospitalization and death, especially if you are a senior or retired expatriate. A long stay in an ICU at a foreign hospital can reach into the hundreds of thousands depending on where you are being treated, so having adequate coverage is really critical.

become an expatriate overseas

Peace of mind for your move abroad

Finally, international health insurance can help provide you with additional peace of mind. If you are moving to a country where you do not speak the local language, having an international health insurance plan can give you an added level of support.

This is because most health insurance companies can provide that extra support and customer service in your own native language. So having a global health insurance plan will allow you to be prepared and covered should a serious medical emergency happen.

Don’t take a risk with facing any medical emergency situations abroad without international health insurance, especially in a country where you don’t speak the local language.

Expat Financial – An Expat Health Insurance Resource for expatriates, digital nomads and Global Citizens.

Expat Financial offers international health insurance plans for individual expats as well as those who would like cover for their entire family.

You can be assured you will enjoy the financial security of being protected by insurance companies of the highest financial ratings and who offer superior service and coverage. Download our Expat Financial Brochure for a brief description of our services and the global insurance plans that we offer.

We can help you to choose the international health insurance that best suits your needs, with health plans from major insurance providers, such as Allianz and Cigna.

Get in touch to discuss your global health insurance needs.