Teaching overseas is an exciting and rewarding journey for expat teachers around the world. There are many opportunities to teach English and other subjects in both public and private schools abroad. Many younger teachers will gain valuable work experience that will help their career when they come back to their home country. More experienced teachers may choose to work abroad to experience life elsewhere, especially in a more exotic country.
If you are teaching overseas for a year or more, it is important to consider adequate health insurance to cover both you and any dependents that may come with you. In this article, we will discuss health insurance options for expatriate teachers and introduce the differences between domestic health insurance and international medical coverage.
Why Should I get Health Insurance while Teaching Abroad?
Before teaching overseas, it is strongly recommended to do some research about your current health insurance plan and the healthcare situation in a particular country where you are moving. Most local health insurance coverage in your destination country is designed to cover you locally it will not allow you to seek medical care overseas. Depending on which country you are going, in some less developed countries, the local medical facilities may not be up to the standard that you are used to. Therefore, obtaining appropriate medical coverage is very important.
Group or Personal Plans for Teachers
Many teachers will be offered to join a group plan provided by the school if one exists or is available. Expat Financial can source excellent group medical plans for schools and universities that provide both local and global medical coverage for the teaching and administration staff. Most teachers will naturally join the group plan that is offered. If your school is not offering a plan that you can join, then teachers should obtain an individual health plan to cover their emergency and out-patient medical needs.
Domestic Health Insurance V.S. International Medical Coverage
In most countries, the healthcare system is divided into two options: public medical care and private healthcare. If an institution or an organization overseas employ you, you are probably covered by adequate local healthcare system provided by your employer. However, for many expats living and working abroad, the local health care system is not the best choice. In Hong Kong, for example, health insurance is considered as part of expats’ benefits package. This is often referred to the public clinics and hospitals.
Though the overall standard of a public healthcare system is high in Hong Kong, the system is more focused on emergency care, not preventive health care. Also, the public medical system does not provide dental care. The private healthcare system is often chosen by many wealthy Hong Kong nationals and expatriates. This is not only because of its excellence in service and medical treatment, but also the flexibility of surgery bookings to many busy expatriates.
The cost of using private medical care is usually very high. Expat teachers living and working overseas who choose to opt for the private health care option should obtain international health insurance to cover emergency and/or out-patient medical costs. With an appropriate international medical plan, individual expats and their families are covered worldwide (except in the USA unless you add it as an optional benefit).
International health insurance plan provides day-patient care and full hospital coverage, extensive cancer coverage, maternity and baby care (conditions may apply), dental & vision care and international medical evacuation and repatriation. This is especially important for expats going to visit a rural area in some less developed countries.
How do teachers lower your global medical premiums?
If expatriate teachers want to lower their health premiums, one can include a larger deductible or obtain a plan that will only cover in-patient expenses that are incurred in a hospital. Most global medical plans will offer three levels of coverage, such as Silver, Gold and Platinum with each plan offering a higher level of coverage and policy maximum. Some medical plans will include maternity care after a 12 month waiting period.
How to Obtain International Teacher Health Insurance?
Expat Financial can source global medical insurance plans for expatriate teachers that can provide excellent coverage and premiums. We have been offering teachers international health insurance coverage on an individual basis for many years. For more information, please check out our International Teacher Health Insurance page.
If you are an international education institution and employing expatriates teachers, we can provide group medical plan quote for your teachers. Please click here for International School Insurance Solutions brochure. Contact us for plan details.