Telehealth is a Great Service for Expatriates Living Abroad
When global citizens and expatriates living abroad fall ill, they often have to book an appointment at a doctor’s office. Everyone wants to get better fast. However, there are times when a visit to a doctor’s office is challenging to manage. Especially for minor medical problems or for general advice and support. While we are not medical professionals, we will use our global health insurance expertise to explain how Telehealth works for global nomads and expatriates. Learn about the many reasons why expatriates should be covered by a global health plan that offers Telehealth, especially in light of recent events.
What is Telehealth & Telemedicine?
We often get asked by global citizens, what is Telehealth? Well, Telehealth & telemedicine is the easy use of digital communication technologies that can often include computers and smartphones to access health care services remotely and even help manage your healthcare. It is a digital method for expatriates to get timely medical advice and support. It can also include some diagnosis and information, especially for conditions that are not urgent. Telehealth for expats can often involve interacting with a nurse, counselor, or medical doctor. It is especially convenient for families living in a remote region or when immediate medical advice is unavailable.
In the time of the COVID-19, Telehealth can be vital as you may not want to go to a doctor’s office to get medical questions answered as it may expose you to the coronavirus – however, we can talk about this more in another blog post. These may be technologies you use from home or that your doctor uses to improve or support health care services.
What do Global Citizens Use Telehealth For?
- Obtaining support for non-emergency pediatric care
- Video or phone consultations with a licensed doctor or nurse
- A diagnosis for non-emergency health issues ranging from acute conditions to complex chronic
- Getting advice on a medication plan and potential side effects
- Obtaining treatment options for medical conditions like fever, rash, pain and more
- Prescriptions for common health concerns, when medically necessary & refilling an ongoing medication
- Obtain preparations for an upcoming consultation
How Does Telehealth Work for Expatriates?
Most telehealth plans for global nomads and expatriates are part of an existing international health insurance policy, and only a few insurance providers offer this service as part of their global healthcare offering. If provided, Telehealth is often very easy to use as you will have access to a portal or an app where you can reserve an appointment to talk to a doctor or nurse. You can also chat, talk, or video conference while discussing your medical needs. Note that the doctor may still request and recommend that you go to see a doctor in person or go to a hospital. Telehealth is not a substitute for seeing a doctor – it is meant to support your medical care while living abroad.
Is there a Cost for Telehealth for Expats?
For most of the global health plans we offer, Telehealth is an included medical service. Our Cigna Global health options plan via our firm offers the plan at no extra cost. If you think about it, the telehealth service is an asset to the insurer. They can avoid costly tests and doctors’ visits for many conditions that can be assessed via a virtual doctor. It is a win-win for both the customer and the insurer.
Benefits of Telehealth for Expatriates?
So here are some reasons why expatriates should buy a global health plan that includes Telehealth while living overseas:
- Convenient – There’s no need to leave the house or your workplace
- Cost Savings – It’s an alternative to doctor office or clinic visits – often with no deductibles or coinsurance payments
- Flexible – Have mobile app access to real-time scheduling, so you can set up your appointment quickly and at a time that is convenient for you
- Access Medical Advice at Any Time – With Telehealth you can receive 24/7/365 access to a top doctor, usually within 24 hours – Note that time can fluctuate depending on language preference & the insurer
We hope that the above points will aid you in your purchase decision when buying a global health plan. Telehealth is a crucial asset for any expatriate or global citizen who is planning to move abroad or who has already made a move. Once you have tried the telehealth feature of your international medical plan, we are sure you will be impressed. Note that if you think you need to see a doctor in person or attend a hospital, make sure you go ASAP as telemedicine is not a replacement for your doctor or hospital. Please contact us to learn more and obtain a quote for an expat health plan that includes Telehealth. Note that we also offer some excellent global benefit plans that include telehealth for expat employees.