Five Global Health Insurance Tips for Expat Families Living Abroad
Moving abroad with your family is a great experience and also quite daunting. In this article, we will discuss the top five considerations for purchasing global health insurance while living abroad as an expat family. It is obvious that protecting your family’s health is critical for expat parents – obtaining vaccinations, making sure that your kids get annual checkups, washing hands and other general steps to protect your health abroad. But everyone is at risk of becoming sick or getting injured and the risks can be higher when living abroad depending on the expat destination. Here are five global health tips and considerations for expat families living overseas:
Obtain Pregnancy Coverage Should You Plan to Have More Children
If you envision having a child while living abroad it is quite important that you obtain a global health plan that fully covers pregnancy-related expenses and children from birth. All individual expat health plans will have a 10 or 12 month waiting period for pregnancy coverage if pregnancy coverage is contained in the plan and this can’t be waived. So if you are currently pregnant, your new health plan will not cover the existing pregnancy and the new child will have to be medically underwritten. We should also mention that many pregnancies are unplanned, so keep this in mind. An uninsured pregnancy can be extremely expensive in most countries and especially if there are complications, so make sure you get global healthcare well in advance of any pregnancy. Group expat group insurance plans will almost always cover existing pregnancies.
Make Sure Preventative Healthcare is Included for Your Expat Family
It is often said that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Obtaining a global health plan with out-patient care and preventative coverage is more important if you are living abroad with children, who often need to visit the doctor more often than when you are a young adult. Preventative healthcare can often limit or help prevent future health issues when living overseas, so make sure your plan includes this vital coverage.
Does Your Expat Health Plan Cover Vaccinations?
Vaccinations are quite important for children, but even more so when you are living abroad where your family may be more exposed to various viruses and bacteria. There are many viruses and diseases that exist in developing and tropical countries that can gravely impact your family’s health. You should check with your local doctor on what vaccinations are required. Vaccinations can help protect your children from a variety of diseases. The Canadian Government has a great resource for travel vaccinations at: https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/health-safety/vaccines
Buy Healthcare That Covers Your Expat Family Globally
If you are moving abroad, it may be tempting to purchase local health coverage, but it is highly likely that those plans will not cover you regionally and especially back home. A local plan also won’t be portable if you move to a new destination. A global health plan can allow you and your children to access private hospitals and clinics, but also medical care back home and in another country. If you are an American expat family, make sure you get USA coverage option.
See If Global Health Plan can Cover a Child’s Pre-existing Condition
All individual expat health plans will involve some sort of medical underwriting or have a moratorium on pre-existing conditions. Group plans will generally cover pre-existing conditions. If your child has a pre-existing illness, you should contact Expat Financial to get an opinion on if the condition can be covered or not. One can also apply and see what the insurer comes back with. Generally, the expat providers will either exclude the condition, cover with or without an additional premium or unfortunately decline the policy.
Final Thoughts About Global Healthcare for Expat Families
Make sure you read the policy fine print and understand what you and your family members are covered for. Medical insurance can often seem confusing with lots of insurance terms and things to consider. You will usually get what you pay for – the higher the premium, the better the policy is more often the case. There are lots of ways to save money while living abroad, but it makes sense to get the best possible healthcare for your expat family. The best individual plan we offer expat families is the Cigna Global Health Options plan.