What is your plan for medical emergencies while residing overseas?

For many expatriates, getting adequate medical treatment in a foreign country can be both difficult and stressful. The quality of medical facilities may vary greatly from country to country as a result of local medical capabilities. And in some countries, the standards of medical facilities may be much lower than those in Western countries. However, even in a developed country, having a prearranged plan on hand on how to deal with medical emergency coverage is very important. It will provide you and your family with an accurate direction and alleviate panic. In this article, we will provide you with some insight on how to design your plan for medical emergencies as an expat overseas.

What are your healthcare insurance options overseas?

Some countries have public hospitals, private clinics, private hospitals and international clinics within them, and some of these private options are of high standards of medical care. Many expatriates would prefer these private clinics to avoid the long queues and slow service of public hospitals.

Private clinics and international clinics are usually well equipped, offering English speaking medical staff with Western training. However, the cost of medical treatment is often higher than that at public hospitals. Without an appropriate international health insurance plan, you are putting yourself under financial risk. Most global medical plans will cover you worldwide excluding or including the USA depending on the plan and options chosen. You can add out-patient care, dental, vision and especially evacuation coverage.

How do you plan to maintain your well-being while living abroad? 

Despite the overall quality of medical facilities, you also need to consider hospital coverage, outpatient treatment, medical emergency evacuation, routine health check-ups, dental & vision care, life cover, disability cover and accidental death. Many expatriates are not aware that enrolling in a local plan cannot provide them with medical treatment at more satisfactory private clinics. Furthermore, these local medical plans do not offer medical coverage while expats are travelling out of country or going back home. In many developed countries, local medical plans are aimed to cover basic medical needs that may not be suitable for most expats. Therefore, you need to create a tailored international health insurance plan that meets your requirements. Premiums will vary depending on the coverage of the plan, your age, citizenship and several other factors. Some plans may not cover pre-existing medical conditions depending on the medical underwriter’s decision.

How do you prepare for medical emergencies? 

If you encounter medical emergency situations while abroad, preparation beforehand is key. Medical emergency evacuation is a critical part of an expatriate’s healthcare insurance. No matter if you are residing in a country with limited medical services, or a highly developed country, some situations require being evacuated to your home country to receive further medical attention regardless.

It is crucial to ensure that expatriates have an emergency medical evacuation plan before relocating overseas. The cost of ambulances, helicopters, traveling medical care and planes can be incredibly high if you do not have an adequate evacuation plan.

Before departure, it is recommended that expats do some research around your area of destination for hospitals and clinics. Check with the healthcare facilities’ for their type of service, type of rooms, rough cost, and whether English speaking doctors are available. Ask for representatives to deal with insurance claims, and their ability to organize an international medical evacuation. Your global medical insurance provider should be able to provide you with a list of medical providers that they work with.

How does an expatriate international health insurance plan help? 

An international health insurance plan provides flexible and worldwide service. It will not only let you select the hospital, medical providers and doctors but also provide you with direct payment so that you do not need to worry about any out-of-pocket medical expenses. Note that no insurance plan covers everything, so make sure you read your plan terms and conditions carefully.

The cost of international health insurance will vary by plan. Expat Financial offers several different international health insurance plans for expatriates across most parts of the globe. We also offer excellent service before and after you purchase your international health insurance plan. If you have questions about our international medical insurance plans or you want to discuss your needs and produce a customized quote, please contact us or complete the quote form.