When you are an expatriate living abroad, you are initially faced with the question of local versus international health plan? Which is better for my expatriate assignment, long-term travel or overseas retirement? Some countries can offer local health coverage to expatriates after an initial waiting period. However, the truth is, the local medical plans are not designed for expatriates. An international health insurance plan can provide superior coverage for you and your family that will cover you both locally and globally.
Local health plans are designed to cover a local national, not an expatriate who may want to seek medical treatment back in his or her home country or in another country. Almost all local health plans will not allow an expatriate to find medical care outside the state of domicile. If you are an expatriate living in a less developed country, it is even more important to obtain an international health plan that will allow for global medical treatment because the local medical facilities may not be up to western standards. You may also require a program that will provide medical evacuation coverage in case the local hospitals are not able to adequately treat your medical condition. Evacuation coverage is a crucial feature of any expatriate insurance plan.
Another problem with local health plans is that if an expatriate is posted to another country, the local coverage will not move with him or her. Expatriates are naturally mobile people who require portable coverage. This is especially important for expat employers who often move expat assignees from one country to another. If an expatriate has developed a pre-existing medical condition while being covered by a local health plan, they may find it challenging to become insured by a new medical insurer in the new country. The portability that a global health plan provides is a crucial feature of any group or individual international health insurance plan.
Local plans are often not set up to allow for coverage when an expatriate returns home for a vacation or extended leave. Also, if an expatriate suffers a severe medical illness, he or she may want to seek medical treatment back in the home country. Again, only an international health plan will allow for medical treatment back in an expat’s county of citizenship.
Not only will international health insurance plans provide flexible worldwide coverage and freedom of comprehensive, world-class services, but they also come with the peace of mind that expats require. It is also important that you obtain an expat health plan that will allow for medical reimbursement from the local and global medical facilities. This will help you maintain a successful international experience for you and your family.
Expat Financial offers a variety of international insurance health insurance plans on a group or individual basis. To maximize your expat experience and avoid unforeseen risks and costs, please contact us today to discuss your international insurance needs and requirements. Toll-free number: 1-800-232-9415 or email [email protected]