Avoid problems at immigration – get the right expat health insurance

health insurance rules

Expats are at risk of being turned away at airport arrivals if they lack the correct health insurance.

If you don’t have the necessary health insurance when you go abroad, you could be turned away at the arrivals hall. Reported in the Telegraph this week, Abu Dhabi is one of several places where travellers have been sent home on the next flight for not having the required insurance.

Matthew Aston, head of marketing at AxaPPP, told the Telegraph: “Many people leaving the UK don’t seem to realise that comprehensive medical insurance, in most cases, is a necessity, not a luxury.

“For example, countries such as Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands require residents to have cover through a locally registered and approved provider, in order to satisfy local regulations.”

There is a clear legal necessity in the emirate of Abu Dhabi to have sufficient health insurance. However, in the other emirates such as Dubai, there exists a degree of confusion around the rules and how strictly they are enforced.

Dubai hasn’t followed Abu Dhabi’s strict insurance enforcement, some expats on extended work assignments in the emirates even claim to get by on holiday travel insurance. Though this won’t be enough in Abu Dhabi.

Matthew Aston goes on to emphasise the dangers, warning if expats arrive in the UAE or Australia without the health insurance as specified by strict visa requirements, they could well be turned away.

Of the 150,000 expats who leave the UK each year, many have inadequate or no health insurance. They assume foreign health services will treat them in an emergency, while it may be the case, it certainly isn’t the norm, and should not be relied upon.

For retirees and self-employed people moving abroad it pays to research the health system of the country they are moving to. Check what national health insurance is on offer and research private coverage options. For more information on healthcare abroad check Just Landed’s expat guides.

Derek G Stoddart says:

We live in France and have the Health cover as we are retired, plus a top up insurance, but are now moving to Cyprus permanently and are entitled to their Health system coverage.

But what happens if we want to go on holiday to a Country which requires travelers to have health insurance as we have not been able to find any health top up Insurance schemes in Cyprus, except VERY expensive WORLD cover, which as pensioners we cannot afford.

Also being over 75 years, MOST Insurers will not provide cover, so we will now not be able to travel anywhere interesting !!