60% of travellers cite healthcare as a major concern when going abroad. Yet navigating the world of international health and insurance can bewilder at times.
Listed below are four tips for getting the best expat healthcare available:
- Know yourself. Take a hard look at your medical history. Do you have chronic conditions that could become an issue when moving abroad? This is important not only from a health standpoint, but also in terms of your ability to obtain insurance, especially now that more expat health insurers are offering full medical underwriting. Consider asking your current doctor for your organized medical records (OMR). A recent survey found people who viewed their OMRs are 1.86x to feel satisfied with their treatment.
- Know where you’re going. Health risks in Egypt are very different than in the UK. To obtain the best expat healthcare, you need to familiarize yourself not only with those risks but also the healthcare system in the country you are moving to. As an expat, will you have access to public health facilities? If so, are they safe? Are there international hospitals catering to foreigners? Do you need any special shots or immunizations to qualify for a visa? If not, should you get them just for safety’s sake? Make a checklist of important questions, then go looking for answers. ExpatHealth.org, Just Landed and our Expat Health LinkedIn group are great places to start.
- Get expat health insurance. Many countries require expats to have insurance just to enter. Even if your destination doesn’t, your current health insurance plan is almost certainly not valid there. Without expat health insurance you’ll be hard-pressed to obtain any care at all, let alone the best. Many companies offer plans tailored specifically to families, students, etc.
- Communicate. Research doesn’t stop at the end of Tip #2. Keep up to date with news on your insurer. Firms adjust their plans over time as a result of cost pressures and other factors. Sometimes this adds value for customers, other times not. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Follow these tips and you’ll be well on your way to obtaining the best expat healthcare out there.