At the moment there are around 50 million expatriates living worldwide, and the numbers are increasing rapidly which means that by the year 2020, the number of expatriates is expected to reach 60 million.
As having proper health insurance is crucial for an expat, many countries are now trying to find ways to make it mandatory to make the expats pay for their health care. Not to mention that taking a risk by not having health insurance is generally not a good idea…
Importance of health insurance
As an expat, having international health insurance is extremely important. It has numerous benefits and is easily adjustable to your needs while taking into account the best available price. The whole point of international health insurance is that you are able to receive medical assistance anywhere in the world, no matter if you are resident in China, Brazil or Germany. However, you can also choose the national health insurance from the country in which you are residing. Customizing your health insurance means that you can choose from different additional benefits such as air transportation, covered chronic conditions, inpatient and outpatient treatments, maternity care, medical evacuation, prescription drug benefits and more.
Things to consider while choosing your health insurance
Since the process of choosing health insurance is quite complex, it is important to know what to consider before choosing health insurance that has been adapted to your needs. Also, to make your life easier, you can seek guidance from an impartial, and free licensed health insurance broker.
Before the whole process, it is smart to do background research about the country where you are planning to relocate. There are many questions to consider: will you be eligible to receive government health care subsidies in you new home country? When does the health insurance plan become valid – as soon as you arrive in the country or do you have to apply for a specific health card? What are the gaps in your insurance – if there are any? Is there a reciprocal health care agreement between your country and the new host country? How does the healthcare system work? And many more..
Health insurance: covered by the company?
It is important to know if your employer is providing you with a health insurance policy and what that policy covers. Please note that if you have a chronic or pre-existing condition, you may have to pay extra in order to be fully covered. Expats whose company does not provide them with health insurance, or if they are acting as a freelancer, have to take care of their own insurance policy.
Local laws: public or private plan?
It is advisable to find out whether health insurance is mandatory in your country of destination as in some countries, you are obligated to purchase health insurance. Additionally, you should consider whether or not to get a public or private health insurance policy. For more information on the differences, the independent insurance broker John Gunn & Partner has outlined out the general differences between public and private plans.
Expats are more likely to choose international health insurance over national health insurance for several reasons: the full service is multilingual; there is a guarantee that you will receive the best possible treatment and the validity period is not cancelled due to travelling.
On the contrary, each country has its own rules and regulations regarding the national insurance system and also the provision of financing. Therefore, make sure to collect detailed country-related information.
Why should you prefer insurance brokers?
A good insurance broker will be able to assist you in all of the processes including research, selection, application and claims. There are many advantages when working with an insurance broker such as their expertise, free and impartial service, professionalism and claim management.
Here you can find a list of several health insurance brokers:
- Pacific Prime
- AOC Insurance Broker
- CCW Global Insurance Ltd
- International Health Navigator