Making sure you have the best value international health policy before moving abroad can take a lot of research.
But there are a few other questions you need to ask yourself before making the big move.
1. Is international health cover really what I need?
There are some countries that require expats to buy local insurance. Do your research and save yourself the time and hassle of setting up an international policy that could later be useless. Similarly, your new country may allow you to take out expat health insurance, but your chosen insurer may not be on its list of authorised providers.
2. Can I get my visa without health insurance?
While it’s common to sort out your health insurance needs after you move, it may actually be a requirement of your chosen country to have cover before you leave. It’s important to do your homework (we’re not going to list the requirements of every country in this article, sorry) to ensure you don’t run into trouble before you’ve even taken off.
3. Am I entitled to free healthcare?
Make sure you have done your research into the health infrastructure of your new country. You may think the government provides free healthcare – but there’s no such thing as a free lunch. For example, if you are an unemployed expat in France, you are no longer entitled to free health care. And while England offers free healthcare to all permanent residents, there are fees for certain things like eye-care, dentistry and certain long-term procedures. Also, you may find that free healthcare can incur a long waiting list, so private healthcare may be a better bet.
4. Am I eligible for an international health insurance policy?
People of a certain age may struggle to find expat health insurance. Retirees over 60, for example, can be refused a policy due to their age, or asked for a huge deposit of several thousand pounds. Similarly, those with pre-existing conditions may be turned away or charged extortionate amounts. Make enquiries with some different providers and get a few quotes for your own condition.
Above all, the most important thing to remember is to do your research. Unfortunately, we cannot fit country-specific advice into one blog, but you can get more information in our expat health guides on www.justlanded.com