According to the UN in 2010, there were 200 million expats living worldwide, while the effects of the global economic crash are reported to have added to this number significantly. An increasing number of people are now living and working abroad and the availability and inclusivity of international health insurance reflects this. Insurance companies are adapting their policies to meet their clients’ needs: whether they will be staying in one country or travelling around several, in order to ensure that the client is always covered. International health insurance is becoming more and more common as expats realise the benefits and peace of mind that can be gained from it.
International health insurance ensures that you have access to local health services and in the manner in which you would typically expect from treatment in your home country. Additionally, and at times crucially, if the country in which you are residing is unable to offer sufficient local health services, international medical insurance will provide emergency evacuation to the nearest suitable hospital, or even repatriation to your home country, should it be necessary.
Should the preceding reasons not be enough to convince you that international health insurance is a viable investment, here are five more, very important reasons, why international health insurance is what you’re looking for when you move abroad:
1. It’s designed to meet your needs. Not only do you receive emergency medical care if and when required, you are also eligible for regular medical check-ups with a doctor of your choice and referral to specialist care if necessary. If you do find yourself in the position where you require medical treatment, you won’t be stitched up and sent on your way, your insurance covers rehabilitation to ensure a full recovery. Some companies also supply compassionate visits to their clients in order that your recovery is one of both body and mind. Private care is generally also of a higher standard than the public service offered within the country, and this can be one less stress to consider when living in a new environment.
2. Children welcome! All policies offer family cover at reasonable prices, yet they can also cover new additions for a minimal extra monthly cost so it’s best to be prepared as you never know quite what could be around the corner! With all the emotional turmoil which can happen in and around pregnancy, it is one less thing to worry about knowing that your policy is there for you. The majority of policies with maternity cover will handle both pregnancy and newborn cover which will include prenatal classes, scans and postnatal care. Depending on your host country and facilities available, your insurance policy should be able to provide you with the best, most personalised care available.
3. Your health is their business. You can’t put a price on your own health, and with international health insurance, you don’t really have to. Of course there is a monthly premium, although it is generally fairly affordable as standard policies can be as little as €50 a month, so it’s just a small investment for your future. They care for you, yet the insurance company is also a business and will want to offer the best products and services to their client as they have a reputation to maintain. This ensures that the hospitals and clinics which they are aligned with will have been screened and vetted, thus providing you with a higher standard of medical care.
4. It covers all eventualities. International health insurance policies, as standard, will offer cover for cancer and most unforeseen chronic illnesses. It’s comforting to know that your health cover is there just in case the worst does happen, it will also give you the opportunity to receive best care in the country in which you are residing, from treatment, respite, to palliative care. An increasing number of companies are also offering transferable cover which means you can move between countries without having to adjust your plan.
5. It runs like clockwork. Most insurance companies will be able to offer a service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in order to answer your queries at whatever time of day it is wherever you are in the world. Your insurance company will have connections to hospitals and clinics worldwide, ensuring that you can have treatment anywhere at any time. They also take care of the financial side of things and direct payments are often made in order to avoid delays and any unforeseen problems in care received.
Essentially, international health insurance puts you in control of your health by putting you in the caring hands of respected medical professionals wherever you decide to set up camp.