Confused about what kind of cover you need as an expat? Today the folks over at Medibroker share with us some tips on ensuring that we, as expats, are adequately covered whilst living abroad.
A lot of preparation, planning and stress can precede a move abroad, and finding the right health insurance can be one of the most difficult tasks on your to-do list. However, it’s also one of the most important.
Moving abroad without the right international health cover can result in visa issues, being denied treatment or extortionate medical bills. Not every country has free healthcare for all.
Using a trusted health insurance broker to help you get the best plan for your needs is the solution. Nothing beats speaking to an experienced insurance professional, and comparison sites can’t fully assess your individual requirements.
The first thing you need to think about before any type of travel is whether you need travel insurance, short term medical insurance or international health insurance (often called international medical insurance). Not understanding the difference between these types of health cover can leave you in a difficult situation overseas. An international health insurance broker can help with this, in addition to guiding you through the different policies and the extent of the protection they provide.
Types of insurance
♥ Travel insurance is for holidays and people travelling for a length of time under 31 days usually. It covers things like lost baggage and emergencies, and is not suitable for expats.
♥ Short term medical insurance is used for periods in the gaps between cover, for example if you are working overseas on a short term contract, e.g. two months, but will then return home. You may need short term medical insurance while you wait for your employee insurance plan to take effect during the initial period of employment. It is not suitable for people who will live abroad for longer than 12 months.
♥ International health insurance is suitable for expats. Anyone who is moving overseas to live and work for longer than 12 months will need international medical cover. It’s wise to get an international plan rather than local cover so that you are covered even when you travel outside of your expat country.
International health insurance can cover everything from getting a prescription abroad to pre-existing medical conditions and emergency treatment. It can also allow expats to choose where they receive treatment, whereas travel insurance doesn’t.
What types of international health insurance are there?
♥ Cover for individuals: International health insurance ensures you get treatment when and where you need it.
♥ Cover for corporations: If your company is transferring you to an international office or you are starting a new job abroad, it’s likely that your employer will provide you with health insurance. However, it’s important to ensure you understand exactly what your company plan offers you. Does it fall short of your individual needs? What cover, if any, does it provide if you leave your employer?
♥ Cover for families: If you are moving abroad with a family, you can cover everyone with one plan for peace of mind that your loved ones are protected.
International health insurance plans can be limited to core cover or extended and tailored to meet your individual needs, e.g. to include cover for dental treatment abroad or maternity benefits to cover for pregnancy and childbirth. The type of international health insurance plan you will need depends on where you are going, your own health and an array of other factors.
Medibroker can advise you about the ins and outs of the type of international health insurance available for expats. If you are moving abroad, request a free quote today. Our advice is completely impartial and we are regulated in the UK by the FCA.
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