New expats are being reminded that ordinary travel or holiday insurance will not cover their medical needs during their new life abroad.
‘Most people will probably be surprised to know that there is actually a relevant distinction between travel health insurance and expat health insurance. Before going abroad, you will need to carry out some research into which one you need before applying,’ said a spokesman for specialist providers Expatriate Healthcare.
The firm points out that expat insurance is specifically designed for people wishing to work and live abroad for (ideally) more than 12 months, as it is international insurance and aims to provide coverage around the world for emergencies and non-emergencies.
‘Expat insurance will cover you fully for the period of time that you are abroad, something that normal travel insurance won’t do. On the other end of the spectrum, medical attention with a foreign healthcare system may be expensive. Someone travelling for a year or less will typically be covered by travel insurance, but only for emergency claims,’ the spokesman explained.
With the likelihood of the expat and their family being considered foreign nationals in the visiting country, free medical healthcare can sometimes not be available. Moreover, the standards of hospitals and clinics vary greatly from country to country and state to state. ‘Whilst you may find some that offer high quality care, you are also likely to find some that are considered to be below average, This is why expat medical insurance is crucial for those wanting to move abroad,’ he added.
In general, expat healthcare insurance should cover any hospital stays, consultation fees and treatment depending on the extent of the cover. ‘In most cases you should be able to work out a policy with the insurer to accommodate any specific needs that you and your family might have. This can be dependent on the destination,’ the spokesman pointed out.
‘Additional care such as maternity, vision, dental, mental health and general well-being can be added on. These will have to be added on bearing in mind the higher premiums that come with them. Global expat insurance will cover you if you are in another country with the intention to stay for a short period of time and expats from all over the world can profit from this type of extensive healthcare cover,’ he said.
‘Whether travelling to destinations for enjoyment for less than a year, or travelling to destinations with the goal to move for over a year, international travel and health insurance is vital. That is why it is crucial to thoroughly research what type of international healthcare you are most suited to as well as the policies,’ he added.