Expats love their lifestyle but worry about major health issues, survey finds

by Ray Clancy on August 1, 2014

Most expats are positive about their lifestyle abroad, but half are concerned about health care treatment if faced with a major condition, according to an international survey.

Some 80% of those surveyed by private medical insurance broker Medibroker said they either really enjoyed or enjoyed their life abroad. Less than 2% said they were not enjoying their time overseas.


50% of expats are concerned major health problems while abroad

Nearly 60% cited a better climate as the main reason for their positive outlook, closely followed by an improved standard of living. Being away from their home country was also an influencing factor.

However, a better social life, additional income, experiencing different cultures and their job did not add significantly to the overall happiness of respondents.

Out of the expats who were not enjoying or were indifferent about their lives abroad, the majority said that integrating into a different culture was the most challenging aspect, with missing their home country coming a close second.

However, nearly 50% of the sample was concerned with the healthcare facilities available to them should they need major treatment and 45% of the respondents were not covered by an international health insurance policy.

Out of the total respondents, half had made a claim on their health insurance policy and nearly 75% were satisfied or very satisfied with the medical care they received from their hospital or clinic. Just over 50% of those who had made a claim were happy with the service that they received from their insurer.

‘It’s great to see that most expats enjoy their lifestyles abroad, with no surprise that the weather is such an important factor. Individual respondent comments suggest that comprehensive research and learning the language is critical when moving abroad to live or work,’ said Steve Nelson, sales manager for Medibroker.

‘And it seems that once the move is made there is little or nothing this group of expats would change, with the possible exception of red tape and form filling,’ he added.

Medibroker gives clients access to policies from over 30 top insurers covering most major expat destinations. It advises both expats and UK residents based on their specific needs and provides tailored advice to ensure that clients have the best policies for their particular requirements and circumstances.


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