Some expats will find themselves moving to locales where they can freely access a publicly subsidised healthcare system (sometimes at no cost). However, others will find that they either don’t have access to the local public healthcare system, or such a system does not exist in their new home. Having said that, Pacific Prime has prepared the below information on the different top health insurance types available to expats, how they work, and which might be best for you.
If you have done much travelling, it’s a fairly safe bet that you are aware of travel insurance. This highly affordable insurance will provide health insurance benefits, but other benefits as well. This is especially helpful for short trips abroad, whether for business or pleasure, as travel insurance normally covers troublesome items like lost luggage, missed or delayed flights, damaged or stolen property, and more.
However, from a healthcare point of view, there is one very important point to consider: Travel insurance only provides emergency medical care. This means that policyholders are not able to use their travel insurance to make outpatient medical appointments. Also, travel policies are designed to get the insured home safely, but once they arrive there, the coverage of the policy ends in full.
Local Health Insurance
Expats who won’t be travelling much from their new place of residence may be best served with a local insurance plan. Furthermore, many employers will provide a local health insurance plan for all employees, especially expats.
Local insurance plans are great for use inside the country in which they are issued. Not only do they protect policyholders from potentially high medical costs, they afford expats access to private hospitals. This is relevant because private hospitals generally have better language support, shorter wait times, and higher quality care, but at a cost that is significantly higher than can be found in public hospitals.
On the other hand, the main drawback of local plans is that they are restricted to only the country in which they are issued, so cannot be used when traveling away from home. Additionally, some local plans come with restrictive care provider networks that stipulate which medical facilities and doctors can and cannot be used.
International Health Insurance
Finally, we have international health insurance, which is ideal for people who travel frequently. Whether it’s for work, a holiday, or traveling back to your home country, international health insurance can provide coverage in any country worldwide, and with virtually any hospital or doctor. The price tag of international health insurance plans is higher than local plans, but the comprehensive and unrestricted nature of the benefits make these plans quite versatile.
Another great feature of international health insurance plans is their mobility. This means that if an expat moves from one country to another, they will be able to take their policy with them, rather than have to find a new insurer and plan in their next place of residence. This is important, as switching insurers can result in new pre-existing conditions not being covered.
So which type of insurance plan is right for you and your travels? For all of your local, international or top-up insurance needs, Pacific Prime has you covered! As a broker of international health insurance and other related products for over 17 years, delivering service to over 130,000 members globally in over 25 languages, they can answer all your questions, provide plan comparisons, and give you a free quote. Contact them today! Visit www.PacificPrime.com or email at firstname.lastname@example.org