Despite the high standards of medical facilities in the US, healthcare can still be very costly in comparison to most developed countries, and the system can be quite confusing for expats.
By Cigna Global
A comprehensive health cover is essential for expatriates relocating to the US in order to avoid colossal hospital bills. Anyone without health cover runs the risk of not getting medical attention without payment in advance, or having to pay huge bills for emergency treatment.
US healthcare in a nutshell
The US offers different health insurance types, and there is a plethora of insurance companies with different exclusions and special conditions. The Affordable Care Act – a recent healthcare reform – has made efforts to give more people in the country access to healthcare, and to protect patients with pre-existing conditions from being denied coverage.
The system comprises two bodies; PPOs (Preferred Provider Organizations) and HMOs (Healthcare Management Organizations). Both offer subscription to their own medical network and discounted treatment rates. Furthermore, the federal government offers two programmes for people who cannot afford healthcare – Medicare, aimed to assist retired citizens; and Medicaid, designed to help those with a low income.
Expats living in the US can choose to purchase an international policy, or to get cover from the different health insurance types in the country. The Agency of Healthcare Research and Quality offers guidance for choosing a health plan.
In most cases, expat employees are able to take advantage of their employer’s group health plans, which can often be extended to cover their family.
Why expats choose IPMI policies
Individual private medical insurance (IPMI) policies can often be advantageous to expats, in comparison to local policies. The international coverage provided by IPMI policies is especially convenient for globally mobile citizens, as they can offer access to healthcare in multiple countries.
Medical insurance is strongly advised for expatriates relocating to the US. A proper health cover can not only keep you away from expensive hospital bills, but also ensure that you will receive proper medical treatment when you need it – and give you complete peace of mind.