Health Insurance for People Living Abroad


Health Insurance for People Living Abroad

Moving abroad without appropriate international health insurance can result in visa issues, being denied treatment or facing extortionate medical bills. If you already live overseas and have had to use local healthcare facilities, you’ve probably realized the importance of having health cover.

Not every country has free healthcare for all, and some countries (such as Dubai) have rigid visa requirements regarding insurance that are unavoidable.

With all the information available online you may get confused about 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.

A broker can help by guiding you through the different policies and the extent of the protection they provide – health insurance is a complex product so having an experienced professional to guide you to the best plan for your needs is the easiest solution.

Globally mobile individuals are huge consumers of online information, but purchasing health cover without speaking to someone in the know could leave you inadequately insured. Sure, you could try a comparison site – but would you really rely on the same tool you use to find car insurance when it comes to your health?

Types of insurance

  • Travel insurance

This kind of insurance is for holidays. It covers things like lost baggage and emergencies, and is not suitable for expats.

  • Short-term medical insurance

Short-term medical cover is used for people in the gaps between cover, for example if you are working overseas on a short term contract for only a few months, but will then return home. It is not suitable for people who will live abroad for longer than 12 months.

  • International health insurance

International Private Medical Insurance (IPMI) is the solution for expats. Anyone who is moving overseas to live and work for longer than 12 months will need international medical cover.

It may be tempting to purchase a local health plan in your new country, however this won’t protect you when you travel outside of the country. With the U.K.’s recent crackdown on health tourism affecting repatriated expats’ access to the NHS, it makes even more sense to choose an international plan that covers you wherever you go.

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.

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, your employer may 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?
  • 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.

  • Cover for pregnancy and childbirth

Whether you are planning on starting a family or not, it’s wise to get a plan that includes pregnancy and childbirth cover if there is a chance you may become pregnant. Did you know it’s almost impossible to purchase a plan including Maternity Cover once you are pregnant?

International health insurance plans can be limited to core cover or extended and tailored to meet your individual needs. Possible add-ons include dental cover, out-patient treatment and medical evacuation.

The type of international health insurance plan you will need depends on where you are going, your own health (e.g. whether you have any pre-existing conditions) and an array of other factors.

Medibroker can survey the whole market to recommend the best international health insurance for you, and we offer free support for the lifetime of your policy. If you are moving abroad, request a free quote today. Our advice is completely impartial and we are regulated in the U.K. by the FCA.

Medibroker is a fully independent health insurance broker specializing in international health insurance plans for people living or working abroad and have been doing so for over 17 years. Medibroker works with more than 30 of the worlds leading insurers, comparing over 100+ plans to recommend the one best suited to your needs and budget. The service is entirely free to use, meaning you don’t have to spend your hard earned time searching for a suitable policy. Visit www.medibroker.com for more information. 

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