What Should You Look Out For When Buying Expat Health Insurance
Moving abroad is undoubtedly thrilling. It marks a new chapter in your life, where you’ll get to step out and explore beyond what you’re familiar with. By now, you’ve probably looked into the big, exciting parts of moving, like house-hunting and scouting for job opportunities. However, you must bear in mind the nitty-gritty factors that will significantly affect your livelihood.
One important thing that you shouldn’t ignore is health insurance. As an expat, you usually won’t qualify for subsidised benefits from public healthcare, so you’ll need to purchase private health insurance to ensure that you won’t be stranded paying out of pocket if a health emergency strikes.
To help you decide on the right insurance plan, we’ve compiled 4 things to look out for when buying expat health insurance.
1. What your needs are
Before purchasing any health insurance, it’s good to establish what you need to be included in your insurance plan. Some things to consider include:
- Hospitalisation and outpatient care
- Specialist treatment
- Dental coverage
Once you’ve decided what you want, you can then pick the ideal insurance plan that suits your needs.
In general, the more you pay for insurance, the more coverage you’ll receive. As an expat, you can decide between purchasing local or international insurance. Local insurance tends to be more affordable with a much lower premium, but it also has a more limited coverage than an international one. Local insurance usually covers only hospitalisation benefits, inclusive of any outpatient treatment before and after your hospital stay. However, it doesn’t cover any outpatient treatments unrelated to hospitalisation.
On the other hand, international insurance is usually more comprehensive as it often covers specialist and GP visits as well. They will also settle the payment directly with your healthcare facility so you won’t have to handle it by yourself.
3. Coverage for pre-existing conditions
If you have a pre-existing medical condition, it’s important that you declare it to your insurer. Pre-existing health conditions are usually excluded in many insurance plans. However, some insurance companies do provide the option of coverage for these conditions. That being said, be sure to give your insurer some insight into your medical history so they can help to determine your premiums.
4. Policy limits and benefits
Do your research to find out the cost of healthcare in your new country. From there, you’ll be able to estimate the appropriate policy limits you’ll need. However, it’s recommended to get a plan with high or unlimited limits to avoid having to pay out of pocket during an unforeseen health crisis, which can be costly.
International insurance plans typically have a much higher annual limit than local ones, often exceeding $1 million. As mentioned previously, do keep in mind the type of benefits you want to include in your plan, as this affects the annual limit as well.
The process of choosing the optimal health insurance policy takes a significant amount of time and research. However, you shouldn’t rush into making a decision when your well-being is on the line. If you need a little extra help with your relocation needs, look no further than Moovaz!
As one of the best international moving companies, we provide a range of global relocation services to make your move a stress-free one. Looking for the right expat health insurance policy? Sign up with Moovaz to get 25% off your first year premium. Find out more here.