How to work out if you need international health insurance

How to work out if you need international health insurance

21st June, 2013

You know you need health insurance. Whatever country you plan to move to it makes sense to protect your health and well-being. The last thing you need is to be caught unawares and be unable to get the treatment you need and having to pay for it yourself. But do you need international cover?

As a general rule, two types of people genuinely benefit from international health insurance. Expats, whose country of residence is different to their country of nationality, and those looking for a better standard of healthcare than available under their national state system.


First, let’s look at expats.

How expats benefit from international health insurance

The vast majority of the expats I speak to like having the security of knowing they can return to their home country if they need treatment. Most of them tend to feel safer and more secure in familiar surroundings, with familiar systems, ways of working and, of course, the language. It is important to be able to explain clearly, in detail, what you’re feeling, what is worrying you and what appears to have gone wrong. But even if you are familiar with your home country’s health system it’s difficult to access treatment remotely. And it can be extremely expensive too.

A good quality international health insurance plan, arranged by an expert international health insurance provider, can make life much easier. Because they generally have arrangements with thousands of trusted medical providers worldwide, it’s a much simpler and more straightforward matter to either go home for treatment if you like, or get treatment anywhere else in the world.

How local nationals benefit from international health insurance

Imagine you live in a country with sub-standard healthcare. Local nationals who want the choice to access treatment anywhere in the world represent a growing trend, experiencing different and better standards of healthcare than their home country. In countries like China, for example, there is a huge and growing demand for worldwide health insurance, which allows people to travel to specific countries, choose specific hospitals and even source specific consultants for their treatment.

In summary…

If you want to choose where you access medical treatment, wherever in the world the best facilities and people are, an international health insurance plan will generally provide exactly that. It saves time, stress and hassle by allowing fast, efficient claims processing, claims support and helplines as well as tried and trusted routes to treatment.

Enjoy our detailed expat country guides

Would you like to know more about expat living? We also produce specific Country Guides each month, full of details to help you make the most of your exciting new life.

Or why not download our free eBook, The New Expat? It goes into detail about the medical side of expat life, family matters, accommodation, financial arrangements and more.

Join the conversation

Do you have any questions about international health insurance? You can start a conversation by leaving a comment below or connect with us on Twitter: @now_health or on the Now Health Facebook page so we can share them with our readers.

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Alison Massey

Group Marketing Director

Now Health International

Alison Massey is a 15-year digital marketing veteran, who has spent the last seven years using social media to help expats and soon to be expats find out what to expect from a life overseas. An expat living in Hong Kong herself, Alison is the Group Marketing Director of Now Health, the award-winning international health insurance provider.

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