Moving abroad can be stressful enough without having to worry about access to healthcare. The high cost of healthcare in some countries or concerns about poor quality medical facilities in others can be a cause of anxiety for many expats. Expat health insurance helps to provide peace of mind by providing certainty that you and your family can access high-quality medical care, regardless of where you live.
What is expat health insurance? Why should I consider it?
Expat health insurance is specifically designed for the healthcare needs of expatriates and their families, meaning you can access the best private healthcare both locally and overseas. If you’re moving abroad, it’s likely any existing local health plan you have will not provide coverage outside of your home country. Even if your plan does offer some coverage abroad, it may not be fit for purpose for the healthcare needs of the globally mobile expat.
Expat health insurance plans are also often portable, so you can take your plan with you should you return to your home country or decide to move elsewhere, saving you the hassle of having to purchase a new plan.
What makes expat health insurance different from regular insurance plans?
Expat insurance is intended for people who may be staying in a foreign country for at least a year or more. It provides comprehensive cover for in-patient, out-patient, and even dental and maternity treatment should you wish. This is unlike regular travel insurance, which normally only covers you for emergency medical treatment during a short term visit abroad.
Expat health insurance also usually covers you for treatment worldwide. This is different from a local health plan which only covers you for treatment in your country of residence. Expat health insurance enables you to seek treatment both in your new expat country of residence, your original home country and at centers of medical excellence around the world. Our range of Now Health International plans offer regional or worldwide cover depending on your needs and budget.
Is expat health insurance expensive? How much does it cost?
The monthly expense will vary depending on the type of plan and level of cover you choose. At Now Health International we have a range of plans to suit different needs and budgets, ranging from essential cover for hospitalization and major medical events, through to comprehensive cover for dental and maternity treatment. For as little as USD 29 per month, we can offer cover for in-patient and day-patient treatment in 194 countries and territories.
What kind of coverage can I expect from an expat insurance plan?
Expat health insurance cover will vary depending on the plan and options you choose. Cover usually includes in-patient and day-patient care, including hospitalization and surgery, as well as medical evacuation and repatriation. Some plans will also offer cover for out-patient care including doctor visits and physiotherapy, as well as routine and complex dental treatment, and routine maternity care. At Now Health International we also offer options to add cover for wellness check-ups and vaccinations to your plan.
It makes sense to choose an expat plan that fits your expected lifestyle and healthcare needs overseas. Younger expats may wish to opt for one of our in-patient only plans, such as SimpleCare CORE or WorldCare Essential, while those raising a family abroad may wish to opt for our more comprehensive WorldCare Apex plan which includes dental treatment and maternity care.
What determines the cost of an expat health insurance policy?
A number of factors determine the cost of your expat health insurance plan. These factors include, but are not limited to:
More comprehensive plans with higher levels of cover and benefit limits will usually be more expensive. Conversely, you can lower your premium by opting for a plan with lower levels of cover, such as an in-patient only plan.
The cost of healthcare varies between different countries, which means premiums will differ depending on your country of residence.
The existence of any pre-existing medical conditions will also affect your premium.
Your premium will vary depending on your age. Premiums are usually higher for those in older age brackets.
Is expat health insurance a requirement for living and working abroad?
Some countries may require expats to purchase a form of health insurance, others may require you to buy into a government insurance scheme, while others may have no requirement at all. It’s important to do your research and find out about the health insurance requirements of your expat destination - you can check out our Expat Guides for more information.
Regardless of whether your destination country requires you to purchase a health insurance plan, it’s still a good idea to consider expat health insurance. When it comes to protecting your health and avoiding the hassle of medical expenses, expat health insurance is designed to ensure you can access the best private medical care should the worst happen when you’re living and working abroad.