What should expat health insurance cover?

April 24, 2018
Find out what your international health insurance plan should cover as a minimum and some optional extras you may wish to consider.
Expat health insurance, also called international health insurance, is comprehensive health insurance while you live and work abroad on a medium to long term basis. It can often be confused with travel insurance which differs significantly offering emergency cover while you are abroad on holiday.

This is an often asked question but providing an answer can be difficult, as there are so many variables involved. Some of the factors expat health insurers take into consideration when calculating a premium include:

  • Location
  • Payment method
  • Age
  • Optional extras needed

We cover this in more detail in this post on the cost of international health insurance and give some sample costs for a variety of situations.

If you are new to working abroad or it is your first time looking for expat health insurance, you may not be aware of the benefits you could need.
Some of the minimum requirements you should look for when researching international health insurance, include:
This is cover for any stay in hospital you may need while you live abroad. Watch out for excesses - sometimes less expensive premiums can carry additional cost which you must pay before your insurance cover kicks in.
This is cover for treatment in a hospital for an accident where you injure yourself but are not required to stay overnight. A broken bone, torn tendons or ligaments are good examples of when this type of treatment may be needed.
With global cancer rates increasing by the year and the World Health Organisation predicting diagnosis to increase by 70% over the next two decades, this should be an essential element of your expat health insurance. The good news is, treatment and survival rates for cancer have never been higher either. Ensure you read the fine print around oncology treatment as the scope may vary by provider.
This is particularly important if you are working in a destination where the medical facilities may be limited. If you are injured or ill and require treatment beyond what is available locally, your insurance provider will evacuate you to the nearest country with appropriate facilities for your treatment.
While not an absolute necessity when working abroad, this is something worth considering as part of your expat health insurance, particularly cover for emergency dentistry should you damage a tooth.
This will cover any outpatient treatment you may need outside of an emergency.
While not essentials they are most certainly nice to have, as you settle into your new home abroad.
Protect yourself and get the best treatment possible when you need it with comprehensive international health insurance.  Please contact us if you have any specific questions, we would be happy to help you make the best decision for you and your health.