Healthcare For Expats Around The World
It’s no great surprise that access to high quality healthcare is rated by expats as one of the most important considerations when it comes to evaluating the quality of life in a new country. It’s easy to take your health for granted when things are going well, but it’s essential to take into account that things can – and do – go wrong. In the unfortunate event that you experience any health issues, it will offer some peace of mind should you be in a position to not only expect excellent care but know that you won’t be paying impossibly high prices for it.
The front runners in expat healthcare
According to data collated from the annual HSBC Expat Explorer Survey, Taiwan is the absolute hands-down winner in terms of affordable, high quality healthcare. Almost seven out of 10 expats living in Taiwan stated they spend less on healthcare than they did in their home countries – pretty amazing when you consider the fact that the worldwide average is three out of 10. In addition, nearly two-thirds of expats rated Taiwan as a destination that provided higher quality healthcare than they received at home.
The survey report explained that part of the reason Taiwan rated so highly is due to the ease of settling into the healthcare system. Nearly seven out of 10 expats felt that registering with the Taiwan National Health Insurance system was relatively easy – this system ensures access to medical and dental care in the country.
Other countries that rated high for affordable and high quality healthcare included the UK, Japan, Saudi Arabia and Thailand while countries rated as providing high quality healthcare but at a higher price, included Germany, the UAE, France, Singapore and Australia.
At the other end of the spectrum, expats rated the USA, Brazil, Ireland and New Zealand as some of the countries with healthcare systems that were not only expensive but also of a much lower quality.
Things to consider regarding healthcare
Different countries and cities have different ways of organising their healthcare systems so it’s essential to do your research and find out whether expats in your chosen country tend to choose private or public policies. Find out if you will be eligible for any government subsidies and when exactly your new policy starts – some may not cover you until you receive a residence permit or other documentation and it’s important not to leave any gaps.
It may be that, like two-thirds of expats around the world, your healthcare is covered by your employer. If so, ensure you have a thorough understanding of what exactly you are covered for – sometimes it might be necessary to pay for additional coverage, depending on any current conditions you might have.
The most important thing to be aware of is the local law in the country of your choice which could dictate how you should go about covering your healthcare. Online expat community Internations.org can offer advice and country specific guides regarding healthcare as well as other expat-related issues.
Information correct at time of publication.