Why expats choose international health insurance

Perhaps the most important affair to get in order before moving to a new country is health insurance. Having made the decision to relocate, it’s important to secure peace of mind by arranging an appropriate healthcare policy to prepare for any medical cover that may be necessary. One option is to take out a local healthcare policy but for most expats an international health insurance policy is the preferred choice.
As a foreign national, you may not be guaranteed entitlement to free or subsidised healthcare in your new country. In many countries, you must be a permanent resident before being allowed to enter the healthcare system – an option not available to a large number of expats. As a result, many find themselves having to take out bespoke healthcare insurance to provide coverage whilst living abroad.
If you have an existing health insurance policy in your home country, it may provide cover for you in your host country. However, unless you already have an international policy, it’s unlikely that this policy will cover extended stays abroad. If this is the case, expats have two choices for choosing health insurance when moving abroad: local or international healthcare insurance.
Local healthcare insurance policies, as the name suggests, provide coverage in a single country only. Whilst this may seem sufficient for expats looking to settle down abroad, many are still likely to travel home in a given policy year. During travels back home, the policy may cease to provide medical cover. A further drawback of local policies is that they don’t provide cover for pre-existing conditions. International health insurance policies, in contrast, offer cover for some pre-existing conditions.
Designed specifically for expats, international health insurance policies are globally portable, allowing expats to enjoy seamless healthcare coverage anywhere in the world. With most expats planning another expat posting after their current one ends according to the HSBC Expat Explorer Survey, this flexibility is a big advantage.
Many international healthcare policy providers offer different levels of cover such as standard, intermediate and comprehensive. Standard (or similar) policies typically only cover in-patient costs so check-ups, x-rays and other services that don’t require admittance to hospital won’t be covered. At the other end of the scale, comprehensive policies are likely to cover everything from outpatient procedures to dental and optical cover.
For globally mobile citizens, international health insurance is the sensible choice. Having a policy that provides coverage across multiple countries ensures you’ll have access to top class medical treatment wherever you are. Comprehensive policies provide the peace of mind that, whatever happens, you’ll be covered and for those with certain pre-existing conditions, there’s the added benefit of support for these too. What’s more, many providers offer lifelong renewability meaning that, as long as you keep renewing, you’re guaranteed coverage and the peace of mind it brings.
If you are considering moving abroad from London, Cadogan Tate will assist you every step of the way – from your first enquiry to unpacking at your new home, we are here to help and advise you. For more details about Cadogan Tate’s specialist international removals services from London, click here.
Information correct at time of publication.