Be prepared with expat health insurance

There are some things in life that you should never do without, and health insurance is one of them. Whilst having a policy in the UK is always best it’s particularly important to consider when you’re heading abroad—you wouldn’t want to come unstuck in a foreign county, and an expat health insurance plan can give you the peace of mind you need.

Why do I need expat health insurance?

There’s nothing worse than falling ill abroad, and if you haven’t got the necessary level of expat insurance in place it could be even more difficult. It’s important that you understand international healthcare policies before you set off, because a lot of countries actually operate very differently to our own—you won’t have the NHS to fall back on because many rely on private medical care with international medical insurance policies often being mandatory, so it’s important you’ve got the right level of cover in place. If you don’t have expat medical insurance you could find it incredibly difficult (not to mention expensive) to get treatment, so anyone looking to live or work abroad needs to put international private medical insurance at the top of the agenda.

Features to look for in your international health insurance policy

There are plenty of different things you’ll need in an international health insurance policy, and here are just a few to get you started:

• Extensive cover. It goes without saying, but you always want to make sure that your policy is as extensive as possible. You should be prepared for anything that could come your way and if you’ll be living abroad for the foreseeable future you should make sure that your policy covers long-term, chronic, age-specific and even terminal illnesses, and when it comes to expatriate medical insurance it’s important to go for the most extensive cover you can afford.
• Flexibility. With such a diverse range of treatments and healthcare options available it’s important to get expat insurance that can offer the level of flexibility you need. You might be able to include additional features depending on your requirements such as maternity services, vaccinations, dental treatment and eye tests, ensuring you’ve got the cover that you need.
• Inclusion of any pre-existing medical condition. Ideally you’ll want any pre-existing medical conditions to be included in the policy, so always discuss them with your insurer and check the small print.
• Cover for costs related to medical care. You may be covered for the treatment itself, but what about for any associated costs? Things like ambulance fees, extraction services and even repatriation should always be included, thereby ensuring no-one gets as nasty bill when they least expect it.
• Easy claims process. Falling ill abroad can be stressful enough as it is, and you wouldn’t want to make matters worse by having a complicated claims procedure. Always check that your expat medical insurance firm can offer a 24hour claims line with a simple claims process and you can’t go wrong.

Of course, you always need to discuss the specifics of your expatriate health insurance policy with your potential insurer, and make sure they can tailor their quote according to your individual needs. It’s important to get the level of cover that suits your circumstances, your chosen country and also your budget, but if you do the necessary research you’ll soon find the expatriate medical insurance to suit.

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