If You Don't Have Health Insurance Yet

One of your biggest responsibilities before you move abroad is to learn about the ways of health insurance in your new country. While you may qualify for a local health insurance plan in some areas, these kinds of plans are typically not very comprehensive and aren't going to help in the case of a major medical emergency. What you will need to do is study the kinds of health insurance that are available to see what you need and what you can afford.

The cost of health insurance is minimal compared to the cost of medical care in many countries.

There are a number of insurance companies that offer international health insurance, so it's worth looking at these options first. Just as with any health insurance plan, these plans come in varying levels and can also cover extras like ambulance trips, tests, and radiology visits. If you're looking for complementary medicine, that too can be a part of some health insurance plans, if you do some research in advance.

Just as with anything, if you're willing to pay more, you can get more from an international health insurance plan. These kinds of plans can include rehabilitation, pregnancy and delivery costs, mental health care, ENTs, as well as prescription drugs and more. But the premium will be quite high for these services, so it's generally a better idea to limit these choices unless you have a medical condition that warrants frequent trips to the doctor.

You can also pay for plans that will allow you to be flown to the nearest advanced medical centre in the event of a catastrophic medical emergency.

Of course, if you're someone that has a dangerous job or you like extreme sports or hobbies, you might have troubles getting these kinds of medical costs from injuries covered. And it's fair to say that any medical procedure that isn't necessary also isn't going to be covered.

In terms of cost, the more that you want the insurance company to cover, the higher your premium will be. If you opt to pay a deductible, you might have lower overall costs as well. What's interesting is that most international health insurance is actually cheaper than private insurance, like that found in the United States. This is because many health insurance companies in the US delay payment, which creates a need for higher copays and deductibles, while those companies abroad have better systems and know they will be repaid their costs.

Before you even begin to make plans to travel or live abroad, be sure that you look into the expat health insurance options you have as well as what your current policy may be able to cover. If you have a pre-existing medical condition, it may be wise to keep your current health insurance and a nominal plan in your new home city. That way, if you need treatment for your condition, you will be covered, though you will need to head home for the actual treatment.

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