Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This post may contain affiliate links, which means we earn a commission when you purchase through these links.
Traveling or taking the chance to live in an entirely new country for a while is a potentially wonderful experience for everyone and should be embarked upon at least once in a lifetime. However, there are a few precautions you should take. Besides getting the appropriate vaccinations, you will want to have a system that enables you to seek quality, yet affordable, medical care wherever you are in the world. There is nothing worse than falling seriously ill, or getting injured in a car accident, for example, when you’re abroad without being insured. The following are a few pointers on exploring the options for insurance for families living overseas available to you:
Types of Insurance for Families Living Overseas
Domestic Health Insurance
Most domestic health insurance plans do not provide coverage outside the country. However, it doesn’t hurt to call your policy provider and see what the options are. Before traveling, it would be best to verify the terms of your coverage and reviewing all documents from your insurance company and inquiring if you can expect assistance while abroad. If they affirm that, yes, you can rely on your home company for help, then definitely review what kind of coverage they provide – emergency care, child care, etc. Also, be sure to request how the billing would work, and what the copay abroad looks like.
There are some countries, however, wherein doctors will not accept anything less than payment upfront, and they will be unwilling to bill your insurance company. So, you should also check beforehand what the situation is like in the country you’re considering traveling to, as well as ask your insurance provider about the possibility of recouping payments after the fact.
International Health Insurance
Moving to a new country, as exciting as that may be, always leads to a bunch of stressors that will only lower your immunity and make you susceptible to different illnesses. You might want to circumvent the headache altogether and purchase an international health plan. This is possible to do without paying a huge chunk of money every month. As explained by the health insurance specialists from this healthcare website, international health insurance is completely worth the money and it’s one of the most essential policies that you need to make sure you have before you move overseas. This will also help you choose your doctors based on expertise, and not price.
For starters, while it seems that some countries offer free medical care from the outset, however this is not entirely true. Medical billing works different for each country. There are many hidden fees built into the system, and unless you spent hours upon hours doing research before moving, then there’s no way for you to have known this. You might very well be compelled to blindly go to a nearby hospital to find yourself with a massive bill that needs to be paid upfront. This is incredibly stressful, of course.
Also, one great thing about purchasing an international health policy is that you will have a private plan that affords you peace of mind since you know that you will be able to access whatever treatment or care you and your loved ones would need. This is especially true in countries that rely heavily on public healthcare systems – insane waiting times and long lines will be eliminated, making things a lot easier for you to handle.
While it is rather rare, there have been significant instances in which foreigners are expected to leave the country immediately and evacuate due to a health crisis or any other emergency situation. It is usually advisable, therefore, that travelers or workers who move abroad invest in a health insurance policy that allows consideration for emergency evacuations.
Or, for a less dramatic situation, the term “evacuation” in this context can also refer to a patient who suddenly has to take an ambulance to a hospital, for example. These tend to cost an exorbitant amount, and having a line in your insurance policy that covers this sum is a lifesaver – no pun intended.
Primary or Secondary Coverage
Finally, there are ways in which purchasing travel insurance can be made specifically with the intent of filling in coverage gaps to your current health plan. You do not have to invest in an entirely new plan if your domestic policy is able to help circumvent some of the healthcare costs incurred while abroad. So, you may purchase a travel insurance policy that provides coverage on a smaller scale, and make that your secondary health plan. In that sense, you ensure that you are covered on both sides of the Atlantic, without having to pay for extra bells and whistles you may not need.
While gallivanting around the world for work or play is a very exciting dream, reality might come and interrupt your idyllic stay with a nasty flu, or worse. Prepare yourself by calling health insurance companies and researching the medical situation in your new country right away. That way you will be prepared with insurance for families living overseas and avoid any complications.