Expatriate health insurance policies are designed to cover healthcare cost incurred by expatriates while living and working in a country other than their own.
Health Insurance should be arranged prior to relocating to a new country or destination. Policies will generally cover the they length of stay and can normally be purchased on a month-to-month, quarterly or annual basis. It is important to purchase health insurance from a reputable health insurance company.
Finding the leading international health insurance providers should be at the top of your list of priorities when planning your move overseas. There are several very good options. Many of these health insurance plans are very affordable when compared to health insurance plans in United States.
If you are not covered by your employer’s health insurance program, an individual international healthcare policy should be purchased. Healthcare Insurance policies include worldwide medical protection and also can include medical evacuation and repatriation services. Many of these plans have direct-pay with hospitals & global networks worldwide as well as worldwide emergency assistance to help you find the best facilities to treat your conditions. The cost of expatriate insurance depends on a several factors, including your age, medical history and country of coverage. However, international healthcare insurance is often less expensive than US domestic health insurance. In addition, deductible amounts and co-payment percentages are often lower than US healthcare policies.
An International Health Insurance policy will typically calculate premiums based on a policyholder’s age, current medical history, and area of coverage, rather than on their claims history. These plans usually offer one of two areas of coverage: Worldwide; or Worldwide excluding the USA (other countries may be excluded as well). The reason for this is that medical care in the USA is the most expensive in the world, but most international insurance companies (e.g., AXA PPP International, Now Health International, BUPA, Cigna, and Clements Worldwide) will rank countries by medical costs and have premiums adjusted accordingly.
IHC has a long history of providing healthcare insurance companies with ratings to identify high quality hospitals for policy holders. IHC’s Preferred Provider Hospital rating award indicates the named hospital accepts most international health insurance policies.
The majority of international health insurance plans for expatriates are globally portable. This allows foreign nationals overseas to move fluidly form one country to the next without periods of no cover. This is a significant difference from local health insurance plans and makes these policies attractive to many individuals. For the most part, however, an international health insurance policy will not cover an individual when they have returned to their home nation (“home country coverage”), making the investment practical only if the policyholder is planning to be overseas for an extended period of time. Some policies also cover treatments in a person’s home country often for a limited period of time.
Another important element of international healthcare insurance policies is the underwriting criteria used by the insurance provider. Policies are underwritten in one of two ways: moratorium; and full medical underwriting. With moratorium underwriting, applicants are not required to disclose any medical declarations, and so some pre-existing conditions may be covered; although, there are restrictions to the coverage of pre-existing conditions. New or unexpected conditions occurring after the start date are covered according to policy conditions. Full medical underwriting requires the collection of a full medical history, and usually excludes coverage of pre-existing conditions.
It is also important to review the policy benefits for exactly what is covered and what is excluded prior to purchase. You should be able to obtain a “certificate of coverage” which will provide comprehensive details prior to your purchase. Often, some benefits are limited either by the amount of coverage provided for certain treatments or for a period of time. For example, maternity benefits are typically excluded for the first 12 months of coverage. Benefits may also be limited or excluded for travel to certain countries.
Healthcare insurance can be purchased through licensed healthcare insurance brokers. Most of the international health insurance brokers speak English. Examples of international health insurance brokers include Expat Insurance, intl-medical-insurance.com, BrokerFish, SquareMouth, InsureMyTrip, InternationalInsurance.com, and Xact Expat.
People can acquire international health insurance either as part of the employee’s benefit scheme or by own purchase either from an insurer, an agent or an independent intermediary broker. An insurer, agent or independent intermediary will be able to help you work out your needs and requirements. The only difference is that the insurer and agent can only advise you on the products that they are representing whereas an independent intermediary, who represents various insurers, will be able to pick out the best products that suit your needs.
When you are selecting suitable and affordable policy for you and your family, the choices leave you baffled. There are over 100 insurers in the market, a wide range of medical policies and options, with different limitations and definitions. At IHC, we believe in total transparency and in educating our clients so that they can make informed decisions. Here, we provide you with a list of registered insurance companies that provide medical insurance specifically for expatriates. If you require more information, please contact any of these companies directly. IHC is not an insurance broker nor do we recommend any specific health insurance company or policy.
Basic listing in our directory is free by submitting the registration form. Insurance companies wanting Featured Profiles, please or contact our sales and marketing team.
Note to Sylwia: Please just list the name and use the link so that when readers click on the name of the insurance company, they link directly to the website address for that insurance company
ALC Global Health
A Plus International
GMC (Garantie Médicale & Chirurgicale)
Global Health Asia
IMG Global Medical
Journeyman Services, Ltd
Nordic Health Care