Expats, are individuals that live in a country where they are not a citizen. In most countries expats would need to obtain their own expat health insurance, even if there is a national health program. Expat health insurance is vital to protecting your health and saving money on medical expenses. Having the right insurance in place can ensure access to necessary medical treatment without costing a fortune.
In many situations an expat has moved to a different country because of work. Usually, the employer will be responsible for obtaining expat health insurance for expat employees. However, sometimes an expat will have to get their own insurance. There are several ways to save money when purchasing expat health insurance.
1. Level of Cover – There will be different levels of cover available, less benefits means lower cost. Don’t pay for cover you don’t need, for example if you don’t need maternity cover make sure you exclude it from your cover.
2. Excess or Deductible – Having an excess or deductible means paying a portion of costs out of your own pocket before the insurance company pays. The higher your deductible or excess the lower your premium will be. This can often be a good option for younger individuals in good health and in areas with low medical costs. Just make sure you can afford to pay the excess or deductible.
3. Location – Medical costs vary greatly depending on location. Excluding certain high cost locations, like the US, will reduce your premium. Just make sure that you will not be travelling to that location.
4. Payment – Paying your premium upfront in a single payment will cost less than paying in instalments. The more payments you have to make the higher the overall premium.
5. Discounts – Find out if you qualify for any discounts, sometimes there are no-claims discounts, low-claims discounts, group discounts and family discounts available. It never hurts to ask.
6. Experienced Broker – Make sure you only use an insurance broker that has experience with expat health insurance. Their experience and knowledge will often save you time and money because they are familiar with the different insurance companies and will do the shopping around for you. After purchase they can help with claims, and other questions you may have.
7. Don’t Wait – Don’t wait to buy cover, accidents do happen and you could end up with huge medical bills or not having access to the right kind of medical treatment. There may also be waiting periods for certain benefits, which means you have to wait a period of time before you can make a claim for that benefit. For example, maternity usually has a waiting period, so if you are planning on having a baby you will need to wait before you are covered.
The above list will be helpful if you are looking for international health insurance and want to save money. Just remember because of discounts and waiting periods it’s worth picking the right plan the first time.
There are lot’s of good resources available, take the time to do your research and most importantly contact an experienced broker for help.