For US Citizens Abroad, Expatriate Health Insurance Explained
Every year, thousands of Americans realize their lifelong dream and move abroad to another country. From spirited students on a gap year to gain work experiences to executives relocating to launch a new business to retirees eager to learn a new language, being an American expat knows no limits when it comes to ages and interests. But living overseas comes with challenges. How do you find an internet provider? Where can you register for classes? And what the heck do all those highway signs mean? Hopefully, as you embrace the obstacles of your new home, your health doesn’t have to be on your mind. Here’s what Americans abroad need to know about expat health insurance.
Beware the Myth of “Free” Healthcare
“Free” healthcare isn’t free… and it isn’t for you. Countries with socialized medical care are often spoken of as having “free” healthcare. But the costs of healthcare insurance in those countries is automatically built into the expenditures of everyday life for their citizens. This includes compulsory payroll deductions and taxation on goods and services.
In many cases, expat healthcare is excluded from these “free” benefits. Simply put, expats are not citizens and thus have not contributed to healthcare costs. While many countries have provisions to treat all people who visit hospital emergency departments, regardless of nationality or ability to pay, this is no substitute for expat health insurance.
The Real Cost of Cheap Care
Moving to a new country is very tempting. You’ll be packing your bags after listening to an expat. They live in paradise! And the cost of living is so low they can eat out every day. Plus, they can hire a private gardener! And, best of all a trip to the local doctor is only a couple of bucks.
A lower cost of living is a significant attraction in the decision to become an expat. And minor maladies are potentially treated for just a modest cost. However, it’s foolhardy to expect this same level of care and expense for more severe problems. The cost of specialist treatments, MRI diagnostics, support systems like translators and home care nurses can add up to an astronomical cost – and at an astronomical speed. And that doesn’t take into account transportation. The very isolation that attracted you to a beloved island, reef, or mountain village will work against you when you need to hire an air ambulance for a medical evacuation.
When Choice Equals Comfort
When you’re sick, you want choice. One of the most frustrating things about being ill is feeling like you’ve lost control. Suddenly, your well being, your energy, your appetite is beyond your control. As a result, you’re very frustrated. Talking to your insurance representative about the choice of hospital and specialist can help. Would you prefer a male or a female specialist? Would you be more comfortable in a hospital across town, where you’ll be close to friends and colleagues? These are the kinds of freedom the right insurance package can provide. And making these decisions will help you feel you’ve regained some autonomy.
International Health Insurance for US Citizens Living Abroad:
- Access to Cigna Global’s network of trusted hospitals, clinics, and doctors
- The flexibility to tailor a plan to suit your individual needs
- The convenience and confidence of 24/7/365 customer service
- Customize your medical coverage to suit your needs
- Define your deductible and prescription benefits
- Choose providers either in or out of our elite network
- Fortune 100 company with more than 800,000 expatriate members worldwide
- Access to Annual Health Exams & Medications
- Talk to global member support 24/7/365
Or You Can Learn More About Global Medical Plans
An Ounce of Care…
While time may seem to stand still when you’re working and living in Paris or Bali, your body never takes a break. It is continually warding off infections, taking a beating on hikes, and adjusting to the new food. And you don’t want that to change! That means using preventative care, visiting the dentist and optometrist, and having an annual physical health care examination. The best way to ensure continuing good health is to safeguard your current good health. Having an expat health plan that covers preventive care will encourage you to seek preventative care!
Your Health Matters Too Much to be Gambled With
Don’t gamble with a coverage gap. It’s common for many students and executives to stay abroad for an extra month or even an additional year. They’re volunteering, they’re honing their photography skills, and they’re perfecting a new language. And after being previously covered by their employer’s’ or school’s insurance policy, they’re feeling healthy and confident. But your health and safety don’t come with any guarantees. Therefore, make sure you aren’t gambling with a coverage gap. Always ensure your new expat health insurance take effect before any other coverage ends.
In conclusion, the best thing about expat life is living life to the fullest. Take care of your health and your health will take care of you, no matter where you are in the world.
International Medical Insurance for Americans Abroad:
Cigna Global: Learn More | Free Quote / Apply – High-Quality Plan, Best for Families and Seniors
GeoBlue International: Learn More | Free Quote / Apply – Comprehensive Plans, Most Flexible Underwriting
Aetna International: Learn More | Free Quote / Apply – Affordable Plans, Suitable for Families & Individuals.
Or You Can Compare: Compare and Review Global Medical Plans