Before relocating look into what healthcare will be available privately or publicly in your new home country, especially if you have specific health issues. Make sure that good quality specialist care that you need is available, identify whether you can access the prescription drugs that you need and consider taking copies of your health records with you.
World of Expats has partnered with leading service providers to help you with this:
Each MDossier report is developed using HTH Worldwide’s robust proprietary worldwide databases including:
- 6700+ directly contracted English-speaking doctors, dentists and behavioural specialists
- 120+ medical specialties in 190+ countries
- 1700+ directly contracted hospitals and clinics
- Continuously updated security information including severity ratings, travel advice and mobile security alert delivery of information for 250+ cities and 195+ countries
- 1600+ medical terms and phrase bilateral translations across 12 languages delivered audibly via mobile phone
- 420 brand name equivalents of prescribed and over-the-counter drugs for 42 frequently visited countries including medical compound and preparation/dosage information
- 655+ Embassy and consulate information
- 670+ “expat-friendly” pharmacies in 340+ cities in 145+ countries
- 24/7/365 customer service support via HTH Worldwide’s Global Health and Safety team
- the internet
- mobile access via an App on a smartphone or tablet
- biometric access on a credit card format protected by fingerprint recognition
The individual World of Expats destination pages provide information on local health issues and immunisation requirements, the local healthcare system and advice on local health insurance options as well as information on specialist medical services, pharmacies and prescriptions.
Before you Leave
Visit your doctor before you leave and, if possible, have a full check up. Ensure that all of your vaccinations are up to date and take vaccination and immunization records with you. Also visit your dentist to ensure that your teeth are in good health. Temporary cover from travel insurance or from your domestic health insurance can cover you initially, but this is not generally appropriate for the longer term. It will not generally work out cheaper and there may be restrictions on how long the cover for each trip lasts. Travel insurance will be best kept for temporary travel not for long term periods as an expat.
Local Healthcare Options
In many countries state provision of healthcare is inadequate and most expats rely on private healthcare arrangements. Some countries do have reciprocal arrangements that allow foreign nationals access to the state healthcare system, but in some cases there is no availability or access is not available to expats.
Local private healthcare may be a viable option in many countries, but in some countries it is either limited or otherwise inadequate. International insurance provides a simple and reliable option. A short or long term premium provides cover allowing you to recover any medical expenses incurred. International insurance is priced according to the area of coverage (typically the options for coverage include worldwide or worldwide excluding the US), the age of the insured and level of cover. Claims do not increase premiums and policies guarantee that they will remain renewable for life so that age or any medical conditions contracted while covered will not lead to withdrawal of cover.
International insurance companies have networks of healthcare providers enabling them to settle bills directly with hospitals and ensure that you receive appropriate, good quality care. In developing or even developed countries where up-front cash payment is a common requirement in hospitals this can be an important feature. International insurance policies often give you the option of returning home for treatment through medical evacuation and/or repatriation cover.
This is a significant improvement on many other medical insurance options. Local insurance policies often include an age limit between 65 and 75 and/or a limit on coverage beyond which you are no longer covered. Making a claim can also result in increased premiums or in some cases it can result in you being dropped by the insurer.
If you need prescription medicines you should check that you can obtain them easily in the new country or check whether you are permitted to bring in prescription medicines from your home country (ensure that they are properly labelled and take a copy of your prescription with you).
For information on international health insurance visit our insurance pages.