Do You Need International Health Insurance? Is It Worth It?

By David Thompson

Mar 08, 2022 01:11 PM EST

Do You Need International Health insurance? Is It Worth It?(Scott Graham via Unsplash) (Credit: Getty Image)

International health insurance is specifically intended to cater to those living and working abroad. It covers lots of things like an emergency as well as routine medical care. This means that you are not stuck with the high cost of bills if you are forced into needing medical help. In some countries, international health insurance is required for people moving to and working in a different country.

It is one of the easiest things to put off because no one expects to be injured but there is a definite sense in getting the best international health insurance before you need it. Here is everything you need to know.

What is international health insurance?

This is a medical cover for you whether you are living, working, or studying in a different country for a long time. The whole point of it is to give you access to private healthcare in your new country. It is available to you as an individual or you as a family. If you are working abroad, it may even be accessible through your employment. 

It is used to cover you for everything from emergency accident cover to any routine medical procedures like flu jabs.

Some of the main issues that international medical insurance will cover you for include cancer treatment, emergency visits to the hospitals, surgeries or procedures that are needed. There is a lot more covered than just this, but this may vary depending on who you have covering your insurance. It is something that you should establish when you are organizing your cover.

The benefits of international medical insurance

International medical insurance can keep you from being surprised by any medical costs that you may need when you are living abroad, no matter what country you are residing in. Some countries like the UK have access to free public medical systems that are available for you to use whereas other countries like the US may rely on more private health care systems.

Unfortunately, in many countries, as an international resident, you may not have automatic access to the healthcare you need, so having international medical insurance is a real bonus to you. International medical insurance can let you relax, knowing that you are covered in your new home. The last thing that you want to do in an emergency, is to be wishing that you had organized your health insurance before an accident.

Medical insurance cover and where it works

You need to be in the comfort of knowledge wherever you are that your insurance can cover you. This needs to be around the world rather than just in localized areas. Many international policies for health insurance choose specific areas of the world usually by continent. You should explore with your provider which one would be the most beneficial to you. This can be especially important if you plan on moving to different countries regularly for work.

What else can it include? 

Most international medical policies cover medical evacuation back to your home country. This is really useful if you are moving to a country that cannot treat you. Some insurance companies will cover the cost of you getting back home to receive the best medical treatment possible. Policies often give you the option for you to add extra benefits like maternity and dental cover. This will come with a cost but can help you deal with these costs without being surprised down the road.

Is there a difference between international medical insurance vs travel insurance?

Whilst they may seem very similar initially, there is quite a stark difference between travel insurance and international medical insurance. Your international medical insurance will give you prolonged protection for you when you are living in a foreign country for at least a year. Your travel insurance on the other hand will only be a short-term insurance plan. As well as this, it will only cover health emergencies like accidents that may crop up during a holiday or business trip. Equally, there will be other benefits like lost luggage.

If you know that you are going to spend a long time abroad then you will be better off getting international medical insurance. It will cover you for more eventualities than your travel insurance and it will be more of a comprehensive cover. It will be more expensive but worth it in the long run.

International medical insurance

It is easier to let your move to a foreign country allow you to put some things on the backburner. However, there is no reason that you should put off getting your medical insurance sorted as soon as possible. It can be a massive pain but once it is organized then you can forget about it and relax. You will be covered no matter what happens to you. There are plenty of providers out there, you just need to make sure that you pick a policy that looks after you and your needs.

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