Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Expat Medical Insurance

If you're leaving the familiarity of your home country and you're about to embark on a new venture in foreign climes, it's guaranteed that you will be almost overwhelmed by the amount of different things you need to organise. You have a whole home to pack away, what feels like hundreds of friends and family members to say goodbye to, bills to finalise and forwarding addresses to pass on - and that's before you even start your journey. Then, when you arrive in your new location, you'll need to unpack and organise your new accommodation, find your way around your new town, familiarise yourself with a new language and settle into a new job.

Why Is Medical Insurance for Expats So Important?

With all of these different things on your mind, it's understandable that your financial planning may seem unimportant. However, if there's one element of your financial strategy that you must pay immediate attention to, it's your expat medical insurance. There are particular circumstances that will increase the importance of having expat medical insurance in place, so let's look at them here.

Firstly, you need to make an assessment regarding the medical facilities and availability of healthcare in your new country. Many countries are way behind western, developed countries in terms of their medical care, so it's vital that you do your research - either by talking to other expats or using the Internet or travel books to find out what you can, or can't, expect if you become ill. It's also worth investigating the types of illness and disease that you might be exposed to; malaria, dysentery and parasitic infections are all fairly common in some developing parts of the world, so you need to be realistic about the risks you may face.

Another important factor you need to consider is the cost of health treatment. We take it for granted, in the UK particularly, that we can see a doctor for free and that hospital treatment will also be covered by the government. In most countries though, this isn't the case, so something as simple as a chest infection or routine operation can end up accumulating some pretty hefty expenses. Expat medical insurance will cover you for your doctor and hospital visits, and allow you to buy medicines without parting with your hard-earned wages for every pill you need.

Protection for the Whole Family

Of course, you also need to account for potential medical expenses for the rest of your family. If you have a spouse or partner and perhaps children too, can you imagine the average cost that healthcare could amount to over the course of a year? Medical insurance for expats can give you peace of mind and protection for every member of your household, guaranteeing that you will all be well looked after and be able to get the treatment required if the need were to arise. So when organising your big move, put expat medical insurance at the top of your 'to do' list.

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