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Health Insurance for Expatriates

By on March 13, 2014 in Health Insurance, Insurance

Health Insurance for ExpatriatesCompared to a majority of the world the United States is a pretty expensive place to live. Some individuals or families make a decision to leave the first world experiences of our country and move to a much less expensive country. With the increasing number of jobs that can be done remotely many of these expatriates can enjoy a higher standard of living by mixing their regular income with a much lower cost of living.

If you decide to become an expatriate you will need many things from a financial perspective: a significant emergency fund, the ability to earn an income, and a place to live in a safe area.

One of the most important things you need that can be easy to forget is health insurance.

Why Health Insurance is Even More Important for Expatriates

It is easy to take the United States’ healthcare industry for granted. Even with its rising costs and seemingly never ending insurance premium increases, the ability to get great healthcare virtually anywhere in the country is a huge perk.

When you move to another country – first world or not – you may be giving up many healthcare options. Having health insurance is critically important for the following reasons:

Risk of Healthcare Quality

Not every hospital, doctor, or health clinic is made the same. You may not be able to afford the best care if you are paying out of pocket. You are putting yourself at increased risk if you are forced to using subpar facilities for treatment.

You are at Higher Health Risk

In some countries a simple cut while walking outside can lead to a serious infection. You probably aren’t in conditions that are as sanitary as what you are used to. Your immune system may be taking on new strains of bacteria and viruses that it has never encountered.

There is probably not going to be a national pharmacy on every street corner like there is in the United States. A simple infection could lead to things like serious diarrhea that could put your life at risk.

In short your overall health risk is higher living outside of the conditions you’ve grown up in.

Risk of Expensive Care

Even though you are bringing your dollars with you, you still have to consider what your costs might be to have an extended stay in a hospital in the country you move to. No hospital stay is ever cheap.

Having proper health insurance will allow you to get quality care without having to worry about pinching pennies.

Risk of Transport to Your Home Country

The most serious of health issues may need to be addressed back in your home country or in another country with better healthcare systems than where you are at currently. A medical evacuation flight is astronomically expensive if you are paying for it out of pocket. An expatriate health insurance policy with a clause for medical extraction or evacuation could provide better peace of mind should you need serious surgery or more intensive care.

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