Why Health and Medical Insurance is Essential for Expats

Why Health and Medical Insurance is Essential for Expats

Whether health and medical insurance are required by law in the country you live in, or you’re given the option to make your own mind up about whether to get insurance, there are countless reasons why health insurance is an essential part of expat living.

When abroad, you may not know the language or may be unfamiliar with the healthcare system. So having health insurance provides peace of mind, a blessing if you or a partner or family member suddenly become ill or have an unexpected accident or injury. It can make all the difference to the quality of care you receive.

Health insurance often provides access to better healthcare facilities…

In countries with both public and private healthcare systems, where the former is free or at least inexpensive, the latter is significantly more costly yet offers a higher standard of care. Health insurance allows you to benefit from top-quality care for both your routine healthcare needs and in unexpected medical scenarios.

While plenty of countries have decent quality public healthcare, private healthcare will almost always be better, providing a more comfortable, reassuring care experience, whatever the circumstances.

Health insurance may allow you to be treated more quickly…

In countries with an in-demand public healthcare system – in the UK, for example, where most healthcare is free – waiting times for appointments, emergency care, and prescriptions are typically long.

On the other hand, if you choose to invest in health insurance, with many health insurance packages, you’re granted access to your chosen country’s private healthcare system, which often have drastically shorter waiting times so that you can get the healthcare you need more quickly. 

Health insurance allows you to safeguard your finances…

In many countries, healthcare doesn’t come cheap. High unexpected medical costs – such as emergency surgeries or extended hospital stays – can drain your savings, nosedive you into debt and result in a complete upheaval of your financial situation.

More than this, even minor medical situations can seriously eat through your savings, with one-night hospital stays costing up to £1000 in some countries. Globally, medical care costs are continuing to rise due to the development of superior yet more expensive medical technology and treatments.

Therefore, one of the biggest reasons to get health insurance is to ensure that you’re covered financially should you need access to healthcare while you’re abroad: to protect your savings, avoid debt and reduce finance-related stress, should you have to undergo unexpected medical treatment.

Health insurance allows you to access any preventative care you may need…

When abroad, it can be complicated to keep up to date with preventative care, such as attending cancer screenings and blood tests for conditions such as high cholesterol, diabetes and high blood pressure, which are essential to maintaining health, particularly above a certain age and with a history of certain family illnesses.

Moreover, should you be in a country where it’s recommended to have particular shots and vaccinations – but you haven’t yet managed to get them, or you didn’t realise you needed to have them before entering the country – then having health insurance allows you to quickly and affordably get these in the country you’re staying?

In this way, health insurance can be the difference between acquiring a preventable disease or being protected from it – and between catching a health problem early, so that it can be treated with maximum effectiveness or later when it may have already done damage to the body.

Health insurance allows you to protect yourself and your family better…

Whether you’re an alone expat or traveller or have an entire family responsible for abroad, getting health insurance allows you to take care of yourself and your family from every angle.

In addition to ensuring that you and your family have access to the best possible care in the country you’re staying in and shortening the waiting time for that care, which could be crucial depending on the medical situation, health insurance protects you and your family financially.

In addition to evading debt, which puts a strain on any family unit, having your financial situation protected ensures that your assets are kept safe – such as your house and car – and you can continue to support family members financially, such as paying for your children’s education or supplying quality care for your elderly relatives.

So, if you’ve been debating whether or not to take the plunge and invest in health insurance for yourself and maybe your family, too, then consider the reasons why you should. So that you can enjoy your expat experience with the assurance that your and your family’s health and wellbeing are being taken care of.


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