How to Find the Best Expat Health Care Services WorldwideHealth care isn’t an exciting part of moving, but it’s essential to make sure you’re prepared. Wherever you’re planning to reside, you will be faced with the choice of private or public coverage, expat coverage, and global coverage. Here’s a brief overview of your options, plus some practical advice from those in the industry and fellow expats who have been where you are. And if you need to quickly estimate a currency conversion at any time, try our new currency calculator.
Healthcare Options and Practical Advice for Expats
1. Know What You’re Getting Into at Your New HomeThe Expat Info Desk has a growing list of countries that offer the best health care in the world. It’s not complete, but it does provide a useful overview of what to expect in various destinations around the world, including:
- Its World Health Organization ranking
- What kind of coverage is offered for citizens
- Whether public health services are available to expats
- The general cost of insurance coverage
2. Start Your Health Care Transition Months Before You ArriveAs you consider accepting a foreign job offer or following your dream to another location, start checking into what is required by the government and what options you prefer. The UAE has incredibly strict guidelines for expats migrating to the area. According to Stephen Maclaren at The National, “It will be the responsibility of the employee or sponsor to arrange insurance coverage for their own spouse, dependents and domestic workers and to pay the premiums directly to the insurer.” This means your employer-provided insurance might not cover your children and spouse, which increases the cost of living in the area and puts them at risk if something happens.
3. Insurance Coverage Varies Among CompaniesEvery country has different standards for company-provided support, and many businesses tailor their offers to save money or improve recruiting. In China, the Global Times put together a guide called One-Stop for expats moving to the country. The guide offers a breakdown of different policies and an explanation for employer-provided health care. “All employers are legally required to provide health insurance,” One-Stop writes. “But using these policies can be tricky, because they offer complete coverage for some types of treatment, partial coverage for others, and, for still others, no coverage at all.” You might also be limited to Chinese hospitals, depending on the company. In some cases, you might be able to opt for commercial health insurance if your employer’s policy can’t adequately meet your needs.
4. Make Sure Your Insurance Is Commonly AcceptedWhen researching your insurance options, there are two main levels to consider:
- What kind of coverage will you receive for the price?
- Who will accept this insurance provider?