When moving abroad, your health should be your number one priority – start planning international healthcare insurance in advance! To make the transition to a new country as smooth as possible we created this special guide that will help you to arrange healthcare documentation and medical records, and choose the best international health insurance abroad.
Keep reading – we gathered all the information you need to know and turned it into a guide for international healthcare and health insurance for expats.
If you already started looking into international health insurance companies, you might know that choosing a stable and safe insurance plan internationally is extremely important. That means that it’s a great responsibility for proper research, but no worries – we created a universal Service Directory for Health Insurance.
Cigna Global stands as a major international health insurance provider. They have a network of over 1.65 million providers in over 200 countries. Customer experience is their core, hence they provide international healthcare plans which are flexible, affordable and with customer service that covers across the globe.
IMG is a great option for expats who are looking for affordable health insurance coverage with a global network of providers. Their International Health Insurance provides long-term coverage that is perfect for those on a budget, which can be adapted to fit different needs. International Medical Group are also known for their good customer service.
This international healthcare provider has focused all its efforts on people emigrating from all over the globe. They offer more affordable prices than other insurance companies, but still providing comprehensive coverage. Their plans include both short-term and long-term coverage, and they can be tailored to fit your individual needs.
Allianz Care is the international health brand of Allianz, a global leader in insurance and assistance services. They stand out for their competitive prices and customer service. From private to international health insurance coverages, any medical treatment needed while you work or live abroad will be covered.
William Russell is a global health insurance provider that offers a wide range of plans to expats, frequent travellers, and international students. They are differentiated from other providers by their focus on customer service, their flexible plans, and their global network of hospitals and doctors.
Bupa is a global health insurance provider that offers a wide range of plans to individuals and families moving abroad. Their focus is on preventive care, their innovative products, and their commitment to customer service.
GeoBlue leads in providing health insurance services for people living and working abroad. Their personalized plan for expats, Xplorer, covers US citizens and foreigners in the USA from basic to comprehensive needs. They have an extensive network of doctors and hospitals in more than 180 countries to ensure you high-quality medical care when needed.
We understand that moving to another country or city must be exciting and scary at the same time, due to all the responsibilities that you have to take on. Of course, health is the most important matter for every adventure you plan, and, unfortunately, it might be very unpredictable. It is vital to do your research early enough and choose the best overseas health insurance plan for you. As an expat, you have additional reasons to invest in your international healthcare and be fully covered.
Healthcare policies vary from country to country, therefore, you need to figure out with your present insurance company if they can provide international health coverage that is relevant to you, or if not, then you might need to cancel your current local insurance to avoid extra expenses.
What else do you need to know about international healthcare insurance before moving abroad? You may be able to apply for international insurance free of charge with a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC).
The card allows citizens of the EU, EEA, and Switzerland to use medical services while travelling or moving abroad within the European Union. EHIC allows accessing essential medical care on equal terms with insured persons residing in the country of your destination.
It should be noted that not all types of medical services can be covered under the EHIC as your international healthcare insurance. Exceptions include, in particular, a treatment that does not require emergency intervention. In this case, the cardholder must understand exactly what risks are covered under the EHIC. You have to check the validity period of the international healthcare insurance card and do not forget to extend it if needed. If the card is in the process of being issued, it is recommended to obtain this international health insurance before your departure.
Non-EU citizens legally residing in a European Union country and registered with that country’s social security system are also eligible for a European Health Insurance Card (in some countries).
📝Want to get international healthcare abroad? Apply for EHIC from the official website!
GHIC is the UK alternative to EHIC to get access to European healthcare internationally free of charge or at a reduced cost. You can apply for an international insurance card on the UK Government website.
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Every case varies depending on the destination you are moving to and your personal preference. Some countries have different mandatory requirements, as well as you might need more medical support based on the state of your health and predisposition to illnesses. However, we listed different kinds of the best expat medical insurance – national and international, including providers of international private insurance: just choose the country you are moving to and category “Health Insurance”.
We advise you to look into those options and select the one that provides the most suitable and safe health insurance plan for your case as an immigrant.
💵One of the important aspects to consider is, of course, the budget of international healthcare insurance. In the next section, you can find out the costs related to the insurance that you choose!
We recognize that costs play a vital role when choosing the best health insurance, especially when you are moving and trying to save some money. Of course, for a shorter period of moving you can rely on EHIC and GHIC cards, but be aware that they do not cover all the cases for international healthcare and most countries have mandatory requirements for private insurance plans internationally or locally.
Therefore, if you are planning to stay abroad for an extended period, or your profession involves multiple relocations, you might want to consider private international insurance plans. This kind of insurance can cover healthcare costs all over the world and include not only emergency healthcare services but any doctor appointments, wellness, dental care, vision treatments, maternity, medication prescription and many other benefits. The cost may vary from £415 to £6500 annually, depending on the chosen company that provides the international insurance.
While you are planning to relocate, it is also vital to calculate the budget for the move. Sirelo got your back – we suggest you read everything you need to know on International Moving Costs.
No matter where you are, medical certificates and documentation are needed almost everywhere, especially if you are moving somewhere. They reflect the state of health and are sometimes required when, for example, applying for a job or obtaining a driver’s license. Struggling with deciding what documents to prepare? We created a very specific list so you are covered!
What healthcare document you should always bring with you when moving?
We advise you to organize the following medical records before moving internationally:
Depending on our country of origin, you might need some translation for transferring these medical records when moving.
💡In case you are also wondering how to arrange packing for relocation, we advise you to check out our ultimate guide for packing.
Of course, moving abroad must be exciting and thrilling, but do not forget to check and compare healthcare in the country you are moving to. It is vital to research international healthcare resources and specific country regulations beforehand to avoid stress when moving abroad. In this section, you will find a checklist with the points you should consider for international healthcare that we developed for your smoother relocation!
If you are migrating to another country, it is important to plan healthcare for your removal:
Before your departure, you should always find out what regional and local regulations for international healthcare and insurance apply in your destination area. It is best to go directly to the governmental website of the country or state where you are going.
Based on our research for this article, it is advised for expats to get vaccinated before removal. For example, in many countries with hot climates, it is easy to catch infections through water, food, and surfaces. Of course, vaccination requirements vary from country to country, which is why it is better to make double-check with your current General Practitioner, research governmental websites, World Health Organization, or Health Insurance companies in your destination country:
Some of the most necessary international vaccinations:
Vaccination against this infection is necessary if you are going to a warm country. The infection is transmitted through food and water. You can get a vaccination that will provide immunity for 1 year but if after 6-12 months you are vaccinated again, you are immune for 20 years.
Typhoid fever is widespread in the Northern part of Africa, India, and Central Asia. 1-2 weeks after vaccination, the majority get immune for 5 years.
Rabies exists in over 150 countries and it’s an extremely dangerous disease. It is vital to arrange vaccination not later than 3 months before departure. This injection makes you immune for 3 years.
Diphtheria and tetanus
Immunization for these diseases starts from infancy, and for adults, it is recommended every 10 years since complications of these pathologies often lead to death.
Most common in Central and Eastern parts of Europe, as well as Northern Asia. The disease is transmitted by ticks, and the infection leads to an inflammatory lesion of the brain, resulting, in turn, in serious neurological complications. Vaccination consists of 2-3 doses and makes you immune for 1 to 3 years.
Common on the African continent and in South America, transmitted by the bites of specific types of mosquitoes. Vaccination consists of one dose and is valid for 10 years.
If you require specific medications, do not forget to get extra prescriptions before you move abroad. Many medicines abroad are prescribed more strictly or even are not sold. Therefore, it could be useful to note alternative names for essential medications and get a travel first-aid kit specifically for you: painkillers, plasters, antiseptics, allergy medications – every person has their list of emergency appliances.
To avoid stress and complication around international healthcare before moving abroad, arrange your doctor, check-ups and vaccination appointments at least 3 to 6 months before your departure. Curious about what other planning you need to do before moving abroad? Make sure to download our checklist for moving abroad!
We highly advised you to research local General Practitioners in the area that you are moving to! Most countries require to be registered at certain polyclinics or healthcare facilities before arranging appointments. Also, in some countries, General Practitioner visits might be covered by local or international health insurance. Therefore, it is better to enrol just before or as soon as you arrive at your destination.
💡Download a printable to-do list for International Healthcare.
We truly hope that this page was informative to you and will help you with the removal. There are many actions to take when moving internationally or even domestically, so make sure to plan everything if possible and complete your to-do list step by step.
And, of course, relocation is always a big step in anyone’s life so don’t forget to take it easy on yourself!
Would you like to know more? Check other articles that provide information on how to make your moving as smooth as possible.