Expat health insurance is vital for expatriates in Asia. Public hospitals in Asia may be inexpensive (although this is not always the case) but the standard of care will almost certainly not be on a par with what you will find in Europe or the US. They suffer from a lack of funding and equipment and, in addition, few staff working in these hospitals will speak English or any other European language. In some Asian countries, away from the major cities, both quality and availability of care is downright poor.
A comprehensive expat health insurance policy guarantee you access to the best private medical facilities in Asia, with better-equipped hospitals and a much higher standard of care. Often doctors and other staff will have been trained in the top universities around the world and speak excellent English. This comes at a price but with good medical cover, an insurer will pick up most of the tab. That’s why we consider health insurance to be a non-negotiable for expats in Asia.
Here are five points to consider when looking for an expat health insurance policy to suit you and your family.
How comprehensive does my expat health insurance policy need to be?
We always recommend a comprehensive expat private health insurance policy that covers primary care (e.g. GP visits), hospital inpatient care, consultations and diagnostic tests. You may also want to consider additional cover depending on your personal circumstances and those of your family – for example, if you are expecting a baby or if you suffer from particular diseases such as diabetes.
Does my expat health insurance policy include a direct billing facility?
Most hospitals will want to ensure that you have the ability to pay for treatment before you are admitted. If your insurer has a direct billing facility it means that you won’t have to fork out a hefty sum as a guarantee before being treated. In an emergency, you’ll access the treatment you need more quickly.
Is evacuation included in my expat health insurance policy?
The best private hospitals may not offer the best treatments available for all medical conditions in certain countries. If you live in Vietnam or Cambodia, for example, and require certain specialist treatments, it may be necessary to travel further afield to Hong Kong, Singapore or Thailand. Quality medical insurance could even save your life. Check with your broker or insurance provider that your policy covers you for evacuation treatment abroad should the unfortunate necessity arise.
Is my expat health insurance policy portable?
Portability is an issue for many expats, who often relocate from one country to another. A health insurance policy adapted to your needs is key to ensuring that you can change location and continue with the same insurer. This can be critical if you are diagnosed with a chronic and long-standing condition such as diabetes to avoid heavy premiums for pre-existing conditions if you relocate.
Do you understand the small print of your expat health insurance policy?
Not reading and understanding a policy properly can cause nasty surprises when you come to make a claim. Make sure that you are fully aware of any excesses payable, exclusions that apply and the need to declare any pre-existing conditions which could render a policy null and void. A professional broker will be able to help you navigate your way through the paperwork and explain anything you don’t understand.
Here at Infinity we work will all the best international insurers and are ideally placed to help you compare policies and choose expat health insurance in Asia that is perfectly adapted to the requirements of you are your family.
To find out more or to request a quote, get in touch.
A leading provider of expat financial services and wealth management services across Asia.