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How Does The Healthcare System Work For An Expat Overseas


Traveling overseas never ceases to be a beautiful and thrilling adventure. As you get exposed to a completely different culture and society than the one you’ve been used to, your horizons start to expand, and you get a better understanding of human nature. However, becoming familiar with different cultures can be both good and bad; it all depends on the duration of your stay. For those looking to move into new countries for work or other purposes, whether temporarily or for more extended periods, choosing the right country depends on so many factors. Most expats take standards of living, facilities, and transportation into consideration before making such a huge decision, but few ever consider the healthcare system of their destination.


Getting Access to Healthcare Overseas

Here are a few ways through which expats can have access to proper healthcare while traveling overseas:


1.     The Current Domestic Plan

The first and most practical option is to have access to healthcare through the current domestic healthcare plan. If you’re originally a US citizen living abroad, then there’s nothing better than enjoying the healthcare benefits of your plan while you’re living in a completely different continent, for instance in Germany. Imagine being able to take advantage of international health cover in Germany while living out your dream. As fascinating as that can sound, though, the reality is often the complete opposite. There are only a few situations in which domestic healthcare plans can cover expats overseas, but that’s usually not the case for most domestic plans. The most common sort of coverage is only for emergency situations that require immediate medical attention. Before crossing this option off the list though, it’s good to double-check the extent of coverage you can get once you travel.

2.     Employment Benefits

Perhaps what’s even more convenient than having a domestic healthcare plan is to enjoy healthcare as a part of employment benefits. This option is especially beneficial to employers who’re looking to hire new talent from a different country or who want to send any of their current employees abroad. As explained by the insurance experts, this policy offers group insurance benefits for both the employer and their employees. Not only does group insurance cover the medical needs of the employees and their families, but it provides a plan that satisfies their specific needs without charging for any extra fees, which works in the favor of the employer. However, the most important benefit is that getting group insurance that works on an international level will ensure that the expats and their families will get the same standards of healthcare they’re used to without facing any issues.

3.     Global Healthcare Coverage

The main issue that most expats face after settling down in a new country is the different healthcare system implemented in that country. Most expats are used to a certain level of healthcare, maybe even enjoyed the access to free and public services in their home country. They become shocked when they realize that the implemented system divides healthcare in public and private sectors, with the public sector, offering low-quality healthcare and the private sector becoming way too expensive. To avoid going into all this mess, the best way is to apply for a plan that has global coverage. Better yet, applying for an international healthcare plan can provide better healthcare coverage overseas. This kind of plan will also provide medical emergency evacuation, which is essential to avoid any overwhelming expenses.


Getting the Best Healthcare Overseas

For expats looking to take residence in new countries, Here are a few things to take into consideration:

1.   Healthcare System in your Destination

Healthcare quality can differ greatly depending on the destination. If they’re not limited to a specific country due to work, it’s best that expats look for the top-ranking countries to enjoy a higher quality of healthcare at lower costs. Some of the best healthcare options can come from unexpected nations.

2.  Healthcare Plan Coverage

Before applying for a plan, care must be taken to understand what is covered and what isn’t in the plan. Most plans will cover general services and even the percentage and terms of coverage can vary greatly depending on the plan. Be sure to review your plan and all the benefits attached to it beforehand.

3.  Pre-existing Conditions

It’s also crucial to check whether the plan covers any pre-existing conditions. This is true for any healthcare plan regardless of where you are. For families with extensive medical needs or seniors looking to retire in new countries, it’s best to keep the current plan that covers their conditions before applying for another one. Much like financial institutions, there are measures of compliance with checkups and medications that can count towards a positive policy review.


Before deciding to move abroad and live a new life, expats should prioritize looking into the healthcare system of their new destination. Most people would fail to consider this important factor until it’s too late. If your domestic plan doesn’t provide sufficient coverage, then looking for healthcare employment benefits or enrolling in a global or international plan can be the best course of action.