Arranging health insurance is a huge priority for expats

You’ve taken the bold step of becoming an expat and moving to a new country for work. Your ‘to do’ list is undoubtedly bigger than ever before, with all manner of decisions to be made about where to live, where to send the kids to school and how to organise your finances. But whatever choices you make about your new life, one of the most important things you can do is to arrange health care insurance as soon as you can.

Put simply, getting ill in a foreign country could bankrupt you if you don’t take steps to protect yourself and your family. None of us likes to think that we’ll get a serious illness or have a terrible accident, but it’s vital not to put your head in the sand about the future.

When looking for the right cover for you, your insurance broker will consider your medical background – though a health check will usually not be necessary. Your age will be a factor in determining the cover you are offered; it is safe to assume that you will pay more for your premiums the older you are.

Be aware that pre-existing conditions will not normally be covered through your insurance, though this may be reconsidered if the illness doesn’t reoccur for a certain period of time after the start of your policy. You can extend your medical insurance to cover your partner (this also refers to same sex relationships) as well as your children, while some insurers will allow you to add on extras like dental and maternity care, plus winter and water sports. Be advised, however, that conditions like infertility will not usually fall under the insurance remit – and any kind of cosmetic surgery will usually be refused.

You may be lucky and have a health insurance plan provided by your new employer. Make sure you familiarise yourself with the terms of the agreement, so you are confident that you’ll be covered if you are hospitalised, for example, or if you need long-term treatment. And bear in mind that you are unlikely to remain under the policy if you leave your company.

The main thing to ensure when choosing the right healthcare policy is to get personalised, independent advice from a licensed firm. The professional, knowledgeable team at Bluestar AMG can talk you through all the options available to you, so please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us. There’s more information about the services we offer on our website.