Expatriate insurance does not work the same way as a health policy for people living in their countries.
Indeed, there is no compulsory health insurance scheme in many countries. So, expatriates have the choice between a private organization under the supervision of the State, Social Security, and private insurance companies.
In some countries, when workers go abroad as expats, they can keep affiliated to their national Social Security system. It offers them the same coverage as if they were at home, under the same conditions and prices.
All people have the right to affiliate with Social Security and get medical coverage if it’s available in their country. There is no medical questionnaire required at the time of enrollment. Which is interesting for people suffering from chronic diseases, for example.
Most of the time, the fee to be paid for getting Social Security health insurance is calculated depending on the age of the insured and their family situation.
It can be an affordable expatriate medical insurance if you are young and single. But the price can increase a lot if you have a family.
Social Security insurance calculates the reimbursements for any assistance following your country’s costs. So, you will only get refunded up to that amount. Even if the prices are much higher in the country where you are expatriated.
This type of policy will complete the reimbursements given by Social Security. This way, you will get full coverage of all your medical costs.
This expatriate insurance is more necessary in countries where medical services are more expensive. Especially if you need to go to private facilities.
Another option available to people living is to take out a “first dollar/euro” insurance policy.
Unlike supplementary insurance, the “first dollar/euro” insurance covers all health expenses from the first dollar paid. And the insured does not need to be affiliated with Social Security.
This represents a definite advantage in terms of administrative procedures. The insured only has to contact one entity instead of two.
A large number of insurance companies offer this type of expat medical insurance. This allows you to compare insurers and choose the one you like the most.
In addition, it is generally possible to choose the services you want in your insurance, depending on your situation, needs, and budget. On the other hand, Social Security does not allow any flexibility.
The “first dollar/euro” insurance policies are offered by companies with international expertise. They generally have a very good knowledge of the countries they cover.
In addition, they have set up partnerships with networks of practitioners and local establishments. This allows the insured to benefit from preferential rates, and advice to choose the best health professionals on-site.
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