Expat Health Insurance: Getting the right package!
Article sponsored by APRIL International
1) What is the local healthcare system like?
If you’re travelling to the United States, Canada or the UK, you should be aware that the cost of healthcare in these countries is sometimes exorbitant.
In the UK for example, the healthcare system is split in two: the National Health Service (public system) and the private sector. The National Health Service provides free care but waiting times can be very long.
Using the private healthcare system means you can bypass waiting times for treatment but it is very expensive.
You should expect to pay around €70 for a consultation with a general practitioner and €135 to see a specialist.
The wisest option would be to choose an expat health insurance plan which covers medical expenses at 100% of actual costs with fairly high upper limits overall.
2) Can I take my Social Security benefits with me in my luggage?
If you still have French Social Security cover, you should choose a plan that tops up your basic benefits. French Social Security reimbursements are based on healthcare costs in France so you may find yourself having to make a significant contribution to your treatment. Private top-up insurance will be essential!
Plan B if you aren’t on secondment: enrol with the CFE
The ‘Caisse des Français de l'Étranger’ enables French nationals living abroad to continue to enjoy the same Social Security benefits as they did in France.
The CFE is a private fund which provides benefits to French expatriates worldwide.
You can enrol with the CFE individually or through your employer. Again, CFE reimbursements should be topped up by an international health insurance plan.
3) Local insurance or international insurance?
International insurance has the advantage of covering you regardless of the country you’re going to, unlike local insurance that will only cover you in the country of expatriation.
By choosing an international insurance plan, you benefit from services specially designed for expatriates (online Customer Zone, 24/7 hospital cover, medical advice by telephone, mobile applications etc.) and benefits which are essential when you’re abroad (repatriation assistance, personal liability (private capacity), income protection if you’re on sick leave from work, lump sums payable in case of death or disability etc.).
As an expatriate, whether you’re travelling alone or with your spouse and children, you’ll no doubt be returning to your home country to visit family or friends. The cover provided by your international insurance plan will travel with you to your home country.
Also, if you’re an expatriate but want to continue seeing your usual doctor or specialist (dentist, ophthalmologist etc.) in your home country, expat health insurance will cover these consultations.
4) So my health will be covered but what about other problems?
Expat health insurance is often flexible so you’ll be able to choose the benefits you want in addition to medical expenses and repatriation assistance: income protection, personal liability (private capacity) death lump sum etc.
Check the types of cover you have in France which won’t be valid abroad.
For over 40 years, APRIL International has been specialising in providing international health insurance for people living outside their home country. Whether you are a student, a trainee, a working holidaymaker, an employee or a retiree and whether you are travelling alone or as a family, you may find an insurance solution to meet your needs and budget.
Find all offers on www.april-international.com and get a free quote or apply online !