If you’re living abroad or about to take an overseas vacation, you may be wondering the consequences if something goes wrong and suddenly in need of care. Generally, the answer depends on the host country and insurance that you already have. Nevertheless, it’s worthwhile to do your proper research and prepare for the unexpected, leaving you to enjoy a worry-free trip.
If you have health insurance in the U.S. then you could be covered by an expense incurred overseas, once the deductible is met. You will likely have to pay out of pocket for a medical procedure and your insurance provider will indemnify you after. You will want to check with your provider and know in advance the care that’s available where you’re going. BlueShield Global has a search engine for providers in your destination country (link).
If you’re abroad full-time or just going for an extended stay, then you could replace or add to your U.S. health plan by adopting an international plan. Expat insurance providers include Clements Worldwide, Bupa Global, Cigna, and others. The benefit of these organizations is their network of high-quality providers wherever you in the world and coordination of payment and care. The plan coverage limits might include an out-of-pocket cap of $1-2 million, unlike plans in the U.S., where it’s unlimited. Premiums are similar, or less, to those in the U.S., before any government subsidy, based on my research.
For short-term trips, you could get travel insurance. This could cover you in case of medical evacuation, trip cancellation, or lost baggage. If you have a Visa Signature card, then this coverage is already available to you (^3).
If you have permanent residency status in your host country then you’re likely entitled to the social health system (^1). If you have Medicare in the U.S., know that this alone won’t cover your expenses while abroad. A Medigap or Advantage plan might offer international indemnity plans.
At Eureka Wealth Management, I research and help you access the right healthcare plan depending on your location and situation. I’m licensed to broker Covered California health plans and can help you understand the pros and cons of your policy while traveling abroad. I also work with you on your other insurances and investments while overseas. Call for a free, initial consultation at +1(760) 537-0791 or online at eurekawealthmanagement.com/expats.