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It is always difficult to determine the extent and level of expat health insurance coverage you will need as part of your residence in a new country. It is hard to know what is too much and too little in circumstances that are unknown and hard to predict.
For those moving abroad on a fixed work contract, there is little need to worry as much of their medical insurance is usually covered by the employer, who, as a native of the country in question, will know what the local medical costs and medical risks are. Therefore, adequate expatriate health insurance is automatically provided.
For those seeking to move for reasons other than work, or for those looking to retire abroad, the prospect of dealing with future medical needs can be daunting as well as complex. The elderly will need to consider chronic healthcare as part of their insurance package because continued treatment and after-care following initial hospitalisation are very likely. For others, maternity coverage may be a requirement. Now, cover is being discussed for those moving to war zones.
It can be argued that passive war zone cover should be an option for those moving to locations in the Middle East, Africa and some parts of Asia. There is an increasing realisation on the severe reality of moving to a country that lies in the middle of conflict. It has been said that passive war zone coverage would include the likes of emergency evacuation and surgery and in the most severe cases, cover plastic surgery and prosthetics.
Most expats would not be moving to countries where this type of coverage is required but the 2013 terrorist attack at the Westgate shopping centre in Kenya and the breakout of civil unrest in Ukraine, illustrate the sheer importance of obtaining adequate expat medical insurance when living in countries in conflict. In other words, it is a wake-up call for those living or thinking of moving to these possible target areas.
For the expatriate worker who is thinking of moving to target locations, it is vital to check whether their international medical insurance cover is limited in any way. Some expat medical insurance companies do cover countries experiencing civil unrest whilst others will limit what their policy includes.
Therefore, if there is a likelihood of moving to a country where conflict or civil unrest is a real possibility or already happening, finding a policy that offers full passive war coverage is crucial. If you are unlucky enough to be taken ill or injured in such conditions, it will be a relief to know your policy will be active.
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Expatriate Group & Expatriate Healthcare are trading styles of Strategic Insurance Services Limited who is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). FCA Firm reference Number is 307133. Strategic Insurance Services Limited is authorised to carry on Regulated Activities in accordance with the permissions granted by the FCA under PART IV of the Financial Services and Markets ACT 2000.