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How Do I Get Medical Insurance While Living Abroad?

RedcrossEven if you don’t have any preexisting medical conditions and can’t remember the last time you went to the doctor, you still need health insurance. Medical insurance can cover a number of the costs that you face in regards to medical bills. Your policy will help pay for a visit to the doctor if you break your leg, suffer from pneumonia or go through a car accident. Living abroad means that you need to have some form of insurance that will pay for medical bills in another country.

Extend Your Coverage

If you currently have medical coverage, ask your insurer about extending your coverage. Many companies will give customers this option if they plan on returning to the United States at some point or if they are dual citizens of America and another country. The new healthcare law states that all Americans must have health insurance or pay a fee, but if you live in another country, you are exempt from that law. Talk to your current insurer about your upcoming move and let the company know that you want to continue your policy while living abroad.

Purchase Travel Coverage

vaccinationHow long do you plan to live in a foreign country? Do you need to relocate for work, or do you plan to spend the rest of your life in that new city? If you relocate for a few months or a few years, you can purchase travel medical insurance. Travel insurance works in the same way that traditional insurance does. You make your premium payments, and the insurer agrees to pay for a percentage of your medical bills. Travel insurance will typically cover you no matter where you travel, but you cannot keep travel insurance for an extended period of time.

Look for Local Insurance

Many expats combine travel insurance with local insurance. This is a good option if your insurer refuses to extend your medical insurance to a new location. Most companies will only cover your medical bills once you make a set number of payments or after you are a member for a certain period of time. Travel insurance helps you pay your medical bills until your new insurance starts. This can also help you avoid having a lapse of insurance. Some companies won’t cover preexisting conditions if you went without insurance for longer than several months. With the right insurance policy, you’ll have fun living abroad without worrying about your health.

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