Expat Health Insurance

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I prepared this page from the information I found while searching for a suitable Expat Health Insurance policy myself. Although I am by no means an expert, I hope that my research might guide you in the right direction to finding the most suitable Expat Health Insurance plan for you. Obviously my search had Turkey in mind as we live here but hopefully it will help ………………………

Points to Consider

  • Don't take chances. Don't wait until you're unwell before taking out a policy as there are waiting periods

  • Take your time & research thoroughly before deciding on a policy. Don't just choose the cheapest. Usually you get what you pay for. If you choose the wrong company it could cost you thousands in the long run.

  • Read the policy details thoroughly. If the policy details are not in English, insist on an English version. If you don't get one, go elsewhere. Take note of what you are covered for & what you are not. The policy may not be right for you !

  • Consider the level of cover your require. Do you need both out-patient & in-patient cover, maternity or dental cover? It is likely to cost you more than double if you choose all of these.

  • Always be completely honest on the application form. If you don't, you are very likely be found out, lose your cover & not get paid out in the event of a claim.

  • Try to stick with the same Insurance Company once you've chosen. If you don't you will have new waiting periods before you are fully covered & any pre-existing conditions may well not be covered.

  • Where did I start?

    I started by searching on the internet for Health Insurance Companies, particularly for Expat Health Insurance. I found a lot of companies offering free quotations for lots of different packages including individual, family, group and company cover. I suggest you take a little time to complete at least a couple of the forms for free quotations as it will help you to build a picture of what is on offer & the different choices. Don't make any decisions yet though.

    Word of mouth is a good way of finding expat health insurance. Although everyone's experience won't be the same, if someone recomends a company they have used, it's likely they've not had a bad experience so it's definately worth taking a look. I asked several friends which expat health plan they used as well as posting on a couple of expat forums.

    One friend suggested we consider a plan run by Bodrum Universal Hospital in Bodrum, Turkey. Although it is not actually expat health insurance, it covers several things that would not be covered under normal expat health insurance. The following is covered under their "Health Club" plan:

  • 4 free Doctors visits per year. For any extra visits you get 25% discount. (The normal charge for a visit is around 75 YTL)
  • Free tests such as blood, urine etc.
  • If you need to stay in hospital, a discount on surgery is given
  • 15% discount on pregnancy checkups and birth
  • Free 24 hour Ambulance Service
  • Free injections given at home when needed
  • Discount on fitness clubs who work with Bodrum Universal Hospital
  • 25% discount on other Laboratory tests

  • There are several Hospitals to choose from around Turkey including Bodrum and Istanbul. For 160 YTL each (approx. £55 or $100) each per year I think it good value.
    Get a Local Quote

    Although specialist Expat Health Insurance can be good if you travel, work or live in more than one country, if you're planning to live abroad permanantly, it can often be cheaper to get cover from a company in the country you are living in.

    Before we left the U.K. we obtained a quote from Healthcare International. We also got details of cover & cost from Yapi Kredi & Abidacem Sigorta in Turkey. Unfortunately Yapi Kredi never came up with an English translation of the policy so we could not consider them. The level of cover was very similar for the other two, but the cost however was hugely different. Healthcare International was £1338 (around $2,500) for the two of us, compared to Abicadem's 1,000 YTL (approx £350 or $666). Well worth the time spent shopping around & waiting for translation of the policy!

    To find health insurance companies in your country, just Google it.
    I Googled "Turkey health insurance" which gave me a link to TurkishEconomy.org.uk site which offered a spreadsheet containing contact details of 28 health insurance companies in Turkey. Hopefully it will be that easy for the country you're planning to live in.

    Good luck with your search.

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