Living abroad on expatriation carries different risks compared to traveling abroad on a short trip. Expatriate health insurance provides benefit for a longer term as compared to short term policies, which normally cover only up to three years. Living in a foreign country poses several challenges affecting ones health like change in food and water and different clmate.
Let’s say George was transferred to the African Republic of Cameroon by his company for 5 years. His wife Susan was pregnant. It rained continuously in Cameroon. Mosquito borne disease was the scourge of the rainy season. Unfortunately, his worst fears came true when Sarah contracted dengue fever in her first trimester.
George thanked his stars that she was covered under the expatriate policy. A phone call to the insurance company directed them to the nearest hospital, and Susan recovered and later went on to become a proud mother. George could not have managed the treatment of an unfamiliar disease in a foreign land without the help of the expatriate policy.
Unlike short-term policies, most expatriate policies cover pregnancy and maternity benefits subject to conditions. Vaccinations and dental care are other covered benefits. In some countries, good health care might be cheaper than the US. In some others, public health care might be non-existent. It is prudent to analyze ground realities and decide which benefits require coverage. Then one can zero in on the policy offering the required benefits to minimize cost.