Migrants advised to check overseas healthcare costs before leaving

Migrants advised to check overseas healthcare costs before leaving

Migrants advised to check overseas healthcare costs before leaving

Would-be expats are advised to compare the costs of medical procedures and health insurance before deciding on a long-term destination.

Those moving abroad to take up a position with an international company will have their heath care and insurance needs covered by their employer, but for retirees or those wishing for a change of scene it’s a different issue entirely. Healthcare costs vary hugely across the world, and can come as a horrible shock or a pleasant surprise.

In general, the cost of buying a medical insurance policy through an international company is high, in some cases extremely so, and depends on heath care costs in your new country. Those moving to the USA, for example, will find that the wage structure in US hospitals contributes to some of the highest heathcare rates in the world.

Just across the border in the popular expat destination of Canada, a heart bypass costs 50 per cent less than in the USA, resulting in cheaper premiums. Another reason for the USA’s high hospital charges is the indemnity insurance medical professionals are forced to purchase in that litigious society.

Asian healthcare costs depend largely on the world status of the country, with Hong Kong’s privately-owned hospitals able to charge whatever they please as they have 100 per cent occupancy. It’s not unusual to be charged triple the going rate for diagnostics and operations.

India has a reputation for first-class heath care although the hospitals themselves lack glamour. For the standard provided, India is the best bet as regards health insurance premiums, and is now a hub for health tourism.

Thailand’s private hospitals, once offering value for money, are now amongst the most expensive in Southeast Asia, and suffer from a severe lack of English-speaking staff at all levels. International health insurance is comparatively expensive, although Thai companies may offer better deals for expat residents.

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