Medical insurance for expatriates

As part of an aid program or international cooperation, volunteers and employees can be required to relocate for several weeks or months. This temporary expatriation presents many challenges; remaining healthy is one of the most important ones. Residing in another country requires individuals to familiarize themselves with the local healthcare system and to understand the significant costs of healthcare received away from their home country. It is therefore of the utmost importance for expatriates and liaison officers to have appropriate medical insurance coverage for themselves and their families. International medical insurances covers medical and hospital care expenses for any accident or disease that may occur. Such insurance guarantees financial peace of mind and assistance with unforeseen medical problems which could arise.

In addition to daily health management, security is another aspect that requires health insurance coverage when travelling in less economically developed countries, social tension or armed conflict. One can only really grasp the local reality after weeks living within a new society. Local customs and foreign cultures blur the actual risks for the individual in the process of getting used to this society. Expatriate protection takes into account the unique features of the host country. Whether the working for a non-profit or of a non-governmental organization, inadequate medical protection should not hinder the expatriate’s local actions targeting international cooperation, solidarity between communities, mutual cooperation, and exploration of the world.

Coverage of all hospitalization, ambulatory or long-term care expenses is the cornerstone of good international medical insurance. This is the most expensive form of care, because it includes ambulance transportation as well as stays in private clinics or healthcare centers, more specifically the cost of a private or shared room as well as medical, surgical, and anesthesia fees. The expected expenses may include medical imaging, such as radiography or MRIs, but also medication and other treatments, including post-operational treatment. Depending on the country, the cost can reach several hundred thousand dollars. The bill increases when long-term hospitalization is required, or if a person’s medical condition does not permit transportation to a less costly healthcare center. It is thus strongly recommended that your hospitalization insurance covers an amount of one million dollars ($1M) and 100% of the actual cost.

The second factor in evaluating good travel insurance for expats is basic care that covers medical consultation for the purpose of obtaining a prescription. Medication expenses have a severe impact on a family budget when the actual cost of uninsured prescription drugs is not taken into account.

The third factor to be scrutinized in insurance contracts concerns the provisions for repatriation assistance or emergency medical evacuation. The amount must cover 100% of the actual costs and the global amount of the coverage must be appropriate. Great attention should be given with regard to search and rescue expenses; if you are reported missing in a zone and search is required to locate you, the expenses incurred for these interventions is not covered by medical insurance and assistance. The only fees considered eligible under this insurance coverage are evacuation expenses once you are located.

Dental care at private clinics is particularly expensive, regardless of the country of cooperation. Even at the local rate, fees for the services of a dentist or dental surgeon are still quite significant. Considering this reality, good travel insurance should cover accident-related emergencies; your policy should cover dental accidents such as a blow to the mouth or the jaw, or treatment of acute pain.
The term war risk encompasses all that concerns high risks related to the political, social, health or geographical situation of the place of expatriation. The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade keeps monitors these risks in all countries. An advisory to travelers and international expats is published to help foreigners in these countries better understand the risks they are exposed to. These risks are usually listed in the section that lists standard travel insurance exclusions. In such cases, it is essential for travelers to select international health insurance that covers war risk.

This coverage is all the more important since the situation in your destination country can suddenly deteriorate during your stay. A seemingly safe country or city can be transformed due to unexpected disruptions. In the long term, having medical insurance that covers any risk, either proven or to come, warrants peace of mind. Such a provision avoids the dread of finding oneself ineligible for war risk coverage, and provides time to decide whether to remain abroad or return home.

Escapade Travel Insurance medical insurance is customized for travelers participating in international volunteering or cooperation with coverage based on today’s realities.
The highlights of this coverage are as follows:

  • Hospitalization and surgical care are covered at 100% of actual costs and up to one million dollars ($1M).
  • Expenses for outpatient hospital consultations, medical and surgical care by a doctor, and anesthetist fees are covered at 100% of actual costs and up to one million dollars ($1M).
  • Prescribed medication, antibiotics and vaccinations, radiography and medical analyses are covered at 100% of the actual costs and up to one million dollars ($1M).
  • Dental care in case of accident.
  • Repatriation and preparation of the remains, in the event of death.

This insurance plan covers war risk. Premiums are based on the destination.

Coverage for accidental death and dismemberment is also available; the policyholder can determine the amount for which she or he wishes to be insured in such cases.

For the complete details of this coverage, please request a quote online:

Contact one of our travel insurance advisors you are leaving the country for a few days or months. We would be delighted to assess your situation and propose travel insurance that suits your needs and your budget. We can guide you through possible options and confirm the price of travel insurance for your stay abroad.

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Any insurance contract covering health for travelers and expatriates includes an essential clause as regards the requirements concerning care received abroad. Before receiving care, it is imperative that the insured traveler contact the insurer’s support center at the number he or she has been given.

The support center, open 24/7, must approve all surgical procedures and medical treatments before they are carried out. This requirement does not apply in extreme cases where waiting for preliminary approval would delay a surgical procedure deemed necessary to correct a serious life-threatening situation.

Generally, thoroughly acknowledging all your insurance policy clauses before your departure will guarantee a better experience if you should need to use your medical insurance. If you have any doubt whatsoever about the contents of your insurance policy, you should contact your advisor to obtain further explanation so you are able to travel worry-free.

It should be noted that insurance does not generally cover medical or hospital treatment if a trip is taken specifically to obtain these medical or hospital services, regardless of whether or not the trip was recommended by a doctor.

Leaving your country of origin involves an interminable list of preparations. To safeguard your health, the three most important measures you can take after obtaining international medical insurance are the following:

  • Get any regular medication that you are likely to require for a three- to six-month period while you stay abroad.
  • Find out about mandatory or recommended vaccinations for your destination.
  • Check regularly for any changes to the advisory that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country issues concerning travel to your destination country.