Five ways expats can benefit from international health insurance

Moving abroad is a massive upheaval, physically and emotionally. Knowing your health is covered no matter where you are and whatever happens can be a huge weight off your shoulders.

Five ways expats can benefit from international health insurance
Photo: Tirachard KumtanomPexels

The Local has partnered with leading international insurance broker ASN to bring you five ways that expats can benefit from international health insurance.

You always know where to go

If you injure yourself or become unwell in your home country, you instantly know where to seek help. In a new country, it’s not always as clear. When you have international health insurance, your provider can look into their network of doctors and hospitals and advise you on where to go. Many providers also have 24/7 hotlines you can call for round-the-clock advice.

There’s no language barrier

The only thing more frightening than becoming ill when you’re abroad is not understanding the diagnosis. With international health insurance, your provider is obliged to find you a doctor or specialist who speaks your language. If it’s an emergency, being privately insured guarantees this is always the case. When that isn’t possible, it’s the insurance provider’s responsibility to make sure you know exactly what is happening regarding your health and treatment.

Click here to get a bespoke health insurance policy

You’re fully protected

Once you’ve found your nearest GP, you can hone in on other aspects of your health. Expats often neglect dentist or therapist appointments because they are unfamiliar with local healthcare services. With international health insurance, your insurer can arrange these appointments for you (provided they are included in your policy). When ASN finetunes your policy for you, they can create bespoke plans that include options like optical cover and wellness packages so that you’re covered from head to toe.

Photo: Vitalik Radko/Depositphotos

Your kids are covered too

Knowing your children’s health is protected while you’re abroad is priceless. Many international health insurance policies allow for unlimited paediatrician appointments while some cover your children for all their vaccinations too.

There are also many advantages of international health insurance if you become pregnant while living in another country. You can give birth in a private hospital of your choice or, if there is a medical reason, you can choose to go back to your home country to have the baby. Speak to an international health insurance advisor at ASN to find out more about how international health insurance can benefit you if you are pregnant or become pregnant while living abroad.

Click here to get a bespoke health insurance policy

Manage chronic illness abroad

If you have a chronic illness it can complicate things but it shouldn’t stop you from expatriating. However, it’s not always easy to find cover if you have a pre-existing medical condition. International health insurers are private and so have the right to refuse you cover if you have diabetes or another chronic condition. ASN’s experts know which providers may be more open to covering clients with a chronic illness and in some cases can negotiate full cover for a higher premium.

Once your policy has been activated ASN can help you with everything you need relating to your health insurance. The multi-lingual team is available to answer all your questions and ensure that you get the best possible cover from your health insurance provider. Click here to get your personal insurance quote.

This article was produced by The Local Creative Studio and sponsored by ASN Advisory Services Network.

For members


Why dental care could cost you more in France from October

You can expect higher dental costs in France from October 1st, unless you have private top-up health insurance. Here's why.

Why dental care could cost you more in France from October

If you are receiving dental care with a public sector, or conventionné, dentist in France, you are currently eligible to have up to 70 percent of fees reimbursed by the French social security system (Assurance maladie). To benefit from this, you will need to be registered in the system, which is best done by acquiring a carte vitale

READ MORE: Healthcare in France: The essential French vocabulary you’ll need if you’re ill

But from October 1st, only around 60 percent of these fees will be reimbursed by the Assurance maladie – a move that the government hopes will save €500 million each year to help a heavily indebted health system. 

If you have a mutuelle (private health insurance), then the rest of the cost (or a large portion of it) will likely be covered by them, although it’s always worth checking in advance.

If you don’t have a mutuelle, you will have to make up the rest of the cost yourself. According to the consumer association, Que Choisir, some 2.5 million French people do not have private health insurance.

Analysts believe that as a result of these reforms, the cost of mutuelles will increase further – with private insurers arguing that they will have greater overheads. The average price of a mutuelle has been projected to rise by 4.7 percent by the end of the year, in part as a result of inflation.

READ MORE: Medical appointments in France to increase in price

Which dentists are covered by social security? 

When booking a dental appointment in France, it is worth looking for dentists who are conventionné. If you are booking through the Doctolib website, which we would highly recommend, you can filter your search to only show dentists with this status. 

A dentist who is conventionné secteur 1 charges the standard tariffs set by the government – for example a simple consultation will cost €23, a hygienist appointment will cost €28.92 and the removal of an adult tooth will cost €33.44.

Currently, if you are covered by social security, 70 percent of these costs will be reimbursed, but this will soon fall to 60 percent. The rest of the costs will likely be covered by a mutuelle, if you have one. 

A dentist who is conventionné secteur 2 will charge slightly more for their services – this can vary from a few euros to hundreds on euros depending on the case. There are obliged to provide this information to you before you undergo treatment.

If you are registered with the French social security system, you will be reimbursed as if you have received treatment from a secteur 1 dentist. In other words, even if you pay more for a consultation with a secteur 2 dentist, the amount of money you will receive from Assurance maladie will be the same for if you had visited a secteur 1 dentist. A good mutuelle should be able to make up the rest of the costs. 

For private, or non-conventionné secteur 3 dentists, you will not be reimbursed through the French social security system. Only a very good mutuelle will cover the entire cost of these treatments.

READ MORE What you need to know about a mutuelle