Expat Health Insurance

Of all the things you need to sort out when you travel abroad, expat health insurance is top of the list.

Health insurance will help you get back to work quicker without worrying about how you are going to pay the bill.

At home, we take the National Health Service and its equivalent around the world for granted. As soon as you are abroad, you will start to have to pay every time you go to the doctor or hospital and bills can run extraordinarily large even for routine operations.

Hospitals in many countries simply will not treat you if you don’t have health insurance. Those that do might insist you stay in hospital until the bill is paid. If you search the net there are many stories of expats who didn’t get insurance only for a group of friends doing charity work to raise the money only to find it is too late and they died in hospital. This is the reality of getting treated before.

Below is a very evocative and inspirational video about treating others well in life, but it also applies to health insurance. I encourage you to watch the heart warming story below.

The Thai hospital bill in the video shows 792,000 Baht or about $22,000. Usually foreigners get charged a lot more.

Types of Expat Health Insurance


This is the cheapest and most popular expat health insurance policy. It covers you for surgeries, accidents and any illnesses which cause you to need a hospital bed, hence the term in-patient. If it isn’t serious enough to warrant a hospital bed, your fees won’t get covered and normally you have to stay overnight in the hospital to get the expenses paid.

This is the least an expat should get to cover themselves, so if they contract cancer, have a major illnesses, a stroke or a heart attack, their life savings won’t be wiped out.

In-Patient and Out-Patient

The premiums, the amount you pay each month, are normally doubled when you include out-patient.

Out-patient expat health insurance includes trips to your local clinic or doctor as well as any day surgeries at hospital. People who tend to buy this insurance either live in countries with very high local doctor costs or their company is paying for the expat health insurance or they have a history of illnesses.

Bumrungrad International Hospital Bangkok

Bumrungrad International Hospital Bangkok

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