Canadian Expats and Global Health Insurance
Why Canadian Expats Need Global Health Insurance When Living Abroad
Preparing to move abroad is a big deal. There are lots of things to consider for Canadian who are intending on living abroad, such as housing, flights, passports, visa, finances and of course taxes. But another key consideration for future and even current expatriates and global citizens is international health insurance coverage. In this article, I will lay out some key options and considerations for Canucks abroad when it comes to global medical coverage.
1. Canadian expats lose their provincial medical coverage
Most Canadians who have traveled abroad or to the USA know that their provincial medical coverage, such as OHIP or MSP, will not cover them outside of Canada at all or for a miniscule portion of their medical claims abroad. That is why they often purchase travel insurance for short trips up to 6 months. Keep in mind that if you move abroad, you will almost certainly lose your provincial healthcare coverage and you will be totally on your own should you get into a medical emergency or long term illness. If you move back to Canada, you will probably have to wait 90 days before your provincial medical plan starts.
2. Travel insurance won’t do the job
We often talk to Canadian expatriates who want to move abroad, but will want to use Canadian travel insurance coverage to cover them abroad. We have put together a few reasons why this strategy will leave you serious exposed:
a. Travel insurance covers only emergency medical expenses, not chronic conditions, checkups or much else.
b. Travel medical insurance is for short trips under a year, often not longer than 6 months
c. Travel insurance is dependent on your keeping your provincial medical plan in place, which will be a problem given that you will be moving abroad
d. Travel coverage is designed to patch you up with the expectation that you will return back to Canada for treatment from your universal healthcare
There are several other reasons Canadians should not buy travel medical when moving abroad over a properly designed global health plan. Yes travel insurance is cheap, but there’s a reason for this.
3. Overseas medical expenses can be very expensive
When you are moving abroad, medical claims without proper global health coverage can really impact your finances. Some countries that you think may be inexpensive, such as Singapore or China, are actually very costly when it comes to medical care.
4. Your destination country may require global health coverage
Many countries, such as Italy and Thailand, are now demanding that expatriates purchase a global health insurance policy as you may not be eligible for local health coverage and you may not want to buy the local plans either. Because governments don’t want expatriates to be a burden on the local health system, they will require that expats buy global healthcare, including policies that cover COVID-19.
5. Peace of mind
This is an obvious reason why anyone buys insurance – you transfer the risk from your shoulders to the insurer and pay a premium in return. The more risk you take, such as not covering out-patient care, evacuation, larger deductibles, etc… the more risk you take and the lower your premium. But I personally recommend that you get a global health plan that is high quality and will be there when you need it. You will get what you pay for in the end and my firm can help you with the options and plans from a variety of providers at the same cost and without any fees.
Final thoughts on global medical coverage for global nomads
An international health insurance policy for Canadian expats is available if you are about to live abroad within 45 days or you are already an expat abroad. It is easy to get a quote online for international health insurance as there are so many options to choose from. Also note that global medical can help you pay for the services that help you maintain your health, such as checkups and other preventative measures.
By: David Tompkins, President of TFG Global Insurance Solutions Ltd., which owns and operates Expat Financial, a leading source for expat life and disability insurance and global medical plans for individual expatriates and expat employers around the globe. David can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org