When you become an expat, there are a few major things you need to worry about. Firstly, accommodation: where are you going to stay, how long for, and what do you need to move there? Second, your finances: have you got enough savings, will you have an income over there, have you invested in something like fnb securities so you know you have some investments to fall back on. And lastly, health care. Are you living as a foreigner in another country and not sure if you need expat health insurance?
As an American expat living in the UK, I am completely confused about health care in both countries. Further, during my recent one month holiday in Florida, I spent nearly $1,000 on medical expenses.
None of these expenses were emergencies, luckily, but you never know when serious conditions could develop which is why getting something like critical illness insurance is so important when living in America.
Now that I have returned to the UK and learned more about health insurance, I am really grateful I didn’t have any urgent situations while visiting my home country because I could have been in a real mess. Yes, I would have gotten great care, like my friend did when they paid a visit to their local clinic (I think it was the one on this website?) but the worry is still there.
This is what happened and why you might want to make the phone call that I did…
Prior to living here, I had a fabulous health care plan in America through my job. I had minimal co-pays and excellent rates on additional things like prescriptions, eye glasses, contact lenses and appointments at a place similar to Optometrist Bronx. Obamacare happened just as I was leaving the US, and it seems like it’s a pretty complicated system.
I did register with the NHS in the UK upon moving to London and was able to do so because Mr. Sunny is British and I have a spouse visa. Although this entitles me to health care, I have always been a bit nervous about visiting doctors in the UK. I just find a different system intimidating. In three years, I hadn’t had my eyes checked, much less purchased new glasses, nor had any other annual doctors checkups that are recommended, aside from the initial GP meeting.
In that time, I have contributed to health care in the UK through the jobs I have had, because there is always a deduction for it in my paychecks.
After three years of avoidance, I jumped on what was familiar and scheduled doctors visits during my Florida trip. At the very least, I knew I needed a new pair of glasses.
It was awkward saying to doctors that I didn’t have American medical insurance. It was painful when I paid the bill at the end of the visits. After two scheduled visits, a pair of Michael Kors glasses, and a 90 day supply of contact lenses later, I am out $1000.
Could I have done this differently? Yes.
In the future, I am going to start going to an eye doctor in the UK via the NHS. That will definitely save me some money.
During this time of medical despair, I was ironically contacted to write a sponsored post for Medibroker.com. What helped me decide if I should move forward on the offer is actually being in a situation where I needed to know the information. Could I have saved $1000? For British readers or people living as expats in the UK, that’s equivalent to about £640.
Rather than just write a post and integrate a link, I called Medibroker and set up an appointment to speak with a representative about expat health insurance.
Medibroker: My Expat Health Insurance Questions Answered
Their website is easy to navigate, and I made an appointment for a time to have a representative contact me. The conversation wasn’t long.
After I explained the details about my visits above, he indicated that I did not need expat health insurance and was covered under the NHS. I never revealed I was also doing research as a blogger because I wanted the call and post to be authentic in every sense. The representative wasn’t pushy about selling me expat health insurance and was very informative.
I learned that since I am registered with the NHS, I don’t need additional coverage in the UK unless I want to explore a private health care plan, which Medibroker could have explored for me. However, I did learn that if I have an emergency in the USA when I am visiting my family, it would be wise to have additional coverage or travel insurance.
I appreciated the representative’s advice and will make decisions from here. The biggest question, Sunny expat friends, is…
Do you know what kind of coverage you have if you’re living in a foreign country? Do you need expat health insurance? To find out, I suggest you visit their website and request a quote and consultation.
It didn’t take long at all. They are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. The very first thing I was told during the phone call was that all calls are recorded for this reason.
While I can be clear that this is a sponsored post, I also want to clarify that I pursued it because I really did need to know the information and was pleased with the site in which I am linking and recommending.
What are your thoughts? Do you know how you are covered in a medical emergency outside of the country to which you are a national?