Teach English Worldwide recommends that you have some form of health insurance while living and working abroad. You may be tempted to forgo coverage in order to save money or avoid the hassle of finding and registering with a new company. However, these considerations are far outweighed by the risks of not having a solid health insurance plan if you get hurt or fall ill.
Before you go abroad, do some serious research into your current health insurance policy, the health care situation in the country to which you are moving, and the various health care plans available to you.
There are several points that you might want to keep in mind:
- In better paying TEFL / TESOL markets, your employer may offer health benefits as part of your compensation package. Thoroughly investigate what this policy will entail to make sure it will suit your needs.
- If you plan to stay with your current health insurance company, you should find out if your coverage will be affected by traveling or living overseas. Some companies do not allow policy holders to live overseas. Others raise the monthly payments or the deductible when you are abroad. Additionally, you may be required to pay any health costs in another country up front, and will only be compensated after you have filed a claim with your health insurance provider.
- If you have recently graduated from college or university, you may still be covered under you parents insurance. Other policies cover child dependents until they reach a certain age.
- If you have a visa and a work permit, you may be covered by the national health service of the country in which you are working. However, you should make sure that you are eligible for this care, and that it will be sufficient for your needs.
- You may be able to find adequate and relatively inexpensive private health care plans or HMOs in the country in which you are working.
- If you are planning to stay abroad for less than a year, you may want to explore “Travelers Insurance” – specialized insurance for traveling and living abroad for short periods of time.
- Some companies offer comprehensive health plans specifically designed for teachers and other educators. If you are eligible, these types of policies may also be a good choice.