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Health Insurance for Retired Expats: Best 8 Options for Expats Over 60

Having health insurance for retired expats is an essential consideration for those seeking to enjoy their golden years abroad.

When you reach the age of over 60, finding the right health insurance plan can be a complex task, with many factors to consider, including coverage, cost, and eligibility. 

This blog aims to provide a comprehensive guide to health insurance options for retired expats, offering valuable insights and practical advice to help make the process of selecting a plan as straightforward and stress-free as possible. 

By exploring the most common questions and concerns surrounding health insurance for retired expats, we hope to empower readers to make informed decisions about their healthcare needs, ensuring that they can enjoy a happy, healthy, and fulfilling retirement in their new home overseas.

If you are looking to invest or get insured as an expat or high-net-worth individual, which is what I specialize in, you can email me (advice@adamfayed.com) or WhatsApp (+44-7393-450-837).

Why do retired expats need health insurance?

Retired expats need health insurance for several reasons. Firstly, as we age, our healthcare needs tend to increase, and we become more susceptible to illnesses and chronic conditions. 

Additionally, living in a new country can expose us to unfamiliar risks and health hazards, such as different strains of viruses or bacteria. Without adequate health insurance, retired expats may face significant financial strain if they require medical treatment or emergency care.

Furthermore, many countries require proof of health insurance as a condition of obtaining a residency visa. Even if it is not a requirement, it is still highly recommended to have health insurance as the cost of healthcare in some countries can be exorbitant.

 Moreover, retirees may find it challenging to navigate the healthcare system in their new country without insurance, particularly if they are not fluent in the local language.

Having health insurance for retired expats can provide peace of mind and ensure that they receive timely and appropriate medical care when needed, allowing them to enjoy their retirement years abroad to the fullest.

Having health insurance for retired expats can provide peace of mind. Photo by Kampus Production
Having health insurance for retired expats can provide peace of mind. Photo by Kampus Production

What are the main factors that retired expats should consider when choosing health insurance?

Carefully evaluating these factors and selecting a plan that meets their individual needs, retired expats can enjoy the peace of mind that comes with having comprehensive and reliable health insurance coverage:

Coverage

Retired expats should evaluate the extent of the coverage offered by the plan, including inpatient and outpatient care, emergency medical evacuation, prescription drugs, and dental and vision care.

Cost

The cost of the plan is another crucial consideration. Retired expats should assess their budget and ensure that the cost of the insurance is reasonable and sustainable.

Eligibility

Retired expats should review the eligibility criteria for the plan to ensure that they meet the requirements, including age restrictions, pre-existing conditions, and residency status.

Network of Providers

Retired expats should consider the network of healthcare providers and facilities included in the plan, ensuring that they have access to quality medical care in their new country.

Flexibility

Retired expats should assess the flexibility of the plan, such as the ability to choose their own doctors or hospitals and the option to add or remove coverage as needed.

Language Assistance

Retired expats who do not speak the local language fluently should consider whether the insurance plan offers language assistance to help navigate the local healthcare system.

Reputation

Retired expats should research the reputation and financial stability of the insurance provider, ensuring that they choose a reputable and reliable company.

What are the available health insurance plans for retired expats?

Retiring abroad can be a fantastic opportunity to experience new cultures, meet new people, and enjoy a relaxed lifestyle. 

However, health insurance is a crucial consideration for retired expats. Here are eight options for expats over 60 seeking health insurance:

Cigna Global

Cigna Global provides comprehensive international health insurance plans for individuals and families. They offer three levels of coverage, and their plans cover inpatient and outpatient care, prescription drugs, and emergency medical evacuation.

Allianz Care

Allianz Care provides a range of health insurance plans designed specifically for expats. Their plans offer worldwide coverage, including in the US, and include medical evacuation, emergency dental, and repatriation benefits.

Bupa Global

Bupa Global provides comprehensive health insurance plans for individuals and families. Their plans include coverage for inpatient and outpatient care, as well as emergency medical evacuation and repatriation.

GeoBlue

GeoBlue offers a range of international health insurance plans for individuals and families. Their plans include coverage for inpatient and outpatient care, as well as emergency medical evacuation and repatriation.

Aetna International

Aetna International provides a range of international health insurance plans designed for expats. Their plans include coverage for inpatient and outpatient care, as well as prescription drugs and emergency medical evacuation.

AXA PPP Healthcare

AXA PPP Healthcare provides a range of health insurance plans for individuals and families. Their plans offer worldwide coverage, including in the US, and include inpatient and outpatient care, as well as emergency medical evacuation.

IMG

IMG provides a range of international health insurance plans for individuals and families. Their plans include coverage for inpatient and outpatient care, as well as emergency medical evacuation and repatriation.

Expatriate Healthcare

Expatriate Healthcare offers a range of health insurance plans designed specifically for expats. Their plans include coverage for inpatient and outpatient care, as well as emergency medical evacuation and repatriation.

How much does health insurance for retired expats typically cost?

The cost of health insurance for retired expats can vary widely depending on several factors, such as age, pre-existing medical conditions, country of residence, and the level of coverage required.

In general, health insurance for retired expats tends to be more expensive than regular health insurance plans. This is because insurance providers consider retired expats to be at higher risk for medical issues due to age and lifestyle factors.

The cost of health insurance for retired expats can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars per year, depending on the coverage level and other factors.

Typically, plans with more comprehensive coverage and lower deductibles and co-payments will cost more.

It’s essential to consider the long-term affordability of the plan, as costs can increase as retirees age and their healthcare needs change. 

It’s also worth noting that healthcare costs can vary significantly depending on the country of residence, with some countries having significantly higher healthcare costs than others.

It’s important for retired expats to carefully evaluate their options and choose a health insurance plan that provides adequate coverage while remaining within their budget.

Are pre-existing conditions covered under health insurance for retired expats?

The coverage of pre-existing conditions in health insurance for retired expats can vary depending on the insurance provider and the specific plan.

Some plans may exclude coverage for pre-existing conditions altogether, while others may offer partial or full coverage after a waiting period or with additional premiums. 

It’s important to carefully review the terms and conditions of the plan to understand how pre-existing conditions are covered.

Retired expats with pre-existing conditions may need to disclose their medical history during the application process to determine their eligibility for coverage.

Insurance providers may require medical underwriting to evaluate the risk associated with providing coverage to individuals with pre-existing conditions.

In some cases, insurance providers may offer coverage for pre-existing conditions but exclude treatment related to the condition. 

For example, a plan may cover medical treatment for a heart attack, but not cover treatment related to a pre-existing heart condition.

It’s essential for retired expats with pre-existing conditions to carefully evaluate their insurance options and select a plan that provides adequate coverage for their specific needs. 

To avoid unexpected medical expenses, health insurance for retired expats should cover the area and potential costs. Photo by Pixabay
To avoid unexpected medical expenses, health insurance for retired expats should cover the area and potential costs. Photo by Pixabay

What should retired expats do if they need medical treatment in a country that is not covered by their insurance plan?

If a retired expat needs medical treatment in a country that is not covered by their insurance plan, they may have to pay for the treatment out of pocket.

In some cases, insurance providers may offer reimbursement for medical expenses incurred outside the coverage area, but it’s important to review the terms and conditions of the plan to understand the extent of coverage.

If paying for medical treatment out of pocket is not feasible, there may be alternative options available. 

For example, the retired expat may be able to seek treatment in a nearby country where their insurance plan does provide coverage, or they may be able to return to their home country for treatment.

It’s also worth noting that some insurance plans may provide travel assistance services, which can help arrange transportation and accommodations in the event of a medical emergency or when seeking medical treatment in another country.

To avoid unexpected medical expenses, retired expats should carefully review their insurance plan’s coverage area and consider the potential costs of medical treatment before traveling to another country. 

It’s also a good idea to research the local healthcare system and facilities in advance to understand the quality of care available and the potential costs of treatment.

Can retired expats choose their own doctors and hospitals when they have health insurance?

The ability for retired expats to choose their own doctors and hospitals can vary depending on the insurance plan.

Some health insurance for retired expats may have a limited network of providers and facilities, requiring them to receive care from designated healthcare providers. Other plans may offer more flexibility, allowing retired expats to choose their own doctors and hospitals.

It’s important to carefully review the terms and conditions of the insurance plan to understand the network of providers and the level of flexibility available. 

If the ability to choose one’s own doctors and hospitals is a priority, retired expats should look for insurance plans with a broader network of healthcare providers and facilities.

It’s also worth noting that insurance plans with a more extensive network of providers may have higher premiums. 

Retired expats should consider their budget and healthcare needs when selecting an insurance plan that meets their individual needs.

In some cases, retired expats may need to pay for medical treatment out of pocket if they choose to receive care from providers outside of the insurance plan’s network. 

Seeking advice from a knowledgeable insurance agent or financial advisor can be helpful in navigating the various options available and selecting a plan that provides adequate coverage while offering the desired level of flexibility.

Are routine check-ups and preventative care covered by health insurance for retired expats?

Routine check-ups and preventative care may be covered by health insurance plans for retired expats, depending on the specific plan and coverage level.

Some plans may cover routine check-ups and preventative care, such as annual physicals, vaccinations, and cancer screenings, as part of their basic coverage. 

Other health insurance for retired expats may offer these services as optional add-ons or may require additional premiums to include this coverage.

Preventative care is an essential aspect of maintaining good health and can help prevent more serious health issues from developing. 

Retired expats should carefully review their insurance plan’s coverage to understand the extent of preventative care covered and any associated costs.

It’s also important to note that the availability and quality of preventative care can vary widely depending on the country of residence. 

Retired expats should research the local healthcare system and facilities to understand the quality of care available and the potential costs of treatment.

In general, health insurance for retired expats should provide adequate coverage for routine check-ups and preventative care, as well as other medical services, to ensure that they can maintain good health and receive timely medical treatment when needed.

What happens if a retired expat needs emergency medical treatment while traveling outside their home country?

If a retired expat needs emergency medical treatment while traveling outside their home country, their health insurance plan may provide coverage for the treatment, depending on the terms and conditions of the plan.

Many health insurance for retired expats offer coverage for emergency medical treatment and may cover the costs of hospitalization, surgery, and other emergency medical services. 

Some plans may also provide coverage for emergency medical evacuation, repatriation, or transportation to another medical facility for treatment.

However, it’s important to note that the level of coverage for emergency medical treatment can vary widely depending on the insurance plan. 

Some plans may only provide limited coverage for emergency treatment, while others may have exclusions or limitations for certain types of emergencies.

Retired expats should review their insurance plan’s coverage for emergency medical treatment and familiarize themselves with the procedures for seeking medical assistance while traveling abroad. 

In the event of a medical emergency, they should contact their insurance provider as soon as possible to receive guidance and assistance.

Retired expats can also consider purchasing additional travel insurance or medical evacuation insurance to provide additional coverage for emergency medical treatment while traveling outside their home country. 

Many health insurance plans for retired expats offer coverage for chronic and pre-existing medical conditions. Photo by Matthias Zomer
Many health insurance plans for retired expats offer coverage for chronic and pre-existing medical conditions. Photo by Matthias Zomer

What happens if a retired expat develops a serious illness or requires ongoing medical treatment while living abroad?

Many health insurance for retired expats offer coverage for chronic and pre-existing medical conditions, and may cover the costs of hospitalization, surgery, and other medical treatments. 

However, it’s important to note that the level of coverage for ongoing medical treatment can vary widely depending on the insurance plan.

In some cases, insurance providers may require medical underwriting to evaluate the risk associated with providing coverage for chronic or pre-existing conditions. 

Retired expats with pre-existing conditions may need to disclose their medical history during the application process to determine their eligibility for coverage.

Retired expats with ongoing medical needs should carefully review their insurance plan’s coverage for ongoing medical treatment and understand any limitations or exclusions that may apply. 

They may also need to work closely with their healthcare providers to ensure that they receive appropriate medical care while living abroad.

In some cases, retired expats may need to pay for medical treatment out of pocket, particularly if the treatment is not covered by their insurance plan. 

An insurance agent or financial advisor can be helpful in navigating the various options available and selecting a plan that provides adequate coverage for ongoing medical needs while living abroad.

Conclusion

In conclusion, health insurance for retired expats is a crucial consideration for those seeking to enjoy their retirement years abroad.

By carefully evaluating their options and selecting a plan that provides adequate coverage, retired expats can enjoy peace of mind and ensure that they receive timely and appropriate medical care when needed.

It’s important to consider the various factors involved, such as coverage, cost, eligibility, and flexibility, and seek advice from a knowledgeable insurance agent or financial advisor to make informed decisions about healthcare needs. 

With the right health insurance for retired expats can confidently embark on a new chapter in their lives, enjoying a happy, healthy, and fulfilling retirement in their new home overseas.

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Adam is an internationally recognised author on financial matters, with over 744.2 million answer views on Quora.com, a widely sold book on Amazon, and a contributor on Forbes.

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