Worried about future health costs? International private health insurance may be the answer


Ensuring suitable healthcare will be available and affordable is usually top of the list for people wanting peace of mind when retiring overseas.

Determining your private health insurance needs.

It is important to understand the healthcare system of the country you will be relocating to. This provides you with the knowledge of what services will be available to you, and an understanding of the quality, accessibility, and the general cost of those services. This will be the starting point in determining what your private health insurance needs will be.

International private health cover is the most suitable type of medical cover for an expat. This cover allows you to choose a ‘zone’ of cover, which means that your medical costs will be reimbursed so long as the country in which you seek treatment is specified in the zone of the policy and your policy provides for the condition being treated. 

Please note that travel insurance can become null and void if the insurance company discover you have moved permanently overseas.

Why is international private health insurance important?

For most retirees having this cover provides peace of mind should an unexpected event occur. The benefit of this cover includes:

It’s important to note that taking out insurance in Asia is usually more cost effective than taking out the same cover, with the same company in Australia.

What can be covered?

International private health insurance policies generally offer three key components:

Basic or standard plans usually includes inpatient care but excludes outpatient care.

Comprehensive plans will usually offer both inpatient and outpatient care, usually with a capped limit, while premium plans can offer both inpatient and outpatient care with a variety of add-on options. 

What Retire to Asia has found in practice

Whilst outpatient treatment and basic public hospital care are quite affordable in SE Asia, it is recommended by Retire to Asia that if at all possible, expats should take out insurance covering at least hospitalisation and evacuation to a facility of your choice, which may also include to another country should the facilities in your country of choice not be sufficiently capable of dealing with more serious medical conditions.

In addition, if you are able to afford outpatient care as part of your insurance package adding this to your cover can make sense.

How do I find out more information?

International private health insurance is a complex field. There are many insurers out there pitching for your business and it pays to seek unbiased advice in order to obtain the most suitable policy for you.

The team at Retire to Asia constantly discuss this topic with various expat communities to gauge opinion, and actual experiences with various insurance companies which we find to be the best source of independent information based on the collective experiences within those communities. 

Always remember though that you get what you pay for. If you buy what is clearly a cheap policy without advice, beware when it comes time to make a claim.

Retire to Asia is always here to help

The team at Retire to Asia has partnered with an experienced insurance brokers working with many expat communities within Asia. 

If you’d like more information or have any questions, please feel free to call 1800-961-377 or email in**@re**********.au and let the team at Retire to Asia help make your dream lifestyle a reality.

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