International Health Insurance for Australian Expatriates
The Current Status: International Health Insurance for Australian ExpatsUnfortunately, the Covid 19 pandemic made it exceptionally difficult to arrange international health insurance, and Australian insurers currently remain uninterested in providing cover on an individual basis. It may be possible to arrange cover outside Australia, with international insurers, but cover is typically very expensive and will often not include cover for pre-existing conditions. For these reasons, any Australians moving overseas on work related employment need to ensure that quality health insurance is provided within their employment package or that they can arrange good quality health cover in their new country of residence.
The commentary below summarises the pre-Covid 19 options in terms of arranging health insurance for Australian expats - hopefully we will return to this situation in the medium to longer term.
Ensuring quality health insurance coverage usually ranks amongst the very highest expatriate priorities. By any standard, Australians enjoy a very high quality of health services and there is usually a desire to ensure that immediate access to similar quality care is not compromised by virtue of either living in a developing country or by exceptionally high local medical costs. Ideally, international health insurance should be arranged before expatriates, and their families, leave Australia so that there are no potential gaps in cover.
International health insurance is more complex than domestic health insurance because of the vastly wider range of circumstances that have to be contemplated – and in particular the need for emergency repatriation in certain situations. A number of expatriate health policies are available in the Australian market place and they should be very carefully considered by Australian expatriates - in terms of their cost effectiveness and level of integration with the Australian health system. Subject to proper arrangements, most plans offer members guaranteed re-entry into the private Australian health system with no waiting times or penalties.
|Expatriates should not rely on travel insurance policy to provide health cover while overseas - policies normally provide access only to emergency care and may be void if the insured is considered resident in a country, rather than travelling.
It is also important to note that there are several critical factors that can affect this insurance at the expiry of any policy - such as claims during the policy period, the number of people covered under the policy, the level of benefits selected and a change in occupation or country of residence.
International health cover is typically a complex, expensive purchase and we strongly recommend the involvement of an experienced health insurance broker in the process. Typically, this involves no added expense and you will have some professional assurance that your cover meets your specific circumstances and is cost effective. If you would like to obtain personal advice about International health insurance cover please complete the Inquiry form at the bottom of this page and you will be contacted promptly by an experienced health insurance broker based in Australia.