First, Covid-19, and now with the world’s attention focused on Ukraine as the Russian invasion continues, the subject of the protection of expatriate workers during a crisis has resurfaced. What should long-term expatriates do in the event of a catastrophic crisis?
Expatriating internationally for an extended period of time for work or for leisure means experiencing extraordinary moments but also, in rare cases, facing constraints such as –
- a health crisis
- a natural disaster
- a war
All of these can have a serious impact and consequences for people if they don’t have an expat international health insurance plan to cover them during the crisis. But what is international health insurance for expatriates?
What is Expat International Health Insurance?
Expat international health insurance is a type of insurance that covers medical expenses for those who are traveling or residing abroad.
Why Do Expats Require International Health Insurance?
Medical insurance is required by law in some countries, which is one of the reasons why expats need it. You may be asked to provide proof of health insurance by the immigration office that provides your visa.
Another reason is that it covers healthcare bills you may incur while living overseas. Moreover, medical costs can be quite pricey, especially when a condition is considered severe, such as emergency care or cancer therapy.
In this expat guide, we will tell you what expatriates should do in the event of a crisis.
During Medical Emergencies
You have already planned everything about moving to a new country but there are some precautions you should take before leaving to minimize health risks. Before you decide to settle, make sure you have-
- Researched the healthcare system in the country
- Applied for an expat international health insurance
- Have emergency telephone numbers
- Have a first aid kit ready
During Natural Disasters
No one can really forecast a natural disaster but you might be moving to a country where heavy rainfalls, cyclones, or tsunamis are common. Make sure –
- To get accurate and reliable information about the region
- To choose a home that has a 24×7 water supply
- To put together an evacuation backpack
- Have dry foods or canned foods
- First aid kit
During a War
Wars take place slowly and gradually. You can get an idea or a hint about a possible war by regularly being updated with the local and national news. So, when you move to a new country, make sure –
- To register with your consulate or embassy
- Give your contact information to a trusted individual or relatives residing in the same country
- To educate yourself through worldwide, national, and local media
- Keep an eye on social media like Twitter and Instagram for real-time information
- Check the websites of your local embassy and your home country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs/Diplomacy
Also, you should always keep important belongings in one place, most probably in an emergency backpack such as –
- Important documents and passports
- Hand sanitizer
- Torch and a map
- A first aid kit
- A pair of fresh clothing
- A matchbox
Since you cannot have a backpack ready with products that have an expiration date, keep them in close proximity so you can easily reach out while moving out during an excavation-
- Canned foods
- Ready-to-eat items such as noodles
- Dry fruits
Getting dependable international health insurance as well as having a preventive strategy in place to cover you in the event of an unforeseen crisis can save you from serious lifelong consequences.