So, you have always dreamed of spending your retirement abroad, perhaps living in an apartment overlooking the sea or enjoying a serene life surrounded by nature. No matter what your retirement goals are, you deserve to achieve them! But, before packing up your belongings and booking your one-way ticket, there is one critical aspect to look into: health insurance.
Healthcare standards and costs vary from one country to another, and overlooking this factor can expose you to significant health risks. So, how can you be sure that you are making the right choice? The considerations below can help. Let’s get started.Image by pressfoto on Freepik
Learn What To Expect From the Healthcare System in Your Destination Country
According to a 2018 study conducted by Aegon Center for Longevity and Retirement, retiring abroad is a major aspiration for at least 12% of Americans. But while more and more people wish to relocate after retirement, planning your move and ensuring that you can access high-quality healthcare isn’t any easier.
Indeed, healthcare systems vary dramatically in different countries, especially in terms of costs, accessibility, and quality. Before choosing a destination to relocate to, make sure to conduct your due diligence and ensure that you’ll be able to access reliable health services for routine checkups and emergencies alike!
Check Whether You Are Eligible for Free or Universal Health Insurance
Many countries offer free or affordable health services as part of their universal health care programs. Although these services might not be accessible for tourists and visitors, as a resident, you might be able to drastically reduce the costs of healthcare.
Before signing up for public health coverage, be sure to compare plans and check that there are no age restrictions or limitations for pre-existing conditions.
Compare Plans to Find the Right Medical Insurance Plan, e.g. in Dubai
Whether you are not eligible for public health insurance or require add-ons and additional coverage, investing in private insurance is a must for anyone looking to relocate abroad.
When looking for private health insurance in your destination country, partnering with a local provider and comparing policies is always recommendable. For example, if you are moving to Dubai, you’ll be able to find and compare medical insurance plans, and verify that your chosen provider has been certified by the Insurance Authority UAE.
Look Into the Benefits of International Insurance Policies
If you are not prepared to settle in a single destination, or you are planning to travel often between your home country and your new home, you might consider the benefits of investing in an international health insurance policy.
These plans allow you to access basic health services in any country you might be visiting and enjoy global health coverage. However, you should always pair international policies with a comprehensive medical plan in the area where you reside.
Ensure You Have Access to the Prescription Medicines You Need
As you get older, you might become increasingly reliant on prescription drugs and medical treatments. Although this is a normal part of aging and it should not stop you from living your retirement dream, you should ensure that you can continue accessing the medicines you need after relocating.
To do so, consult your healthcare provider and ask whether a certain medicine is available in another country, how much you should expect to pay for it, and under what brand name it is sold. And, don’t forget to choose a health insurance plan that covers the cost of prescription medicines!
Pinpoint Suitable Clinics and Providers Before Moving
Before moving to a new country take time to find the best hospitals, clinics, and healthcare providers in the area. After all, the last thing you’d want is to have to look for a dentist or surgeon during an emergency!
To find suitable providers, assess organizations that have been globally accredited by the Joint Commission International, employ internationally trained staff, and provide services in English (or in any language you are comfortable communicating in). And, make sure they are part of your insurance provider’s network!
Maintain a Healthy and Active Lifestyle To Keep at Bay Health Issues
As you get older, health issues seem to become a constant companion. However, understanding how to manage your health as you age can help you keep emergencies at bay and delay the onset of diseases and conditions that can impact your life after retirement.
In particular, aim to live an active lifestyle, keep your weight in check, be mindful about your diet, and maintain your cognitive skills sharp through socialization and brain exercises.
Anticipate Your Needs and Have a Support System in Place
Whether you have retired early or still have plenty of energy to sell, don’t forget that, as the years go on, you might need more support than you need now. Get ready for it by choosing an insurance plan that provides coverage for mental healthcare, assisted living, or nursing home services.