Social security abroad
The starting point of your analysis should probably be the social security. On one side, you have the social security of your home country. It is a kind of reference because you use it to maintain your health for years. On the other side, you have your country of expatriation. I.e. the social security abroad. You must check first which benefits you are entitled to local secial security and what is the local regulations.
The first approach already show you differences between the 2 social security. The conclusion can either be that you are advantaged, or not.
Social security in your home country and abroad
Some consider there are strong social securities. That means that the cover is comprehensive. As an example, one can mention the case of France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands or Switzerland. In fact, social securities there cover the following risks:
- health (medical, maternity),
- life and disability (related and/or non related to your professional activity),
- unemployment. And specific benefits for families or for certain populations (handicapped, elderly, …) are sometimes covered.
Expatriate medical plan
When the expatriate comes from of the above countries, he is used to these benefits and avantages. Also he is used not to be limited much for his health care. Therefore, he tries – most of the time – to copy paste these benefits for the expatriate medical plan.
The expatriate will look for a comprehensive plan. I.e. including in and out patient benefits, dental and assistance. Depending on his family situation, his age and his plans, maternity will be optional.
Social security abroad is not limited to medical
As you can see, all expatriates are not the same. They do not come all from the same country, and do not have the same habits and references. Also, there are not expatriated in the same country. Some countries are very regulated. And it is compulsary to subscribe locally. I.e. with an insurance Company registered in the country. For example: Dubai (DHA) and Abu Dhabi (HAAD).
Regulations, needs and expectations
When the question of compliance is clarified, then the expatriate has to consider that social protection is not limited to medical insurance. Thus, please take time to consider other risks. And to define correctly your needs and your expectations.
The best way to identify which insurance to subscribe is to roll out the worst case scenario. For example, what will happen if you have a car accident and if you become disable? What are you covered for? Which entity will pay? What happen if you move from your country of expatriation to your home country? Is there any impact on indemnities? …
Pay attention to the local regulation
Please note that subscribing to an expat health insurance does not free you from the local regulation.