Top 5 Common International Health Insurance mistakes for Expats

When going overseas, expats often end up with either too much health coverage or more often too little. Limited health coverage that doesn’t provide enough cover, could mean you incur significant out-of-pocket medical expenses. There are a number of common mistakes Expats make when choosing health insurance.


1. Buying a cheap domestic policy


Some Expats buy a local or domestic purchase health insurance plan, which only covers them in the country they are living in. This means the expat is not covered when travelling abroad. Further many local plans are very basic and fail to cover many conditions


2. Failing to buy any Health Insurance 


Some expats, particularly those that are young, assume they are healthy and won’t need insurance. Accidents or ill health can fall upon anyone, no matter what your age. When an expat finds themselves in a foreign country without health insurance, costs can be substantial. Hospital and drug bills soon add up and the cost of major surgery, can run into hundreds of thousands of dollars 


3.Buying insurance without maternity coverage


If there is a chance you may become pregnant within the next 2 years, it’s important to ensure you have maternity insurance. Most insurance policies have a 12-month waiting limit before a maternity benefit claim can be made. Maternity costs can be huge, so ensuring you have maternity cover in advance of pregnancy is essential.


4. Not telling the truth on application


Be honest and upfront in your application from the beginning, as in the long term it will save you money, and ensure your reputation, is in good standing.  Some expats are tempted to leave out full details of their medical history so that they can lower the price of insurance cover. If you make a claim and the insurance company discovers that you have not been truthful about your medical details, your claim could be invalidated Hiding information from an insurer could be considered fraud. Furthermore, failure to disclose medical details to one medical insurer could stop you getting coverage in the future, even with a different provider. 


5. Not purchasing a plan that covers drugs


Whether you are currently taking medication or not, having prescription drug coverage is important. Many countries charge high prices for drugs, particularly those required for major illnesses or new drugs. Having outpatient and drug coverage will ensure you don’t bear the cost of potentially extremely expensive prescriptions


One way to avoid mistakes in choosing the right health insurance plan, is to work with an insurance broker. At Expat Insurance Scanner we help individuals make the right choices that fit their health and life needs.




The 5 Best Reasons for Expats to Retire in Cambodia

If you are looking for an affordable place to retire then Cambodia, has many attractions. Whether it’s the ancient culture and temples such as Angkor Wat or you are drawn by one of Asia’s most open economies, Cambodia continues to attract an increasing number of expats. It is little wonder that internationals visitors to Cambodia are growing by double digits, at 6.2 million in 2018, a 11 percent increase from 2017

Cost of Living

There are few places in Asia, let alone the world where a bottle of Champagne can be bought for $25 and a round of golf with caddie costs just per $65 at a country club. With rents as low as $250 for a one-bedroom apartment in an expat area, in the capital Phnom Penh, retiring expats can live on a budget as low as $1,000. More typically expats budget on $1500 – $2,500 per month. `
Language and currency
English is the second language of choice for many Cambodians, (particularly in the capital and principal tourist destinations), alongside Khmer, the official language of Cambodia. Compared to neighbouring Thailand, English is much more widely spoken, giving Expats an easier opportunity to communicate with the locals.
The U.S. dollar is widely accepted and many prices are displayed in both the local currency and US Dollars, making day to day calculations a lot easier for an incoming expat.

Condominium Purchase

One major benefit for expat retirees in Cambodia is that government policy allows foreigners to buy Condominiums in Cambodia Since April 2010, the Cambodia foreign ownership property law allows foreigners to buy and own Cambodia properties on the 1st floor or higher to a maximum of 70% of any one apartment building. This law does have restrictions, as it does not include the floor and hence an expat cannot own the land. However, expats can own 100% of a freehold condominium in Cambodia.


Angkor wat is Cambodia’s cultural crown jewel and feted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, on a par with the other ancient world wonders. But the people are one of Cambodia’s main attractions as expats and tourists often mention their love of Cambodia is the positive attitude of the local population towards foreigners. Expats are regularly greeted with an open and welcoming “Khmer smile” throughout the country.

Healthcare Options

Advanced healthcare remains limited in Cambodia though the public healthcare system, which is why expat health insurance is essential. Private hospitals do offer a better quality of care but in many areas the specialists or modern equipment is not available on-site to treat certain medical conditions. In the event of a complicated medical condition, it is recommended to seek treatment outside of Cambodia (e.g. Bangkok in Thailand, Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam or in China or in Singapore), or even request repatriation to your country of origin. Even though healthcare costs are very low in Cambodia, the services offered can be very limited depending on where you are. Expats are advised to check their health insurance plan includes treatment overseas.

A disadvantage of Cambodia….

While safety on the city streets is reasonable, if you wonder into rural areas landmines from decades old conflicts still pose a threat. Caution is advised when travelling away from the main roads in rural communities. Roads accidents whilst lower than neighbouring Thailand, are still high particularly in rural areas, where fast riding youth motorcycles are more common.

If you are looking for an affordable country that is open and welcoming to foreigners then Cambodia has many advantages. Its low cost of living, growing expat community, great golf, reasonable healthcare should put this country on any expat’s list of choices for retirement.

Pros and Cons of Being an Expatriate in Thailand

If you are thinking of moving to Thailand, then this country has benefits galore. Of course, not everything will be to your liking. But in this article, we will try to give you a taste of what the country has to offer, particularly if you are a European, North American or Australian/NZ Expat, thinking of making Thailand your base

Pros for an Expat

COVID -19 Free

With the COVID raging in most countries, Thailand is one of the few countries to have eradicated the virus. At the time of this article in 2020, there was no current local transmission of COVID-19. There are some social distancing measures but by and large people can go about their lives normally. Bars, Clubs, Schools, Restaurants are all open. A complete difference to almost all of Europe and North America.


If you are used to the Canadian arctic chill, or the Northern European cold bluster, then you will have no complaints when the sunshine of Thailand envelopes you, the all year round. Thailand has a rainy season for around 6 months of the year, but even then, there’s a big difference between the biting cold rain of a North American winter and the warm droplets that fall in Thailand. And the rain is still pleasantly warm in Thailand.

Word Renowned Cuisine

Thai food is popular the world over, and of course there’s nothing like sampling Thai cuisine in its native land. The streets are abuzz with delicious Thai fried snacks and for the health conscious there is a cut fresh fruit vendor on every corner. Bangkok has a sampling of every country’s food and there is something for every palette, even if you just stick to McDonalds or Burger King. Whether you are on a budget or you frequent swanky Five Star Hotels there are plenty of choices at every level

Cost of living

Thailand’s cost of living is one of the lowest cost popular Expat destinations. Expats can live on less that USD$1000 a month. Certainly. a comfortable lifestyle can be had for USD $2000 per month.

World Class Medical Facilities

Thailand has globally renowned hospitals and specialist clinics and prices are much lower than comparable institutions in Europe, the UK and America. Many people can use their Expat Medical Insurance and gain access to the great facilities here

Cons for an Expat


Although Thailand’s weather is great for some, the all year-round heat can make walking around a sweaty experience. But nothing a tea shirt under a shirt couldn’t handle. You can easily make sure you are well turned out for your business meeting.

Political Situation

There has been varying degrees of political turmoil in the last twenty years in Thailand. The Thai Democracy has a General in charge and there are various movements that are trying to achieve political change. However, for an expat focussed on business or leisure, the political issues rarely effect daily life.

Poor road Safety

One area where Thailand consistently performs poorly is road accidents. Although Thailand has traffic legislation often as tough as Europe or North America, the enforcement is lax. The accident rate is one of the highest in the world. In 2016, 32.7 out of every 100,000 Thais died on the nation’s roads, compared to the road fatality rate in the United State of 12.4 (WHO stats). Just remember when you cross the road here, you need to keep an eye on the traffic as well as the lights. Certainly, ensure you have Expat Health Insurance just in case you are unlucky.

All in all, though Thailand remains one of the most attractive places for expats. The issues that do exist are small compared to the benefits of climate, Great Tourist Locations. Cost of living and friendliness of the Thai people