As many expats age, they are often confused and worried about getting insurance. Is it still possible to get insurance given their age? What if they have illnesses or health issues already? How does their age affect the options available?

In this article, we will be revealing the top seven facts about medical insurance that older expats should know.

1. You Can Still Get Insurance With Pre-Existing Conditions

You are not doomed if you have pre-existing conditions. There are international health insurance companies out there that have plans that might accept you. But keep in mind that your age will probably affect the plans you can choose from. If you’re wondering if this applies to you, here are the top pre-existing conditions that put you in this category:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Pregnancy
  • Diabetes
  • Asthma
  • Cancer

This list is not comprehensive. There may be other long-term conditions that categorize you as having pre-existing conditions.
It’s not a guarantee that you will be covered, but there is a good chance. Be prepared for possibly higher rates and additional medical screenings if you go through with it.

2. You Should Mention All Pre-Existing Conditions

insurance for expatsWhen applying for insurance, make sure you mention all the pre-existing conditions you have. As an expat, your claim can be rejected if you forget to include a condition. This leads to expensive health bills you must pay yourself. It’s better to declare all conditions rather than leave some off and hope for a lower rate.

3. Certain Travel-Related Accidents Aren’t Included in International Health Insurance Plans

Certain risks are not insured under standard health insurance plans for expats. If you’re unaware of this, you are in for a surprise if you expect to be taken care of.

Specifically, recreational activities (like skydiving, surfing, and scuba diving) and war and terrorism events (bombs, nuclear strikes, warfare, attacks, and kidnapping) are not covered. If you want to be insured for these, look for specific insurance plans made for these, like War and Terrorism insurance or Expat Kidnapping and Ransom insurance.

However, international health insurance plans do cover emergency medical evacuation. If you are injured or affected in a remote area, the plan pays for airlifts to a suitable facility.

4. Long-Term Plans Are Better than Short-Term

You may be tempted to choose a short-term plan since you’re an expat, but think again. Longer plans have fewer exclusions. If you go through with a long-term plan, be sure to pay attention to expiration dates on exclusions. Some plans may offer maternity care, for instance, with a shorter expiration after continuous coverage.

5. Expat Health Care Is Cheaper Than It Is in the States

One great benefit of living or retiring abroad is that you don’t have to deal with more expensive and lower quality Medicare, which is what is offered in the U.S. Even a single hospital stay will be a fraction of what it costs in the U.S.

6. Consider Public Health Programs

Your adopted country may provide its government health program to you once you have established residency. The premium costs tend to be very low, depending on the country. Indonesia’s government-run health insurance program aims to offer free basic services for all hospitalizations (class-3 hospital beds). Its universal health insurance coverage plan aims to cover every Indonesian by 2019.

7. Try Using A Mix of Private and Public Insurance

The downside to government programs is that you might have to wait a while to get an appointment. You can supplement public insurance with private insurance in the meantime. Talk to an experienced insurance broker to discover which company provides the best expat health insurance for your unique situation.


By understanding expat health insurance for the elderly and using that knowledge, you can save a lot of money and time, which can be spent on your pleasures in Bali instead.

Now, I want to hear from you. Which tip did you learn the most from and how will you use it?

This article was contributed by expat international insurance experts Clements Worldwide. Clements offers low-cost international health insurance plans for expatriates. Visit their website for a free quote.