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International health insurance

The different options for people living or working abroad

In much the same way that normal health insurance offers different levels of cover, international health insurance is also available in different packages. The cheapest packages will cover you for hospital treatment and specialists' fees, while more expensive options will also pay for doctor visits, prescription medicines or home nursing.

Like normal health insurance, international health insurance tends to be offered at different levels: for example, BUPA International offers packages it calls Essential, Classic and Gold. As the name suggests, Essential covers the basics - hospital accommodation, specialists' fees, cover for emergency ambulances - while the more expensive packages add more options. Classic covers you for out-patient treatment, while Gold also pays for family doctor visits, prescription medicine, emergency dentistry and home nursing.

International health insurance also offers additional (paid-for) options that may be worthwhile. Typically these include Evacuation, which will transport you to the nearest medical "centre of excellence" wherever you are in the world, and Repatriation, which enables you to return to your country of origin for treatment rather than undergo treatment in the country where you currently live and work.