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Leaving the UK for good? Know before you go, says MediCare International


Another New Year, another New Year’s resolution and the chances are, for many, their goal for 2014 will be to leave the UK permanently to work or retire. The UK Office of National Statistics publishes data on net migration and their figures show the number of people leaving the UK over the last two years has consistently been around the 345,000 mark. Popular destinations include Spain, France and Canada.

But once abroad and away from your domestic healthcare provider, healthcare costs can quickly mount up – take an appendectomy, for example. Whilst each case will be different at the patient level, the surgical costs can vary from £8,000 in the UAE to £25,000 in the USA. In the UK such a procedure might cost £12,000, whilst in India it would cost £5,000 and in Spain, £10,000. In other examples quoted by international health insurance specialist MediCare International, a client who suffered a fall reclaimed medical costs of over £10,000, while another who injured an elbow whilst living in Hong Kong ran up medical expenses of over £20,000, once X ray, physio and other treatment costs were taken into account.

However, Britons may finally be getting better at planning their move aboard, according to a new survey published by MediCare International from amongst its website users. When questioned about their healthcare planning, four times as many said they intended to take out international health insurance before they left the UK, as opposed to waiting until they were installed abroad and looking locally for international health insurance cover later.

Commenting on the latest findings, MediCare International managing director Debbie Purser said, “For many years, insurers and the government have stressed the importance of planning before moving abroad. In particular, with healthcare costs rising at average levels of 8%-9%, unexpected medical bills can wreck a move abroad, unless expatriates are properly covered. This survey suggests many more are at least intending to take out cover before they leave the UK, which is a significant step in the right direction in our view.”

MediCare International offers four different levels of cover across two geographical options, worldwide and worldwide excluding the USA and the Caribbean. Policies cover a wide range of potential complaints from GP and dentist visits through to emergency hospital care and evacuation for the most serious cases. MediCare International is well known as one of the few insurers whose policies cover in full the cost of chronic care treatment. The company also covers workers in some of the world’s more difficult areas such as warzones and post conflict reconstruction areas.

With over 30 years experience of supporting the international business community worldwide and clients from 86 nationalities in 121 countries, MediCare International – website – is a major provider of health insurance for expats across the world.

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