South Africa expat health insurance
Thousands of expats looking for a new life have chosen to live and work in South Africa. Despite a number of problems in the country, it also offers lively and vibrant cities, beautiful scenery, a rich heritage and culture and great weather. For many expats the quality of life is good here and as the wealthiest nation in Africa, it is not surprising that this is a popular destination. There are also many opportunities for those who are skilled workers with many working in the mining and tourism industries. However, a move to South Africa is not without its concerns and one of these is the issue of health insurance.
South African healthcare
The public healthcare system in South Africa is under a lot of pressure and those who expect it to provide services of a similar standard to those found in the US and Europe are going to be disappointed. Resources are seriously lacking and those who need treatment could find that they are in for a long wait. Hospitals are also much smaller than the demand calls for.
At the other end of the scale is the private healthcare system. These are held in high regard and there are many facilities available to those who need them especially in the larger cities. There are even people flying in from other countries to make use of these facilities. Most are staffed by medical professionals that have been trained in other countries such as the US.
Peace of mind means that South Africa expat health insurance is a necessity and it is better to arrange it before you arrive in the country, so that you and your family are covered from the moment you land. Comprehensive medical insurance will cover the cost of hospital treatment and GP services so all aspects of healthcare are covered.
Health in South Africa
South Africa has had a number of health crises in recent years and many of these are ongoing. They include an epidemic of HIV and AIDS, high levels of diabetes and smoking related diseases and high numbers of tuberculosis sufferers. The government is looking at transforming healthcare so that access to good quality medical facilities can be guaranteed for all.
Expats prefer to use the private healthcare system and many of the facilities are managed by the large hospital groups. Private medical insurance is deemed to be necessary to access these services without facing a large bill.
Expat healthcare access
In order to access private healthcare in South Africa, it is necessary for the insurance provider to give the expat a letter of guarantee. This has to be passed to the hospital either before or on admission for treatment. If an expat needs emergency treatment then this care will be provided but the letter should be supplied to the hospital as soon as possible, otherwise patients are responsible for the bill. For outpatient services, most expats will pay for treatment with cash and then claim costs back from their insurer.
Do I need South Africa expat health insurance?
It is recommended that expats have some form of health insurance while they are in South Africa. In order to get treatment in another country the costs are high, particularly if you need to have emergency air transportation provided. For this reason, it is advisable to make sure that you can access private healthcare services locally, but expat health insurance will also offer you emergency transportation to facilities in other countries if they are needed.
Expat healthcare insurance
There are a number of providers for private expat healthcare insurance for those living and working in South Africa and Expat Health Group should definitely be the first port of call for those who need to arrange a policy. We have access to all the leading international healthcare policy providers and can easily match you and your family to a policy that will meet your requirements.
You do have the option of finding a local provider, with various schemes and a range of premiums. Often these start as very basic hospital cover policies but there may be limits to the type of facility that you are able to use. Most are intended for emergency medical care and may not offer the day to day medical care that you really need for peace of mind.
If you want additional features such as GP consultations, dental care and optical care, prescription costs and specialist care it is advisable to obtain a more comprehensive policy. When you call Expat Health Group a member of our team will be able to work with you to figure out just what you need and will be able to find you a policy to suit. International providers are often more suited to the expat as they have a greater understanding of the challenges faced by those who are moving to other countries and tailor their insurance products to suit.
If you want to obtain comprehensive health care cover for South Africa get a quote today for health insurance via Expat Health Group. Our team are on hand to answer any questions that you have, so why not call today and obtain that peace of mind that you want before you arrive in South Africa?