Health Insurance for Expats

[UPDATE Apr 10, 2011: Some of this is wrong. It has been corrected in a follow up post.]

I’ve had health insurance as part of my job benefits ever since the first job after grad school. COBRA took care of the two long periods of unemployment. Health insurance ended in Oct ’08 when I left the states. Since then the only medical expenses have been minor.

That don’t mean I don’t fear getting clobbered with an IRA busting hospital bill. It’s not procrastination that’s kept me from looking into health insurance for 2 years, it’s some state of mind that I can’t identify, but probably is related to the realization that I’m going to be here for a while.

The first agent I queried responded with a plan for inpatient coverage of up to $1,000,000 a year (I’ll pay outpatient out of pocket) in Thailand and 7 other SE Asian countries. It includes coverage while traveling for up to 3 continuous months outside of SE Asia (except for the expensive countries of Bahamas, Canada, Japan, Switzerland and the US of A), and up to two months in my country of citizenship. All for an annual fee of about my average Thai monthly expenses. Next step is to research if this is too good to be true.

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