Whether a long-flying pro or in the planning stages of your maiden international voyage, health and safety are key elements that should definitely not be overlooked. Dealing with new surroundings can be quite tantalizing but not very well managed without a modicum of preparation and knowledge.

Immunizations: Research and obtain the recommended immunizations for your destination at least 8 weeks before travel. Visit a health professional to decide on a personal immunization plan.
Health Insurance: Make sure that your current policy covers international medical emergencies, or else take extra coverage for international medical emergency under a travel insurance policy for this journey.
Safety Research: Get an idea of the local laws, customs, and potential safety concerns peculiar to your destination. Keep up to date on travel advisories by your government.
Pack smart:
Carry a first-aid kit containing basic medicines and supplies such as antihistamines, antiseptic wipes, and bandages.
Pack comfortable and sturdy shoes and dress accordingly to the weather.

Emergency Medical Evacuation: A Critical Component

Picture this: you’re trekking through the Mt Kenya, exploring the beauty and volcanic activity that happened there, or hiking the Aberdare Forest – the adventure of a lifetime. But what happens if you suffer a serious medical emergency in a remote location with limited healthcare facilities? This is where emergency medical evacuation becomes a critical component of your travel safety plan.

Managing Pre-exisitng Conditions Abroad

Travelling with a pre-existing medical condition in itself really should not limit your travel; if well planned and managed proactively, then there should not be any risks entailed. Here is a quick guide on how to do so: Before you go.

Doctor’s Visit: Fix an appointment to consult your doctor on your travel and ensure that the status quo in terms of your health remains unchanged. Obtain a doctor’s letter stating your health status and medications. Medications: Pack extra of your prescribed medications, with possible delays in mind, or lost luggage. Check out refills via the destination.

Travel Insurance: Choose a plan that specifically covers pre-existing conditions, or with which there is a waiver and eligibility.

Renewal and Transition: Navigating Changes in Expatriate Health Insurance

As an expatriate, keeping up with all the nitty-gritty that health insurance involves is an ongoing process. And, on top of it, the addition of renewals and transitions—be it planned or abrupt—adds to it. Fret not! Here’s your quick guide to smoothly sailing your expat health insurance journey: Renewal time:

Review & Compare
Do not renew on blind faith. Compare your expiring plan against current changing needs and market offers. It’s good to compare deductibles, levels of coverage, network changes, and recent claim experiences.
Negotiate: If staying with your current provider, consider negotiating with them. Play up your claims history and loyalty as ways to finagle better rates or get some coverage enhancements in there.
Renewal deadlines: Careful with renewal deadlines and grace periods. Failures here would mean coverage gaps or penalties. Set calendar reminders for when policies are up for renewal.

Maternity and Family Coverage for Expats

Being an expat family brings a lot of excitement and a lot of unknowns. Successfully dealing with maternity and family coverage may prove complex, but a well-informed plan for the same should allow for a smooth path to be charted as your family expands.

Pre-existing conditions: Does it cover any pre-existing conditions, suchinstance infertility treatment, for any family member?
The plan should be such that it covers all the different types of delivery, namely natural delivery, through a Cesarean section, and even home delivery.
Neonatal care: Does the plan cover the normal set of checkups, as well as vaccinations and any problems that the child may face, during the baby’s neonatal period?
Family expansion plans: How does the plan cover future pregnancies or adoptions?

Coverage Options Explored:
Employer-sponsored plans – family option and maternity cover, or not?
Exclusions and limitations.
Individual expat health insurance – many offers maternity, but compare deductibles, co-pays, network hospitals, and pre-existing condition clauses.
Local health insurance: keeping in mind the local options that respond to your needs regarding cost and benefits, with the shortcoming of having to research your options or a possible language barrier.