Health insurance is a topic that some expats try to ignore. Many who abhor the idea of the “nanny state” end up in Cambodia and, sticking to their guns, choose not to purchase insurance. It’s only when they end up in the hospital after getting into a moto accident that they learn the folly of their ways.
While Cambodia is not a very dangerous place, its roads are. And while basic medical care is quite inexpensive, there are many procedures that no one who cares about his health should have done here, and medical evacuation is very, very expensive. If you’re not insured for it, expect to spend upwards of $20,000 if you need to be airlifted to Singapore or Bangkok–and your transporters will expect to be paid up front.
Whether you decide to get travel insurance or health insurance is up to you, but just make sure to get some sort of insurance!
If you’re moving to Cambodia long term, another option is to get real health insurance. When you’re deciding whether or not you need to get a comprehensive plan, remember that it’s quite easy to get admitted to the hospital in Cambodia — being willing to pay the bill is enough to get you hospitalized for minor procedures.
Cigna Global, a well-known American insurance company, has several plans designed specifically for expats who are living and working abroad and we’ve heard great reviews from Cambodia expats who use them. Depending on the plan, they offer $1,000,000 coverage and up; the platinum plan has unlimited coverage. They have optional benefits that include worldwide outpatient cover, vision and dental, and medical evacuation (and trust us, you’ll want the latter). Check out their international plans and get a quote from Cigna Global online now.
French insurance agent broker David Treal of AG Cambodia is popular with expats because he advocates for his customers with insurance companies to help make the claims process as painless as possible (we have first-hand experience of this). He’s based in Phnom Penh but works with customers all over Cambodia (in English and French) and can help you pick the most appropriate expat policy for your specific situation.
Many short-term expats get by using only travel insurance. For those who are in Cambodia for a short period of time and who have a national health-care system at home, this is a reasonable choice. Travel insurance is much cheaper than expat health insurance, but it will usually only cover enough care to stabilize you. For example, if you’re in a serious car accident, travel insurance will cover your acute-care hospital bills but won’t cover the months of rehabilitation you’ll need. They will, however, send you home, so for those who have some kind of coverage in their home country, travel insurance can be a good option. If you’re trying to decide on a plan, we have tips on what to look for in a good travel insurance policy.
The most flexible travel insurance policy available is provided by World Nomads. They offer excellent options for those who claim Cambodia as their country of residence (as well as for those residing outside the country and just visiting). You can what it would check cost to get insured via World Nomads using the widget below.
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