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Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered

Retiring in another country is a common dream amongst those who long for a quieter place to live, a warmer climate, or simply a new, fresh place to spend a peaceful time after many years of hard work.

Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered

There are, however, plenty of factors to consider, and ensuring that healthcare will be provided in your new home must be on your priority list.

Having ended your ties to a job, you can finally venture into a new place. Selecting a country to retire might be more difficult than one expects.

It’s not just about the culture and language, although those are of course important factors. But how expensive the cost of living is where you’d like to be? What type of property can you afford? What activities are available that match your interests? And, perhaps most important of all – will healthcare services be provided for you as an expat?

Making sure that the place you move to has quality healthcare facilities is very important in the retirement stage of your life. The good news is, with retirement abroad becoming more common, easier and affordable than years before, healthcare insurance policies are evolving to cover individuals that decide to take this step.

When it comes to health standards, statutory care, and emergency treatment, details vary from country to country. There are major differences in waiting times, cost, and accessibility for expats. Individual private medical insurance (IPMI) policies can often be more advantageous to expats than local policies are, as many of the benefits within these policies have been tailored specifically to suit expatriates.

“At Cigna Global, we specialise in health insurance policies for expats, ensuring the very best of care will be available to you as and when you need it, anywhere in the world,” said Arjan Toor, Managing Director of Cigna Global. Cigna currently provides health insurance for customers in over 200 countries and territories, with a medical network of over 1 million hospitals and medical professionals worldwide.

“As with the purchase of any product, one size almost certainly does not fit all,” Arjan adds. “For that very reason, we’ve created a products suite that can be tailored exactly to the needs of you and your family.”

All Cigna Global policies are fully medically underwritten, with the aim of providing full clarity and transparency on the implications of medical conditions. Full cancer care is a standard benefit included with all Cigna Global Policies, which also come with high limits – such as up to $3,000,000 of care per period of cover (Platinum level policies), covering things like surgeon fees, consultation fees, medical fees and hospital accommodation.

Get a quote from Cigna for International Health Insurance

In addition, there are three levels of coverage to choose from, so expats can choose just the right fit – with options including outpatient care, medical evacuation, and vision and dental care.

“As specialists in expatriate healthcare, we know it’s vital to continue to monitor the needs of the globally mobile population to continue to improve our products for expats.”

Extended benefits for senior customers

If you're 60 or over, you can benefit from new discounted rates from Cigna Global, as well as a new 60+ Care benefit, which provides outpatient cover for five common pre-existing conditions: Arthritis, joint or back pain, Glaucoma, Hypertension, Osteoporosis / Osteopenia and Type 2 Diabetes.

“We are constantly looking for ways to improve our offer, and with our new reduced premium rates and a fantastic 60+ Care benefit now available, there's never been a better time to buy Individual Private Medical Insurance from Cigna Global.”

For more information on Cigna Global, or to get a quote, please visit www.cignaglobal.com

This article was sponsored by Cigna Global.

Read more about expat healthcare:

Becoming an expat: where to start
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Why expats choose international health insurance
Retiring abroad: what you should know
 

 

HEALTH

‘Possible link’ between AstraZeneca vaccine and rare blood clots, EMA concludes

The European Medicines Agency has come to the conclusion that the unusual blood clots suffered by numerous people around Europe should be considered as rare side effects of AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine, but that overall the benefits of the jab outweigh the risk.

'Possible link' between AstraZeneca vaccine and rare blood clots, EMA concludes
Photo by Tiziana FABI / AFP

A statement published online read: “The EMA’s safety committee has concluded today that unusual blood clots with low blood platelets should be listed as very rare side effects of the COVID-19 AstraZeneca vaccine.”

The EMA added however that the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks.

While millions of doses of the vaccine developed with Oxford University have been administered, small numbers of people have developed deadly blood clots, which prompted countries including the European Union’s three largest nations – Germany, France and Italy – to temporarily suspend injections pending the EMA investigation.

In March the EMA said the vaccine was “safe and effective” in protecting people against Covid-19 but that it couldn’t rule out a link to blood clots, and that more investigations were needed.

On Wednesday the EMA said the AstraZeneca vaccine should continue to be used for all age groups but that people should be told of the possible rare side effects. The announcement came as the UK’s own drugs regulator said the AZ vaccine should now only be given to over 30s.

The EMA said it was “reminding healthcare professionals and people receiving the vaccine to remain aware of the possibility of very rare cases of blood clots combined with low levels of blood platelets occurring within two weeks of vaccination.”

One plausible explanation for the combination of blood clots and low blood platelets is an immune response, the EMA said but that it had not identified any clear risk factors for causing the clots including age or gender.

So far, most of the cases reported have occurred in women under 60 years of age within two weeks of vaccination. 

The EMA advised that people who have received the vaccine should seek medical assistance immediately if they develop symptoms of this combination of blood clots and low blood platelets.

Symptoms include shortness of breath, chest pain, swelling in legs, abdominal pain, severe headaches, blurred vision and tiny blood spots under the skin at the sight of the injection.

The EMA committee carried out an in-depth review of 62 cases of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis and 24 cases of splanchnic vein thrombosis reported in the EU drug safety database (EudraVigilance) as of 22 March 2021, 18 of which were fatal

The agency concluded: “COVID-19 is associated with a risk of hospitalisation and death. The reported combination of blood clots and low blood platelets is very rare, and the overall benefits of the vaccine in preventing COVID-19 outweigh the risks of side effects.”

Germany, France and Italy have all restarted AstraZeneca vaccines, but in the case of France and Germany with extra guidelines on the age of patients it should be used for. France is currently not administering the AstraZeneca vaccine to under 55s or over 75s.

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