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How Do I Get Health Insurance When I Teach English Abroad?

In some cases, health insurance will be provided by the employer; In other cases, you may be responsible for purchasing your insurance. This will vary from country to country and, in some cases, from job to job and school to school. You should always inquire about health insurance when considering teaching in certain countries and when conducting interviews for specific educational positions.


Health insurance is generally provided in major Asian job markets for English teachers, including South Korea, China, Taiwan, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, and often, but not always, in Thailand. In some cases, you may have to pay for your health insurance; This will usually be deducted from your paycheck each month and is generally between $ 25 and $ 50 per month.

In less developed countries like Cambodia and Mongolia, insurance may be provided by internationally run language schools, but it is not necessarily the norm.


Most Americans who teach English in major Western European countries like Spain and Italy will be responsible for their health insurance if they work illegally (they don't pay taxes and don't have a work permit). In countries where Americans can get a work visa and pay taxes like Germany, Russia, and Turkey, there is a much higher probability that insurance will be provided as part of national health care, but this is definitely an issue that needs to be clarified with any employer during your interview. (There is often a copayment deduction from your paycheck.)

In some countries, such as the Czech Republic, affordable insurance can be purchased locally. (A plan known as combination insurance can be purchased in the Czech Republic for approximately $ 800.00 per year. The plan provides basic health, dental and vision insurance).

Those who participate in government-run teaching aid programs in countries like France and Spain often receive health insurance.

Those planning to apply for student visas in European countries such as Spain, France, and Italy will generally need to present proof of insurance to receive the visa. In general, Canadians, Australians and New Zealanders applying for a work and holiday visa to travel and receive English instruction in Europe must provide proof of insurance.

Coverage is often provided to citizens of the European Union (EU) studying in European Union countries and to teachers teaching in their own countries. If you have a work permit in Europe, you usually take care of medical care in that country. In most European countries, there is usually a common salary, perhaps 50-60 USD per month. However, it is always up to you to find out if the employer provides health insurance.

Latin America

Most foreign English teachers in Latin America will be responsible for your health insurance. Teachers with contracts and visas are likely to work in insurance countries like Chile and Mexico.

Middle East

In Persian Gulf countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates (including Dubai and Abu Dhabi), Bahrain, Kuwait, and Oman, health insurance is generally offered to English teachers as part of their compensation package.

In less developed countries like Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, and Lebanon, some employers will provide some health insurance, but this will vary from school to school, job to job. 

Where can I get my own international health insurance if I need it?

Affordable, high-quality international health insurance can be purchased from any number of providers, and many of them specialize in international travel insurance. These plans are typically much less expensive than plans offered by local insurers in the US Long-term international health insurance generally ranges from $ 50-60 per month for those under 50, although some basic plans are they can find at a price. Less. One of the popular providers is HTH Worldwide; There are many service providers and options, so you should carefully research your options. Visit their website and research your options. You are looking for long-term insurance, 6 to 12 months, not the daily insurance that a person gets during a free week.

We also recommend that you check with your current service provider to find out if they already have coverage abroad and / or if they offer international insurance. If you are covered by a family policy maintained by your parents or guardians, check with the insurance company to ensure that your coverage will continue while you are in the program and / or out of the country. Again, even if your local provider offers international health insurance, it can be 3-5 times more expensive than plans available from companies that specialize in international long-term care.

Note: Even if your insurance is provided, you may want to consider international health insurance as an add-on, especially if you plan to travel internationally because the insurance provided by your employer will likely not cover you outside of that specific country.