Six reasons you can’t do without health insurance in Myanmar
Written by Carl Turner on March 22, 2016.
Your health is of the utmost importance – a fact many of us don’t realise until it is taken away from us. Wherever in the world you live, I believe that a comprehensive health policy is an absolute must to protect both your health and your wallet, but when you live in a developing country such as Myanmar there are even more incentives to ensure you have good quality cover. Here are six reasons why it is so key:
1. To give you peace of mind
The spectre of illness hovers over most of us from time to time even if for the most part we succeed in pushing it to the back of our minds. Who hasn’t briefly contemplated the horror of getting cancer or being struck down suddenly by a heart attack? According to World Health Organisation statistics there were 8.2 million cancer-related deaths worldwide in 2012. That’s over 22,000 per day. Don’t you think the peace of mind of being certain that you will be able to cope financially no matter what happens to your health is worth the few dollars a day it will cost you to take out a comprehensive health policy?
2. To transfer the risk of serious illness or major emergency surgery from you to the insurer
Most of us are risk-averse and would choose certainty over a gamble, especially when it comes to our precious health. When you have health insurance you transfer the risk of any costs associated with ill-health to the insurer. Whether you need an emergency operation or a routine visit to the doctor for smaller health niggles your insurer will have it covered and you can be safe in the knowledge that it won’t break the bank.
3. To guarantee access to the best possible healthcare available
Local hospitals are pretty much a no no for expats living in Myanmar with the quality of treatment and sanitary practices not always up to western standards. Yangon does have some private hospitals and clinics such as the Asia Royal Hospital, Bahosi Medical Centre and Shwegondaing Specialist Centre (SSC) and as the country develops the treatments available are improving all the time. Even so, for serious health issues requiring hospitalisation, Bangkok or Singapore are preferable options. The best medical facilities in those cities rival any the world over but treatment in them doesn’t come cheap, added to which you will have expensive transportation costs. A health policy tailored to your needs can ensure that you have access to cutting-edge equipment and modern medical practices whenever you or your loved ones need it without having to foot the bill yourself.
4. You never know what is round the corner
Some of my clients argue that they don’t need health insurance because they never get sick and are have extremely healthy lifestyles. This is a ridiculous argument because we all know that illness doesn’t just strike the unhealthy and reckless, it is indiscriminate and affects people of all ages, races, genders, professions and levels of wealth. You can exercise for hours each day and eat all the superfoods you want but you can’t protect yourself against all eventualities which is why it is so important to safeguard your finances against what might happen to you or your family health-wise.
5. Cover might be the difference between life and death
In an emergency a foreign, western face in Myanmar will be taken to a private hospital by paramedics. These establishments may ask for proof that you can pay before they give any treatment and having health insurance can minimise delays. If something serious is wrong with you, this could be the difference between life and death.
6. You can add on travel insurance for minimal extra cost
As an expat I’d wager that you travel quite extensively. Did you know that you can add travel insurance to your health insurance for as little as $100 per year and protect yourself against flight delays, lost luggage and the other perils faced by regular international travellers, as well as covering you for medical treatment when you are away from home?
Health insurance providers offer a whole host of add-ons so cover can be adapted to meet the precise requirements of you and your family. Here at Infinity we are not tied to one single company but work with all the top names in insurance so we can compare the best products across the market and find the right one for your needs. If you’d like help finding cover to protect you and your family to give you peace of mind, please do get in touch.