What to Look for in an Expat Health Insurance Policy in Colombia

A lot of the new Colombian visa requirements are making it obligatory for you to have health insurance in Colombia. But, even if it isn’t required in your situation, it’s still a good thing for you to have. 

After all, you never know what might happen!

In this guide, I’m going to walk you through the features you should look for in your expat health insurance policy in Colombia, let’s dive into it!

Bilingual Service

By far, the most important thing expats should look for when taking out a health insurance plan is bilingual services. 

Even if you speak fluent Spanish, navigating a system in a language that’s not your first in a foreign culture can get tough. 

And, of course, if you don’t speak Spanish at all, it’s going to be hard to get the treatment you need if you can’t communicate!

The good news is that there are lots of bilingual insurance agents and policy providers who can help you out. Angela Berrio Seguros actually offers a list of bilingual doctors in your city if you choose to take out a policy with us!

Prompt Attention

Although the Colombian public health system has improved in recent years, there are still some services that can take longer than expected. If you’re not feeling well, this can put you in a situation where you’re at higher risk. 

On top of that, unlike in the US, appointments can take months to roll around. These kinds of waiting times just aren’t practical for most people. 

If you’re going to take out an expat insurance policy in Colombia, look for a service that offers fast attention. These days, virtual visits are becoming common with some policies, making it possible for you to get attention in as little as 24 hours. 

Number and Types of Service

Some specialist appointments most of us don’t have to worry about until later in life. Others, such as the endodontist or gynecologist, can roll around a bit more frequently. 

Unfortunately, in Colombia, it’s quite tough to get appointments with specialists. Most of the time, you’ll need permission from your primary care doctor in order to do so. 

The good news is that expats can get around this by taking out a private health insurance plan. Besides specialist visits, a few other things you want to make sure are included in your policy are:

  • Hospital inpatient care in the case of illness or accident
  • Surgical treatment
  • Maternity
  • Diagnostic tests
  • Treatments of catastrophic illnesses
  • Outpatient medical consultation
  • Outpatient coverage

There are also other features, such as a dedicated EMI line or at-home doctor visits, that can help. Once again, these types of services are usually available through private health insurance policies

Concierge Service

Scheduling and navigating paperwork in a foreign country (and a foreign language) can be incredibly tough. Unfortunately, if you know much about insurance, you know that this tends to be a given. 

When looking for an insurance plan in Colombia, look for somewhere that offers consultants who can help walk you through the process. 

Typically, a concierge service can help you navigate booking appointments, taking out diagnostic tests, and even logging in and getting results and paperwork. These services can also help you out in the event that there are any delays in your paperwork or procedures.

Availability of Service

If you know anything about the EPS system, you know that hospitals aren’t exactly easy to come by. 

In fact, in Medellin, there are only three EPS hospitals available at all!

For individuals who were only planning to take out a plan that allows coverage in these government hospitals, this could be a big problem. It can limit your access to services and doctors when you need them. 

As a result, a better way to handle insurance is to take out a private plan. Some of the top private health plans in Colombia include: 

  1. Sura
  2. Liberty
  3. Bolivar

Easy and Secure Payment Methods

Another major thing to keep an eye out for when looking for health insurance is the payment method. 

This has two parts to it. 

For one thing, you want to find an insurance company that accepts foreign payment methods. Some sites aren’t equipped to take foreign cards, even if they’re VISA or Mastercard. That can make paying for your plan a big problem. 

On the other hand, you’ll also want a plan that makes things like copays simple to take care of. 

In general, copays for expat health insurance are pretty straightforward as you tackle them directly with the insurance company. However, policy payments are a lot trickier. In that case, an agent is usually the best way to go as they can take secure payments through private systems. 

Easy Application Process

One of the trickiest things for expats to navigate when it comes to health insurance is the application process. 

Now, while part of this certainly has to do with the language barrier, a good chunk of it also just boils down to being in a new country. 

In Colombia, things don’t always work the same way as they do in the US. That means that many times, processes that might seem obvious to a national are complex and confusing to expats. 

When looking for a health insurance plan, keep an eye on how easy it is for you to sign up. In many cases, private healthcare through an insurance agent is going to be the easiest way for you to get started with health insurance. 

Final Thoughts

When it comes to choosing an expat health insurance policy in Colombia, make sure you’re getting a service that works for you. Looking for things like fast attention, concierge services, and bilingual support are all important for staying healthy and safe in the country. 

The good news is that in Colombia, finding those things is a lot easier than you might think. And, with a private health insurance policy, you can get better coverage than you might have found back home.

Ready to get started with an expat insurance plan of your own? Contact Angela Berrio Seguros today to get a quote today!

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