Wherever you plan to teach English around the world, having adequate health insurance is clearly an important issue. In some countries it is routine for the employer to include free health insurance in a teaching contract, while in others it is down to the teacher to make their own arrangements. Whenever you interview for a teaching position, it is important to confirm the health insurance situation to ensure you are covered at all times.
Do TEFL teachers get health insurance when teaching in Asia?
In all the big TEFL markets across Asia, including China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia and Vietnam, health insurance is usually part of the initial teaching contract. It is normal for the employer to cover the full cost of your coverage in most cases, although you might have a small sum deducted from your salary each month in some situations. In some other countries with a less developed market for foreign teachers, you might be expected to arrange your own health insurance or you may have access to basic government coverage.
Do TEFL teachers get health insurance when teaching in Europe?
Teachers from EU countries will typically have access to the local health care system when working in other EU countries. Non-EU citizens who are teaching in Europe with an official work permit should also have access to local health care services, although this often requires a monthly deduction from your salary. If you are placed in a school position via a government-run recruitment program, such as those that are popular in France and Spain, you should have full health cover included in your contract.
However, as official work permits can often be difficult to get hold of for non-EU citizens in European countries, many teachers find themselves working without a contract which means you will probably be responsible for arranging your own health insurance. Teachers who plan to head to Europe on a student or working holiday visa will also need to prove they have adequate health insurance arranged at the time of applying for the visa.
Do TEFL teachers get health insurance when teaching in the Middle East?
As the Middle East region is famous for offering some of the best benefit packages that you will find anywhere in the TEFL world, it is no surprise that most jobs in schools and language centers include health insurance in their contracts. This is generally the case in all the main teaching markets, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait.
Do TEFL teachers get health insurance when teaching in Latin America?
As official work permits are often hard to secure in many countries across South and Central America, many teachers in these areas work without proper contracts. Because of this scenario, it is common for foreign teachers to be responsible for finding and paying for their own health insurance. As always, there are exceptions including Chile and Mexico where work visas and teaching contracts are more common.
How do I find my own health insurance for teaching English abroad?
If you need to provide your own health cover you can start by doing a simple online search. This should return plenty of options, although you will need to do some basic research to ensure you get the cover you need and the best value for money. When doing your research just remember that you are looking for long-term international health insurance and not short-term holiday insurance or domestic health insurance policies. As there are so many different options available it is hard to put an exact figure on the likely cost in every situation, but you should budget for around $50 per month for a good level of cover. Cheaper options will probably be out there if you do plenty of research.