What To Consider When Buying Expatriate Health Insurance
The international expatriate health insurance market can be a minefield with a myriad of companies all offering a range of plans, most of which appear to be very similar. For the uninitiated, where do you start?
Premium costs are not the only concern when it comes to choosing an expatriate medical insurance policy, expats want good protection, piece of mind and good service. The obvious approach is to review the policies on the market to find which fits best with their requirements. Finding the right international expatriate medical insurance companies is difficult, and comparing is not always easy so this is where we can help you. We provide a comprehensive comparison of all the major insurance plan benefits to help you select the right plan.
A point worth considering is the name and reputation of the expatriate medical insurance provider. Most people would agree that you can only judge an insurance company on the claim service, as a global expatriate medical insurance broker we have considerable experience with all the expat health insurers and can advise on their service and claims handling ability. With some providers you have the advantage of a known name and hospital network but this could be at the expense of a more individual service that a smaller provider may offer. Finally you need to know that the company has good financial backing and won't disappear if you make a claim. As an expatriate Health Insurance broker we constantly review the financial standing of the insurers and can provide you with up to date financial information about them.
Do you participate in sports?
Not all insurance providers cover injuries from participation in sports such as skiing both on land and on water, diving, etc. Many expatriates living overseas enjoy exciting and active outdoor sports, making sure you are covered in the event of injury is very important. As part of helping you pick the right expatriate insurance company we can advise on the extent to which sports are covered and make sure you have the right plan.
Direct billing and claims handling?
Does the expatriate health insurance company you are looking at have an international presence or do they have a name known locally? Most of the international healthcare providers either have in place a billing network or are working on establishing one. As one of their clients, you can use certain hospitals without having to pay any costs apart from an excess or deductible if applicable (provided that the treatment is covered). This means you will not be out of pocket or have to guarantee payment with a credit card. As the World's leading expatriate medical insurance broker we have offices around the World and experience in most countries. As such we can help you select the right company providing direct billing in the country where you live
24 Hour Assistance
Most insurers use an assistance company to provide emergency assistance and advice for out of office hours. These can be contacted 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. They often have an international network so that if you require emergency treatment, the arrangements including payment guarantees to the hospital, can be done by them. Emergency evacuations are also carried out by the assistance company. It is important that the expatriate medical insurance plan that you choose is supported by a good assistance company so that you will be protected in an emergency. Our experience as a global medical insurance broker can be an invaluable asset in helping you to evaluate and select the right company.
Cover in your home country or whilst traveling
If you are likely to be returning back to your home country on holiday or for business, you will probably need adequate cover. Furthermore, you may also wish to consider having non-urgent treatment in your home country surrounded by friends and family. Secondly, if you travel frequently, we can check that the policy you are going to take out covers you whilst outside of you country of residence.
Most international healthcare insurance providers will exclude conditions that pre-date the commencement of the policy. If you want these to be covered then you will have to take out a more expensive complete policy. We have a lot of experience with all the major expatriate health insurance companies and can advise which company is most likely to cover your pre-existing medical condition.
As with pre-existing conditions, most insurers exclude cover for chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes and heart desease. It is sometimes possible to cover these medical conditions but coverage varies by insurance company. A good understanding of each insurer's policy terms and conditions is essential to get the right cover. We have many years of experience with all the major insurance companies and can advise on coverage to match your needs.
The majority of insurers offer cover for both routine pregnancy and complications of pregnancy, with the latter usually only on their top plan. To qualify for cover, insurers often insist that you have been previously covered for 10 to 24 months continuously on that level of cover. The amount of coverage also varies significantly between companies. If you are interested in maternity coverage then please contact us and we can advise on the best cover: premium vs. waiting periods vs. coverage.
Free To Decide
Does the policy allow you and your doctor freedom to choose the hospital or clinic in which you are to be treated? Some policies operate a restricted list of hospitals and clinics, limiting the choice you have.
Excess and deductible
By increasing your excess (the amount you need to pay per claim), you can lower your premium by a substantial amount. An excess of USD250 for example can offer as much as a 20% discount. As your medical insurance advisor we would be happy to provide you with a range of premiums and excesses so you can select the right level of cover.
Globalsurance is an Independent Worldwide Insurance Advisor. We work with all the major insurance companies and can give you independent advice and free quotes from all the International Health Insurers; click for Free Advice and Quotes .