Traveling overseas is a very exciting moment, whether as a tourist or work-related, or relocating to your dream destination. In the hindsight, you also want to ensure your family’s health is a priority.
This leads you to peruse countless global healthcare policies and companies in a bid to compare medical insurance plans which are available on sites like this one. This rigorous process requires you to be thorough, presenting itself as a daunting experience fit to be done by experts.
In this article, we relieve you of some of the pressure by highlighting key consideration factors before buying your international health insurance from any vendor.
What Factors Do You Need To Consider as You Buy an International Health Insurance?
The pressing matters of relocation may render you oblivion of the fact that you may experience a lapse in your coverage. This is geared toward the demands that insurers have placed on clients in cancellation of their plans prior to departing from their home country.
And while there may be a variation on the cancellation, including penalty fees when you cancel before the required date or in case of outstanding payments. It’s therefore prudent to ensure the plans expire on the very day you’re meant to travel. To ease your mind, it’s better to get international health insurance prior to your travel.
And here are the factors you need to consider;
Is it fixed or comprehensive coverage? Fixed coverage offers a plan with a fixed amount for every claim, making it cheaper than comprehensive. Comprehensive is a cover paid by the insurer based on a percentage.
The premium of your coverage plan will first and foremost be considered depending on the members under your policy, age, any other add-ons, and most importantly your medical history. Ensure you get sufficient coverage at an affordable premium.
Remember, the cover has a maximum limit on a yearly basis depending on the plan you opt for, a lower maximum is cheaper compared to a high maximum limit amount on your plan. On average, the price ranges from $500 to $8,000 annually, with an increased premium as you age.
The Basic Cover / Coverage Option
Generally, international health insurance is expected to offer coverage in your residence country, home country, and any other country you visit. Depending on the insurer’s hospital insurance network, you may get a variety of hospitals to choose from.
Are dental or maternity covered?
Extra benefits may include dental and maternal care, however, the latter is dependent on the waiting period set by the insurer. But a state-provided cover will kick in instantly and bear that burden.
Essentially, a basic cover only caters to emergency services, prescription medication, hospitalization, out-patient and in-patient medical treatment, etc making it cheaper. If you include any specific add-on, then the cost of the premium increases.
In most policy covers, there are certain diseases or procedures that are permanently excluded from the plan, including STDs, AIDS, HIV, and all beautification surgeries.
The coverage scope informs you whether you’d need portable coverage when traveling to another country or moving back home. It’s advisable to inform your insurance provider of your arrangement, as the renewal rates may differ depending on the country you settle.
While traveling to developing countries, it’s advisable to consider a plan that’s inclusive of repatriation and evacuation. As witnesses during the Covid-19 pandemic, medical emergencies can occur when you least expect them.
If you’d like to include developed countries as part of your coverage countries, your policy will cost a bit more on your premiums.
The cost of the policy maximum and whether it’s yearly, lifetime, unlimited, or per claim? In most instances, insurance plans cover clients until their retirement age between 65-75 years. Understanding the nitty-gritty in collaboration with your stay period as an expatriate will inform the decision to take a life cover or not.
Opt for an insurance policy that offers lifetime renewability as age plays a role in your health vulnerabilities as your immunity dwindles.
The amount you’re expected to pay before the insurance takes over? This is known as the maximum insured limit. It’s best, therefore, to pick a maximum limit of at least $1 million dollars as the chances of your claim hitting that high is low.
Plans that offer maximum limit are your best bet in securing your health as you wouldn’t want to come short when an emergency arises. In other scenarios, you can opt for a hospital coverage option that caters to hospital incurred claims or an emergency-only coverage with riders on hospital stay claims.
This is informed in countries where healthcare costs are low and you’d like a self-insuring out-patient claim, saving on the premium. The payment plan can either be coinsured or co-paid, where an 80:20 percentage ratio is used by insurers for coinsured and a flat rate fee is required for copayment.
Pre-existing Condition Cover
Does the plan offer pre-existing conditions and to what extent? It’s highly unlikely that a pre-existing condition will be covered in your plan and if it does get covered, you’ll be required to pay more on your premium.
Not disclosing that you have a chronic condition will be in violation of the insurer and your claim and policy will be terminated. However, after a few years, you can request for the exclusion to be removed depending on your situation.
In most cases, a waiting period is instigated before an insurer can begin to cater to any pre-existing medical expenses. So pick a policy that offers the least waiting period.
This allows hospitals to send the bill directly to the insurance company, and you wouldn’t have to get charged. How extensive the insurance medical network is will ensure you enjoy this kind of privilege.
In extreme situations where you don’t have the luxury of time can be invaluable depending on how swiftly the doctors get to move without the bureaucratic process of having to source funds before getting attended to.
If you have a preferred hospital in mind and are outside the insurance coverage network, you can ask for a guarantee of payment letter which can be emailed or faxed to the hospital. This is to ensure that the claim process and settlement of the claim are flawless, which makes an even better experience for you.
24/7 Support Provision
There may be a lot of hiccups in the back and forth with medical facilities in terms of the claim process, and an insurance provider that offers free 24/7 line support is a plus in case you’re caught in a tough situation.
Accessing crucial policy information on their customer portal online and an option to submit claims is critical for any global health provider. Without these interventions to mitigate certain eventualities may lender the coverage as useless.
Expert Insurance Broker
Global health insurance has many variations that need to be considered and having an expert deduce and help you pick the right policy is a critical piece in this puzzle. The knowledge plethora in rates, insurance providers, and coverage is the info you can tap to make an informed decision.
In analyzing insurers, expert brokers should cascade the conversation down to the insurer’s providers’ reputation for paying claims and dealing with clients. Plus, their efficiency and effectiveness in solving claim issues and offering a helping hand to clients when needed.
How to Buy an International Health Insurance?
- Head over to your specified insurance provider. Enter your personal information.
including the number of family members to be covered, age, and the country of residency.
- Browse through the list of plans provided, and read the policies thoroughly learning
what’s included and excluded.
- According to your needs, considering the cost, pick the plans that are more suitable.
- With a compare button, you’ll be able to investigate further the selected plans and be
able to weigh the best among them.
- Now, you can select the payment period whether it’s monthly, quarterly, half-year, or on an annual basis.
Compare the quotes from several insurance providers to ensure you get the best cover that caters to your specific needs. Use this article as your checklist for factors to consider while buying international health insurance to choose the most suitable plan.