Top 10 Tips when looking for the right international health insurance

by MediHelp | Stay healthy | 2014

1. Area of Cover

Ensure the geographical area of cover you are looking for not only includes the region you are in, but any other you are likely to visit, albeit temporarily, for business or pleasure. The area of cover also defines which medical centres you will be allowed to turn to for medical care.

2. Underwriting terms

Make sure the underwriting terms of the plan meet your requirements. In some cases insurance providers will exclude coverage of pre-existing medical issues. However, there are plans that also cover pre-existing conditions and this can be an important factor when selecting a certain provider.

3. Cancer treatment

Find out if cancer treatment is covered. There are some insurance plans which do not cover costs for treatment or procedures for chronic diseases. You should chose a comprehensive plan which will insure medical coverage no matter what medical problems you might encounter during the term of your insurance policy.

4. Excess payments

Ask the insurance provider if you need to pay any share of your claims on the plan (excess). This will be the amount you have to pay either each time you claim for any expenses for medical care, or just once per year, even if you have more claims during the same year. It is important to choose the most appropriate cover for your needs

5. Relevant benefits

Make sure you are not paying for any benefits that do not fit your requirements. Ask for tailored cover.

6. Assistance providers

Find out who the assistance provider is. These will be the people who you first contact in an emergency, and if they are able to arrange for guarantees of payments to be made with the hospitals. Check if they can arrange Air-Ambulance assistance in an emergency.

7. Underwriters

Find out who underwrites any plans. These are the people who will be paying out for your claims, so ensure they are financially secure.

8. Adequate cover

Try to gauge how much cover you may need. For example, if you are moving to Western Europe and will be paying social security contributions, you will be entitled to treatment under the Local National Health System, for a period of time. But, if you require private treatment, or the waiting time is too long, then a higher level of cover would be advisable.

9. Family cover

Remember that your family can also be added to the cover, so make sure the benefits cover all eventualities for a "complete" family.

10. Price

With international medical insurance, the price is based on the cover you opt for. The more cover you need - especially if you are insuring more than one person – the higher the premium.

Oh yes, one more rule:

11. Specialty

Try to insure your health with health specialists. Health insurance is a profession, and it is not the case that whoever insures your car or your house is also a Health Insurance specialist. If you work with a broker, ask them for Health Insurance from a company that specializes solely in Health Insurance.

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