6 essential elements of international health insurance

June 07, 2018

As an international insurance broker, we know you face a myriad of challenges in 2018. Not least of which are, uncertainty in global markets, GDPR in Europe and the impact of Britain leaving the EU. However, as the workforce of every country becomes more mobile, you may find yourself getting more and more queries about International Health Insurance. We know choosing the right product for your client can be a challenge especially with a product where price should not be the only driver of choice.

We have looked at some of the essential elements an international health insurance plan should contain:

In-patient care: a must for all international health insurance, ensure the cover you are choosing for your client contains enough and appropriate in-patient cover in quality hospitals.

Out-patient care: ensure out-patient care covers medical emergencies at a minimum, like broken limbs, stiches etc. where inpatient treatment may not be required. It is worth consulting with your client to understand the level of outpatient care they need so you can choose the most appropriate plan as many offer more extensive coverage for an increased premium. It is also worth checking and agreeing deductibles so your client does not find themselves over burdened at a time of ill-health.

Day-to-day medical expenses: included in some plans, in others day to day expenses like doctors’ visits or dental care are an added extra. Agree needs with your client. A good rule of thumb is to ask about the kind of medical cover they have in their home country and use that as a minimum standard for cover while they are abroad.

Mental health and wellbeing: just as important as your client’s physical health, is their mental health and wellbeing while they are living and working abroad. Moving away from family, friends and support networks is stressful and it is not uncommon for expats to suffer expat depression, anxiety and other mental difficulties as a result. Consider your clients’ needs in terms of their mental wellbeing, even if they haven’t suffered a mental illness while in their home country.

Medical Evacuation: is cover for treatment in a nearby country if it is not available locally. Many international medical insurance plans provide this as standard but it is worth checking, so your client has peace of mind that they can access the help they may need, particularly if they are travelling to a remote or underdeveloped area.

Medical repatriation: is cover for an expat to return to their home country for treatment, should it be required. This is not offered on every international health insurance plan so it is worth investigating, if returning to their home country is important for your client.

Compare international health insurance plans carefully before choosing the option that works best for your client.