Private International Medical Insurance or Travel Insurance?

Medical health insurance costs money and like every major financial decision, it deserves careful thought. So what are the pros and cons of having international medical insurance?

First, the cons. You have to pay for it. And you might never make a claim. But that’s about it. The list of pros is much longer:

  • no worrying about whether you can afford to get treatment because of the expense
  • if something truly dreadful happens it can often cover you for repatriation – being repatriated by air costs a great deal of money, especially when you need a specialist air ambulance
  • no wondering whether or not you qualify for free or reduced cost health services in your new home country
  • fast, no-fuss health care with a simple claims process and 24/7 support
  • no nasty shocks when you realise just how expensive the simplest treatments are when you must pay for them yourself
  • no having to find cash up front for treatment
  • no difficulties trying to find a trustworthy doctor
  • the peace of mind of knowing you and your family can get the treatment they need, when they need it, without delay
  • help navigating an unfamiliar health service
  • no having to save up to cover potential medical emergencies

You could be turned away at the airport without expatriate health insurance

 In some cases, you might even find you are turned away at your destination airport without medical cover.

Countries like Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands all demand that residents have cover through a locally registered and approved provider, to satisfy local regulations.

If you are planning to move to Australia or the UAE, you also need to give evidence of appropriate medical cover to satisfy the countries’ strict visa regulations. If you can’t, you might be turned away at the airport. And foreign nationals in Abu Dhabi must have a comprehensive medical insurance plan from a licensed provider.

Can I just rely on ordinary travel insurance?

 You can buy travel insurance that covers you for as long as 12 months abroad. But while travel insurance policies include a medical care element, they are designed to offer emergency protection only for injuries or illnesses that occur during your trip, not the comprehensive healthcare provided by international health cover. In addition, you may not be able to renew travel policies offshore.

Some foreign nationals say they manage with ordinary holiday travel insurance, but it can be risky and definitely won’t work in places like Abu Dhabi and the rest of the UAE , where the rules are strict and only become stricter.

Choosing the best medical insurance companies

There are plenty of providers to choose from. But how do you pick the best of the bunch? You need someone whose international health insurance policies really do take the stress out of healthcare, making sure you and your loved ones can get the right medical help when you need it, wherever you are in the world.

You can pick cheap medical insurance if you like, but you will find it is cheap for a reason. It’s more important to choose cover that gives you everything you need instead of cutting corners.

Look for a provider who delivers all this:

  • Personal case management if you need it – access to an independent expert to review your case and make sure you’re getting the right treatment
  • Friendly, expert people available on the phone 24/7 to support you – qualified nurses and counsellors to help with any medical questions.
  • Emergency assistance including emergency evacuation and repatriation if you can’t get the right treatment locally.
  • Full access to your policy online, where you can also find the right healthcare provider, make claims, check on claims progress and download your policy
  • A handy multi-lingual Security Hotline service open 24/7 for help just in case you find yourself in unfamiliar territory
  • Flexible cover that you can tailor to your actual needs
  • Instant access to treatment anywhere in the world
  • Access to the world’s best health providers at hand for speedy access to diagnosis and treatment wherever you live

 

Berry Treffers

TEMI International Private Health Insurance Advisor

Email: Berry.Treffers@hica.com.au

 

What is The Employee Mobility Institute?

The Employee Mobility Institute is Australia’s peak industry body specifically focused on employee talent mobility. Its mission is to advocate, promote, represent and grow the Australian Employee Talent Mobility Industry. www.employeemobility.com.au. If you’d like to know more about the industry body contact Deborah de Cerff at Deborah@employeemobility.com.au

About the Author:

Berry Treffers
RDMT Consultants Pty Ltd is a boutique styled broking house and consulting company which, in partnership with Health Insurance Consultants Australia (HICA), specialise in providing medical insurance for Australian citizens, international non-residents on 400 series Visas working, studying or travelling in Australia and international expatriate health insurance for Australian expatriates on international assignment. RDMT Consultants is headed by Director Berry Treffers who has many years’ experience in the expatriate medical insurance and employee benefits market and is recognised as one of Australia's leading brokers in this field.

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