Have you ever questioned yourself how much medical emergency care would cost you abroad? I’ve never really asked myself that before going abroad and I wouldn’t be surprised if you haven’t also.
Did you know that the medical costs for a broken bone or infection range between $5000-$15000? International hospitals abroad are generally really expensive but are the only facilities that offer medical care at a similar level as your home country. You can never predict an accident and it’s not very likely to happen, but what if it does?
Something like that could change your life forever regardless of who’s fault is was or how it happened, that’s out of your hands. However, being properly insured with a good international health care insurance against such incidents is completely under own control.
There are many pros and cons and other things to consider when getting a proper health insurance. Therefore, we’ve created a list that will help you select the best insurance for a decent price.
Stay with me here and let’s get started.
How To Choose The Most Suitable Insurance Plan
When you cut the cord and decided to move abroad, one of the first things you want to do is research international health insurance policies. Going through policies can be a draining task but it’s important to determine what is covered, and what’s not. You’re not the one choosing to be in an accident or become sick but you’re the one choosing whether the costs for the treatment are covered or not. I don’t think you prefer to pay any medical bills out of your own pocket.
As you can imagine, there’s a huge number of large established international health insurance companies out there. So, how do you find the most suitable plan tailored to your personal needs?
We’ve created a list that will help you to dial down the number of possible insurance plans to a maximum of 2 or 3:
- It’s not uncommon for insurance providers to have different policies for older people. When you’re ~65 years of age, you might not be covered under the same plan as youngsters.
- Pre-existing conditions
- Depends on the conditions but it might not be covered
- Where are you located
- Most policies present different plans/prices for different regions or countries in the world.
- Individual or family plan
- There are different plans for individuals and families, take this into account.
- Insurance providers make a difference between different nationalities.
Let’s dig a little deeper…
What Are Important Features?
When talking about features, we’re not only talking about the specific coverage of insurance plans but also the customer-friendly, user-experience, and other features that are important.
Here’s what you need to look for:
Obviously, you want to get the best deal for an insurance policy that covers all your needs.
- Online Access
A simple user-interface with all the important features shown in the main dashboard, one-click options to get in touch for consulting, service desk and claims.
- Area of coverage
When you buy an ‘international health insurance plan’, you want it to be truly ‘international’. Don’t let a policy limit your freedom of traveling or visiting certain regions around you. Make sure to check on such specifics.
Determine whether it’s possible to easily down or upgrade your insurance plan. I’d suggest looking for a provider that allows easy online access to change or adjust your policy to meet your personal needs.
- Extent of medical coverage
You’d be flabbergasted to see the incredibly fast growing costs of medical bills in hospitals, especially when you’ll have to stay in a hospital a couple of nights.
This is especially important when you’re living in a country where medical attention is typically expensive, as for example in the USA, Europe or Australia. Pay attention to the maximum plan limit usually on a yearly basis.
- Customer Support
Regardless of your location, time zone, or language, you should always be able to contact customer support. Whether you have urgent matters to discuss or simply a question – great 24/7 customer support is a must!
When a medical facility in your location is unable to provide necessary medical treatment, normal procedure would be to medically evacuate you, in other words, repatriation. Not all insurance providers cover repatriation.
We’re almost done here.
Just have a quick look at the final tips that could influence your decision-making.
Some Final Food For Thought
We’ve covered all main insurance features above. Before making your decision final on what insurance plan suits you best, take a look at some extra tips.
Keep the following in mind, regardless the policy you buy:
There isn’t a single insurance policy that refunds 100% of any medical costs. The fact is, you’ll always have to pay $100-$200 yourself.
- Read carefully:
As mentioned before, it takes a lot of time and effort to read all the small letters in the policy but it’s better to do so instead of being surprised later on. If you’re not sure about the policy rules, just call them.
- Be honest:
Don’t lie about certain conditions or personal details when asked about during the registration process. Sooner or later it will come to light. In worst case scenario, you could face fraud accusations or other claims. Just don’t.
When you end up in the hospital due to an accident and, for example, you were intoxicated, chances are the insurance provider won’t cover any of the expenses.
Whatever you do and wherever you go, always make sure to stay safe and healthy. You might feel invisible sometimes or feel like nothing will happen to you.
Don’t take any risks.
It’s just a small investment and it might save you a lot!
This is a guest post from Marcel de Jong: Marcel is a lead content writer for Now Health, digital nomad, and entrepreneur living in South East Asia for the past 10 years. In his free time, he loves to do outdoor sports such as wakeboarding, climbing, or snowboarding. If not, you might catch him hanging out with his friends or travel and enjoy the beautiful countries in Asia.