International Medical Insurance is designed to provide you with access to private healthcare when you are living away from the UK. It can work in tandem with or completely separate from any state-funded care in the country you’re living in.
This includes cover for routine healthcare, emergencies, normal pregnancy, prescription drugs and even chronic conditions. Healthcare provisions vary considerably around the world; opt for international cover to ensure you receive the best treatment globally.
Given that International Health Insurance provides cover in countries that do not have access to state-funded healthcare, most insurers provide an extensive range of cover with their policies.
Often, this is more than you are likely to get from UK only Medical Insurance coverage, including cover for chronic conditions and normal pregnancy.
Most policies will usually include the following types of cover that you will either be given automatically or be able to add to your policy in exchange for increased premiums:
Insurers have different ways of structuring Worldwide Health Insurance, so there’s no guarantee you’ll be offered all of these types of cover.
However, most policies will cover inpatient and day-patient treatments, essential scans, outpatient surgeries and cancer treatment.
Health & Wellbeing Expert at Drewberry
Depending on where in the world you live or travel the quality and availability of free healthcare can vary considerably. It is a huge risk living overseas without any private healthcare.
With over 1.2 million expatriates living or working in the EU alone, and countless others living worldwide, many UK insurers have developed a range of International Medical Insurance products.
For expats and others individuals who regularly spend time abroad, a UK-only Health Insurance plan will not provide the level of cover required to ensure treatment can be received when you need it wherever you are in the world.
It’s important to consider the potential cost of healthcare in countries without a social healthcare system. In many countries anything from an operation to a simple trip to the doctor is fully chargeable.
Global health insurers are also able to help with arranging suitable medical treatment, which can be difficult to do alone in a foreign country.
When taking out International Medical Insurance, you will be given a range of options available to both increase and reduce the scope of the cover provided. This will in turn increase or reduce the cost of your policy.
One of the first choices you will face during the application process will be how many countries you would like your insurance to cover you in, with the following categories being the most common options to choose from:
An International Health Insurance policy will usually include the option of adding an Excess, providing a range of options for the policyholder to choose from.
Most commonly, the excess is set up as a simple deductible, where the policyholder pays the first £x of any claim. It is more common on an international insurance plan than a UK plan to pay the excess per claim rather than per policy year.
The alternative to a simple deductible excess is a co-payment option. With this option the insured agrees to pay a certain percentage of each claim instead of a fixed amount. The risk imposed on the insured in the co-payment option is very different to the simple deductible excess and it is important to take these risks into consideration when deciding on the right worldwide health cover.
Given that Global Health Insurance provides cover in more than just one country, you may find yourself with more options than usual when applying for it.
Pricing will also differ depending on the the countries covered by your policy as healthcare costs can vary considerably around the world.
However, like any Private Medical Insurance product, when purchasing International Health Insurance you tend to get what you pay for.
There are a range of different factors that will affect the cost and coverage of your Overseas Health Insurance, some relating to the options you choose and others the result of your personal circumstances including:
Healthcare does not cost the same in every country, so the country you are living in or travelling to may affect your premiums.
Some providers of international health cover will have country-specific rates and the currency with which you choose to pay for your insurance may have an affect on how much you pay, although most insurers are quite flexible in terms of the currency you use to pay for your policy.
The difference between International Medical Insurance and Travel Insurance can be one of the biggest confusions for people preparing for a trip abroad.
These two types of insurance are very different and mistaking them can lead to a lack of important cover overseas.
What is Covered?
International Health Insurance
Emergency Medical Treatments
Cancer Treatments & Check-Ups
Maternity & Dental Treatments
Only if the medical treatment you need is not available locally.
When taking out a Travel Insurance policy, many focus on the common issues that can come with taking a holiday:
However, a key element of any good Travel Insurance policy is to cover health treatment abroad while travelling.
The key difference between the medical cover provided by a Travel Insurance policy and the cover provided by an International Medical Insurance plan is that the Travel Insurance is focused on accidents and emergencies only.
There is no cover for elective treatments or treatment for chronic conditions with Travel Insurance. This is unlikely to be an issue if you are expecting to stay only a short time overseas.
If you expect a long stay, however, an International Health Insurance policy will allow you to receive medical treatments overseas and even allow you to continue receiving treatments for chronic or some pre-existing conditions in hospitals abroad.
The key to finding the best worldwide health insurance policy to cover your medical treatments abroad is finding a balance between cost and cover. Think about which types of cover you will need and which insurers offer the best benefits.
Allianz International Health Insurance features an essential plan for students and a premier plan for families and professionals. The fully comprehensive premium plan from Allianz offers optional cover for maternity care, non-emergency outpatient treatment, non-emergency dental treatment and repatriation.
Global Health Insurance policies from April UK range from basic to highly comprehensive. Core cover includes care and management of chronic conditions, cancer treatments and inpatient treatments while executive cover also covers mental health treatments.
AXA International Health Insurance policies provide cover for both you and your family with access to multilingual advisers at all times of day to help you organise your treatments. Standard policies cover inpatient and outpatient treatments and cancer treatments as well as optional cover for vaccinations and private consultations with medical practitioners.
Bupa International Health Insurance offers world-class service and support from anywhere in the world with no need for referrals. Access any of Bupa’s exceptional facilities around the world and have fast access to specialists and medical services.
Freedom Worldwide Health Insurance covers core inpatient and outpatient treatments, maintenance of and prescriptions for chronic conditions, alternative treatments, and maternity cover while you’re abroad.
As with any insurance product, it is important to truly understand what the product covers and any potential pitfalls. If you do not feel comfortable trawling through the insurer’s terms and conditions then feel free to speak to one of our experts.
We started Drewberry because we were tired of being treated like a number and not getting the service we all deserve when it comes to things as important as protecting our health and our finances. Below are just a few reasons why it makes sense to talk to us.
If you require any guidance, further information or quotes from the leading International Health Insurance providers, please do not hesitate to pop us an email or give us a call on 02074425880.
Head of Employee Benefits at Drewberry
I had the pleasure of dealing with Jake Mills in organising my insurance. Jake was fantastic to deal with — his patience and understanding really helped.