Global health insurance inflation continues unabated


Recent studies have shown that medical inflation trends continue to rise unabated for both individual and employee sponsored international health insurance plans. The average global annual inflation trend for medical costs may be 10% overall, but the percentage is higher in select countries such as the USA and Canada, where many expatriates are covered and may seek treatment. Companies such as Aetna Global and Cigna International often report medical inflation trends of 12 to 13%. This trend rate is also shared by many expat insurance providers.

What is driving the increase in medical costs? Many providers cite a large number of factors such as:

  • poor health habits such as obesity
  • drug costs increase, especially with biologic drugs which can easily run in the tens of thousands of dollars
  • compliance with local coverage requirements, including the Affordable Care Act in the USA
  • defensive medicine where doctors order unnecessary tests to ward off legal actions
  • new healthcare technologies are constantly being introduced and demanded by patients
  • demographics and age of the population, which is related to the size and age structure of the population that are using health care services
  • the intensity of care, which refers to increases in the care and services per unit of care delivered

These factors and more are having major impacts on the claims that are being incurred by domestic and international health insurers. These costs have to be passed onto individual policy holders and employer sponsored expat group insurance plans. Expatriates and their employers need to adapt their global medical insurance plans to make sure the coverage meets their needs and budgets. Some may choose to reduce costs by:

  • increasing the size of deductibles
  • increase coinsurance levels
  • have employees share in the premium payments
  • remove certain medical procedures and possibly restricting coverage areas

It is important to work with an independent global insurance specialist firm such as Expat Financial, which is a division of TFG Global Insurance Solutions Ltd. We can analyze the coverage needs of both individual expatriates and their employers and then search the market for a plan that will meet their respective needs and budgets. Learn more about the international group insurance plans we offer expat employers.


What to Consider When Moving Abroad

Moving abroad to work and life can be a huge decision for both you and your family. A move abroad involves a lot of advance preparation and planning-such as where to live, transport, where to educate your children, getting help, language training etc… It can all be quite daunting, especially if you have never worked abroad or are receiving little help from your employer.

One of the most significant challenges for an expatriate is obtaining the right international health insurance policy. Obtaining a global health plan is usually on the top of your to-do list. It is important to know that the health of you and your family is protected as this will provide a high level of comfort and peace of mind. Expat Financial has long been recognized as a critical source of international health plans for individual expatriates and their employers. Expat Financial, which is a division of TFG Global Insurance Solutions Ltd., offers global medical plans from a variety of insurance providers who can cover expatriates and their family members.

An international health policy can be a complex policy to purchase, but Expat Financial is here to help you find the right product to suit your needs and budget. With a large number of global medical plans – from basic to deluxe – from several large and well-known insurers, we are sure to have a plan that will meet your requirements. Expat Financial even offers health plans that can be quoted and purchased via the internet.

If your employer has three or more expatriate employees, the HR director can contact us for an international benefit program that not only provides global medical care but life, disability, dental and evacuation insurance. The savings from having a group plan can be significant. Also, a group plan can often automatically cover an employee’s pre-existing medical conditions.

In addition to insurance products, our firm can refer you to international firms which can help you with cultural training, relocation and tax preparation. Check out our Links page for more information. Expat Financial can also source global life and disability programs for many expatriates in most parts of the world.

If you are going global, make sure you put contacting Expat Financial for international health insurance at the top of your list.

Updated Foreign Exchange Services

TFG Global has recently updated the foreign exchange page for expatriates and some local nationals. You can view the newly updated page at:

Our firm has partnered with OzForex, a strategic investment of Macquarie BankAccel Partners and the Carlyle Group and its original co-founders Matt Gilmour and Gary Lord. USForex is part of the OzForex Group which includes UKForex, CanadianForex, OzForex, NZForex and USForex.

We are pleased to offer this additional service to our customers living abroad. It is a secure way to send money internationally and can offer better exchange rates than your bank. You can register free for international money transfers and gain valuable insights into foreign exchange trends. USForex is registered at a federal level with “FinCEN”, a bureau of the United States Department of Treasury, as a Money Services Business.



Why Expat Health Insurance is Essential

Why Expat Health Insurance is Essential for Expatriates

At Expat Financial, we like to give expatriates the tools and information to personalize their requirement for expatriate health insurance. Easy access to superior healthcare is a necessity for anyone living or working abroad. As you may know, in the developing world and even in some developed countries, the local medical institutions can be inadequate, costly or unattainable depending. Everyone experiences sickness and accidents in their lifetime and superb expatriate health insurance coverage is a critical step in one’s recovery and also maintaining one’s health.

Expatriate health insurance plans offer a variety of degrees of medical coverage and with a large array of deals available from health insurance companies the decisions can feel quite arduous. The expense of medical care is rapidly rising globally at a rate faster than the price of living. If a dire situation were to occur many would quickly realize that having a plan that ensures any foreseeable circumstances is paramount. Health insurance could likely be the most important expatriate insurance you buy.

international health insurance plan from Expat Financial

Many people think that if they are going to be living in a developed country, then the need for health insurance is lower because obtaining local care is relatively inexpensive or one can obtain a local health plan at next to no cost. This is dangerous because if the health care costs are low, it most likely means that you won’t want to be treated there for anything other than something minor. An expat health plan will be essential to help you obtain proper care at a local private hospital or be evacuated to a center of medical excellence in another country. Also, using a local health insurance plan is not advisable because the coverage may be poor and it won’t cover you being treated outside the country, especially back home.

Expat Financial is your essential expat health insurance resource. Feel free to contact us to examine your global medical insurance needs so that you can obtain the right policy that will meet your needs and budget. Expat Financial can also source group benefit plans for expatriates.

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Interview of David Tompkins by Israel National Radio – Expat Insurance

David Tompkins, the President of TFG Global Insurance Solutions Ltd. which owns and operates Expat Financial, was interviewed by Douglas Goldstein on July 2012 on Arutz Sheva, the  Israel National Radio business show Goldstein on Gelt. The interview has been recently been posted to Youtube and you can listen and even view the interview online by clicking HERE.

David Tompkins spoke to Doug about insurance for expats currently living in other countries. “Goldstein on Gelt” is a global investment and financial planning radio show designed to educate and entertain its listeners with financial strategies and great investment tips.

David Tompkins remarked “that it was an honour to be interviewed by Douglas on Isreal National Radio. I hope that expatriates found the topic interesting and were able to learn more about expat health insurance and international life and disability insurance.”

Check the Fine Print When Shopping for Expat Health Insurance

Check the Fine Print When Shopping for Expat Health Insurance

Comparing the different expatriate health insurance plans can be very time consuming and confusing. There are many different plans offered by a variety of expatriate insurance providers.

Many expatriates have the following questions: Do you have questions about purchasing international health insurance? Do you wonder why some plans seem the same in quality and price? Or why others have a much larger price and what the difference is? It’s easy to miss the finer details in the small print of some plans.fine-print

Here are some important tips on what to look out for and to make sure your international health insurance can cover:

Chronic Illnesses: Usually these conditions will not be covered by insurers. If such conditions occur, later on, the prices for the level of coverage you previously purchased can fluctuate drastically, depending on your insurance carrier. It is vital that you are certain that you know what your coverage includes because prices can rise alarmingly.

Medical History: Pre-existing conditions, current or past are usually not covered or reduced in coverage by most insurance companies. Your broker needs to know if you would like to see if specific conditions can be covered. They can then get to work on attempting to find an insurer and plan that can cover you. Expat Financial does offer some expat health plans which can cover a pre-existing medical condition if it is disclosed, underwritten and approved by the insurer. The carrier may decline to cover you, excluded the condition or cover it for little or no extra cost.

Areas of Coverage: Make sure you know where you are covered. Many plans will not provide coverage in the United States or may include for a higher premium. Finer details need to be specified and will cost far more. Some emergency coverage can sometimes be granted in the US for a limited duration. If you plan to travel to the US, you need to know the specifics. Take some peace of mind in the knowledge of the locations and durations of where you are covered. Some insurers may only offer protection in certain areas of Europe and Asia, for example.

Policy Limits: Some plans have low overall policy maximums while other plans offer an unlimited annual or lifetime maximum. Some of the benefits, especially for out-patient claims such as seeing a specialist MD, will have a maximum benefit amount. It is recommended that you obtain a plan with a large overall maximum if your budget allows.

Range of Benefits: Overall, the benefits of annual plans can be great regardless of the insurer unless you have purchased a cheaper plan. Be warned, however, that some insurers do not give as much coverage in certain areas. They can differ in their coverage of Medical Aids, HIV/Aids treatment, Psychiatry, Physiotherapy, Alternative Medicine, Organ Transplants, Private Room/Semi-Private Room, Evacuation or Repatriation coverage and so forth. Some may not cover any of these, depending on your plan. Avoid misfortune by ensuring that you have all bases covered. Contact Expat Financial for more information on the range of benefits for your expatriate health plan.

Choice: In-Patient Only versus In-Patient & Out-Patient coverage. Depending on your choice, the costs can differ greatly. Selecting In-Patient only will usually cover you just for hospitalization that requires at least one overnight stay. Some expats who live in regions where out-patient costs are low will obtain an in-hospital only plan.

Options: Some expat plans will offer optional coverage for dental, vision and travel related expenses. Expat Financial recommends that you obtain the evacuation rider, which may or may not be included in the policy. Evacuation expenses can be extremely high, especially from a remote region.

You will receive your insurance certification soon after having paid the premium for your plan. Make sure to check this documentation to ensure that you have been covered for all your specifications and no special exclusions have been tacked on. Certain insurers can be lax at outlining their specific policies during the application and underwriting phases of your plan. Be sure to go over your new plan certification and documents whenever it is renewed because insurers are free to amend changes during this time. This rarely happens, but you or your broker at Expat Financial can check. You can obtain quotes for several different global medical insurance plans online.

It pays to talk to an expatriate insurance specialist at Expat Financial to obtain a plan which meets your needs and budget. Obtaining a quote is both easy, and some plans are even offered online. Expat Financial offers plans from a variety of providers, including BUPA, Cigna, IMG, ihi BUPA, William Russell and Interglobal.