Here Are Some Tips For Buying International Health Insurance for Your Family
Health insurance is not just an option for expats. It is an essential part of international living too. When you have international health insurance for your family living abroad, you have peace of mind. When you start living in a faraway land where private or public healthcare is expensive, unavailable or not desirable, ideally, you should opt for international health insurance for a family as it will cover you locally, regionally, and globally. This is especially true if you will be moving from one expat destination to another as the plan you may have purchased locally won’t transition with you – which is a big problem if you have developed a medical condition that needs treatment. Also, keep in mind that local healthcare insurance may not be available to expats in your destination. The coverage and service may not be desirable. Also, access to medical care may be limited. All these are reasons to buy an international health policy for your family while living abroad as an expat or global nomad.
Here is a list of six tips to bear in mind when you plan to purchase international health insurance for the family:
1. Know the Expat Insurance Jargons
Medical insurance terminologies can be very confusing and intimidating at times. However, you can always take the assistance of an expert or counselor to understand the insurance terms and definitions. It is essential that you know and understands everything that you are signing for. Ignorance can be a big disaster if you are planning to invest in family health insurance before moving abroad. Expat Financial has a great international health insurance guide that you can download. It can help you understand how global health insurance works and how to quote and purchase online.
2. Pay Only for Coverage that You Need
Are you in need of a comprehensive global health insurance policy? If you don’t, then opt for a plan that suits the current health condition of everyone in your family, including you. When it comes to international health insurance for your family, don’t get carried away by the lengthy list of benefits promoted by most health insurance companies.Check if those benefits apply to you. Most international medical plans will offer three levels of coverage – from basic to deluxe. You can also add options such as out-patient care, evacuation, dental, vision, and wellness. Some global citizens will only want hospital only coverage and will pay out-patient care from their own pocket.
3. Provide Full Disclosure on Your Family’s Current Health Conditions
Before you decide to purchase an insurance plan, you should discuss with the insurer about any pre-existing health condition or any impending need, including maternal coverage, etc. Your insurance provider would be more than happy to guide you once you apply. In the application, you will have to provide details, treatment information, medication, doctors’ information to the underwriters. The more information you give, the clearer and more accurate a decision they can make on your condition.
There is a possibility that your insurer may reject your claims even if you have the best international health insurance plan. So, to avoid any rejection, it is always wise to be honest about your pre-existing health conditions when you subscribe to an insurance plan. There is still a chance that during the underwriting process, your application may be declined, a premium loading applied, an exclusion noted, or it may be covered.
4. Check out the Insurer’s Customer Service
Choosing an insurer is totally at your discretion; however, you would like to pick a company which has efficient customer service. You would want the customer support to be quick whenever you need medical attention, or you have a question. Before you decide to seek any medical treatments, you should always inform the insurer through the customer care department. This will help you know to what extent you would be covered for a particular treatment. There are some exceptions for people who can’t call up the customer care department when they need immediate treatments due to serious injuries.
Be a bit wary of customer service review sites. For example, you may Google Cigna reviews and be presented with reviews on domestic Cigna reviews. Which like any health insurer in the USA, they won’t have great reviews as many Americans are not happy with domestic healthcare in the USA, and most customers who are not satisfied post reviews. The Cigna expat health insurance division that we offer expats & international citizens is completely separate from Cigna USA. It is not even based there, and the reviews for Cigna International and their expat plans are quite good. Is any health provider perfect? No, there are always some unhappy customers. You can contact us to get our opinion and discuss it.
5. Buy an International Health Plan with Maternity Coverage If You May Become Pregnant
We get at least one call per week from someone who is now pregnant and require a global health plan with pregnancy coverage. All individual expat health plans have a 9 or 12 month waiting period for maternity, and this can’t be waived. A group plan sourced by an expat employer can often cover pregnancy without a waiting period, but individual plans can’t. If you have any possibility of becoming pregnant, make sure you get a policy that includes maternity coverage and also instant coverage for your newborn.
6. Read Through the Global Health Insurance Policy Documents Carefully
This tip may sound quite obvious and boring. However, many of us often skim through these documents without reading the teams and conditions carefully. You must maintain a little caution. It is okay if you ask your insurer a couple of questions for better clarity on specific terms. You must know exactly what you are covered for when you purchase a policy. You should know the insurance policy inside out before you opt for it.
Note that no international health insurance for the family will cover everything – there are always exclusions and limitations. In general, the higher the level of coverage that you choose, the more you will have to pay. You will usually get what you pay for when buying global health insurance for you and your family members. You can also contact us to discuss your requirements and discuss the insurer and coverage options.