Learn How to Compare Your International Health Insurance Companies When Living Abroad
Before moving abroad, make sure you have the most suitable international health insurance to cover for you and your family when living abroad. Uninsured medical expenses incurred abroad can be quite significant and can easily bankrupt an expatriate. However, shopping for international health insurance can be challenging. In this article, we will provide some advice on how to compare and pick your international health insurance company. Luckily, our firm works with many global insurance providers and we can provide valuable tips and opinions that are invaluable when picking an international health plan. These tips will show you carefully compare and review potential insurance providers when you are comparing your international health insurance options.
Understand the Terminologies and Conditions Offered
When shopping for international health insurance for the first time, it can to difficult to understand terms, terminologies and conditions. Some crucial terms that expats should understand often include pre-existing conditions, coverage area, waiting period, deductible, chronic conditions, and premiums. Please also check our expatriate resource center for more expat related information.
What are the Levels of Geographic Coverage?
Insurance providers offer a range of plans with various levels of geographic coverage. Expat Financial provides plans that offer coverage worldwide, including or excluding the U.S. Most American expats living overseas & global nomads in the USA will want a plan that includes coverage for the United States. For expatriates who want to be able to seek medical care in the USA or are residing in a country near the United States, a global medical plan that includes the USA is important. If you live in a country with undeveloped medical care, you may be evacuated to the USA, so this may be a consideration for you to consider as well. We don’t offer plans that only cover you in one country or region, however.
Generally speaking, a domestic insurance provider may have potentially lower premiums, but offer less coverage. However, an international insurance provider may have rates a bit higher while offering more comprehensive coverage worldwide.
Can I Get Support From International Health Insurance Providers?
Finding an international health insurance company that can provide 24/7 medical and claims support as well as multi-language support is essential. Expats moving abroad also want to make sure that they will have access to English speaking doctors, medical staff and hospitals. Also, does that insurance company offer telehealth to their global nomad clients – this is especially important in today’s COVID-19 world where you might not want to go to a doctor’s office for some quick advice or to check out something minor.
How Large & Good is Their Medical Network
We often get asked by potential clients who are moving abroad for a list of hospitals that are in the insurer’s medical network in the expat destination country or city. We can look this up for most clients via our insurer portal. Once you are a client, you will be provided access to the insurer’s client portal where you can search out medical providers that can bill the insurer directly. For most out-patient claims abroad, you should be able to submit claims electronically. Most global citizens hate to pay large claims out of pocket.
What is the Insurer’s Customer Service & Claims Payment Like?
For this question, it is best to ask an expat insurance expert as this is a difficult question for the average expatriate to ask. Of course, our firm, TFG Global Insurance Solutions Ltd., which owns and operates Expat Financial, is one of the leading sources for international health insurance in the world and we have extensive experience in dealing with many different providers. You get the same great rates and direct service from the insurance company, but with our independent advice before and after you buy global medical insurance. You can contact us and describe your needs and budget and we can give you our opinion for free. Any decent international insurer will offer expats access to a 24/7 emergency claim center where you can get access to multilingual service and claims payment in almost all currencies.
Do You Know Your Insurance Company’s Reputation?
Choosing an international health insurance provider with great customer service is very important when considering among different companies. While expats are travelling abroad, poor customer service can lead to serious claims problems. Expats will want to check company reviews and other expats testimonials before signing an insurance policy or ask the broker which one is the best. Talking to someone at our firm can help provide some assurance one of the providers we will recommend will be of high quality and financially secure.
Certainly, if we suggest a plan from Cigna or Allianz, two very well known and respected insurers, you can rest assured that you are working with a very large and financially secure provider. We do offer some plans from TPA (Third Party Administrator) providers for global citizens who want something inexpensive from a smaller provider who administers the plan and has a large insurer in the background underwriting the risk, but really our first choice is to recommend coverage from a large and well-known insurer that we have dealt with for many years – we feel more secure and you should as well. No insurer is perfect and they all will have some unhappy customers, but frankly, the two insurers we have noted above are the best in the market in our humble opinion.
Do I need a PPACA Compliant Expat Plan?
Individual expatriate health plans are not the Affordable Care Act (ACA or PPACA) compliant – they are surplus lines plans that are also not COBRA or HIPAA compliant. There is one plan that is available to some ex-pats that is ACA compliant, but it is rarely offered and only in a few situations. Generally is it Americans residing abroad who want to have just one global medical plan so they can avoid the significant tax penalties from the IRS. With the tax and regulatory changes introduced by the Trump administration, the requirements for PPACA.
How Can an International Insurance Broker Assist You in Choosing a Global Insurer?
The global health insurance companies all charge the same rates whether you buy direct or through our firm, which is a global health insurance specialist brokerage. All your premiums, claims and service is still direct with the insurer, but we assist before you purchase and also after you buy online or offline. This includes answering any questions you might have, discussing your requirements and also being there in the future if you need an advocate or have coverage design questions. We assist future and current clients all the time.
How to Get the Best International Health Insurance Plan
It is never easy to compare an international health insurance plan or provider. No matter you are an individual expat planning to live abroad, or expatriate employer with employees around the world, Expat Financial offers various international health insurance plans for individual expats along with international group insurance plans for employers with 2 or more expat employees. Expat Financial not tied to any insurance company as we are accountable to you, the client. We search the marketplace to supply quality insurance plans that fit your needs and budget, and you can even purchase the plan online.