Dealing with the dreaded health
Nobody likes paperwork. Nobody really likes insurance. And certainly nobody likes insurance paperwork. But if you have health insurance, at some point you’re going to have to deal with the dreaded insurance claim.
Most people don’t know how to file an insurance claim properly, and as a result, either don’t get the full amount of money they’re owed, or end up with a huge headache from all the red tape. So, should expats file their own insurance claims? There are lots of reasons why they shouldn’t, as explained in some detail below.
One solution is to hire a professional insurance claims adjuster, who will do all the legwork for you and make sure that you get the full amount of money you’re entitled to.
If you’re lucky enough to be a Tenzing customer, you can let us handle it.
Here are a few things to consider when dealing with health insurance claim:
1. Did you get a good policy from a reputable provider?
First, it’s important to understand that insurance companies don’t really want you to file claims. For you, it’s part of your insurance coverage and protection. For insurance companies, claims are expenses that reduce profits, as debits to the bottom line.
Some insurance companies have given the industry a bad rap by denying legitimate claims or offering low settlements, and will often take advantage of claimants who don’t have experience dealing with the process. They know that most people just want to get their claim settled as quickly as possible so they can move on with their lives. This gives insurance companies a lot of leverage to lowball offers or drag their feet on processing claims.
Good insurance providers, on the other hand, will make the process easier for you with features like:
Before buying a policy, double check that your insurance company offers these services, as they will often make the difference between a smooth claims process and a frustrating one.
2. Do you have the time and patience?
Filing the initial insurance claim can be time-consuming. You’ll need to gather all the relevant documentation, including medical records and receipts and potentially even police reports. This can be a daunting task, especially if you’re still trying to recover from an illness or injury.
After the claim has been filed, the insurance company will often do their own investigation and may take some time to get back to you.
3. Do you speak the local language?
Although insurance companies may say they have bilingual staff, the reality is that many providers don’t. This can be a problem if you’re trying to file a claim without speaking the language.
And it’s not just the insurance company that you need to chat with. You’ll also need to coordinate with medical staff, accountants and hospital administration personnel who would rather be doing something else.
4. How much is your claim worth?
Medical care in Southeast Asia is relatively cheap. Unless you have a serious injury or illness, it might not be worth your time and effort to file a claim. After all, how much is your time worth? If it’s going to take you hours to file a claim for $50, would you be better off doing something else?
5. Did you read your policy’s Terms and Conditions?
This is an important one. Insurance companies won’t necessarily approve every claim that comes their way. They have a duty to their shareholders to pay claims pursuant to the policy’s policy wordings.
That’s why it’s important that you take the time to read the policy’s controlling document, known as the Terms and Conditions or Policy Wordings, before you buy an insurance policy. That way, you’ll know what is and isn’t covered.
Perhaps you already know where this is going, and yes, our advice is usually to say that expats shouldn’t file their own insurance claims in Southeast Asia unless there’s no other option. There are simply too many potential pitfalls and problems that can arise if you don’t have the expertise.
Thankfully, Tenzing Pacific has a team of trained Claims Support professionals who can help you with all aspects of your insurance claim, from start to finish. We’ll make sure that you get the full amount of money you’re entitled to, and we’ll do the heavy lifting for you. Our team can help translate and navigate the insurance claim system, so you don’t have to.
This support is absolutely free when you buy your policy from Tenzing.
Don’t have health insurance yet? You really should. Get in touch.
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