International Health Insurance
for a Family Abroad
What is International Health Insurance?
Embarking on a permanent move abroad or travelling long-term to a remote destination can be an extremely rewarding, even life-altering experience. However, uprooting one’s life and relocating can bring unforeseen risks and hazards, particularly for families.
International health insurance, also known as expat health insurance or global health insurance, is insurance that provides medical coverage for those living or travelling overseas. Whether you’re relocating your family for an exciting new job opportunity in Europe, retiring to an exotic sea-side town in South America, or perhaps taking a thrilling motorbike journey across multiple countries in Asia, navigating your destination’s health care system can be both exhausting and confounding. A private international health insurance plan can provide coverage for all major medical expenses you might encounter abroad, including unexpected medical emergencies, hospitalizations, dental care, and routine doctor check-ups.
How Does International Health Insurance Work?
Most insurance plans only provide coverage domestically, in one’s country of residence. While some plans may offer health insurance coverage for brief business trips or short holidays, additional insurance is needed for long-term stays, a school year abroad, or a permanent move overseas. Moreover, some destinations may require proof of international health insurance upon arrival prior to entering the country. International health insurance plans work similarly to domestic coverage, but with expanded options for coverage in more locations around the world. Much like domestic health insurance, expat health insurance reimburses you for medical costs after you file a claim and submit proof of expenditures. In many instances, the insurer will have established a direct billing network at major hospitals and clinics, which means no cash outlay for you.
What are the Benefits of International Health Insurance?
Families may be tempted to rely on their host country’s medical facilities, thinking they’re cheap and good. Depending on your location, choosing this route could result in either an astronomically large medical bill or a visit to an inadequate health facility that might pose additional risks, or both.
Enrolling in an international family health care insurance plan will reduce these risks in the following ways
1. Covers a variety of destinations
Whether your journey abroad includes weekend family adventures like scuba diving, rock climbing, or snowshoeing, or perhaps your backpacking trip takes you on a daring multiple-day trek through the Himalayas, your international family care insurance plan can be tailored to cover that location.
2. Comprehensive maternity coverage
Are you thinking of moving abroad but worried life as an expat will prove difficult while trying to start a family? Private health care insurance provides options for expecting families and mothers to be. Comprehensive maternity coverage is available and can be customized for a family or individual’s needs and budget to make certain optimal care is provided, including skill and antenatal care.
3. Customized level of coverage
Every detail of your plan can be customized to guarantee your spouse and children receive the medical attention they require. The flexibility of these plans permits you to tailor them to your specific needs, including outpatient care, maternity coverage, medical evacuation, and convalescent coverage.
How Much Does Family International Health Insurance Cost?
International health insurance for families can be costly. Prices will vary wildly depending on geographical location, family size, age, gender, duration of coverage, and add-ons like maternity or dental coverage. Coverage might be more costly in one country while more inexpensive in the other due to higher costs of procedures. For instance, a surgery in Thailand will cost less than the same procedure in Switzerland, so insurance in Thailand will be cheaper.
The insurer may consider lifestyle and use of tobacco, as well as pre-existing conditions.
Ultimately, the final price will be decided by the provider but can be tailored to accommodate travellers on a budget or families planning to relocate for several years or more.
What Details Matter in a Family International Health Insurance Plan?
Understand your specific medical needs
Whether you’re moving abroad to retire, study, or you’re relocating the entire family to a foreign country, it’s vital to anticipate what type of health insurance coverage you may require. Should maternity coverage be included? Do you need eyeglasses soon? Should you limit coverage to inpatient emergency coverage? Take the extra time to carefully review your potential provider’s coverage when choosing your ideal plan.
Determine pre-existing conditions
Coverage is not always available for a pre-existing medical condition that was acquired before purchasing international health insurance. Depending on the provider, pre-existing conditions can also include illnesses such as cancer or a tumor, undiagnosed symptoms, or past injuries such as a broken bone or reoccurring infection.
Having a pre-existing condition can be troublesome when shopping for health insurance as many providers won’t cover them.
It is vital to accurately declare any pre-existing conditions, as well as current and past medical conditions, to the provider before enrolling. Failure to include certain information can result in future claims being denied.
Know Your Policy
Make sure your policy is expansive enough to cover all your needs. Consider policy limitations and costs of procedures in your destination country. Medical costs can vary greatly contingent on location. Know your plan’s flexibility in the case travel plans are suddenly and unexpectedly changed prior to enrolling. Most importantly, choose a plan that guarantees you and your family stay safe and happy abroad.
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These articles are intended to give you enough information to make informed decisions, but health insurance is complicated. Whether you still have questions on this topic or feel ready to take the first steps toward getting a policy, our advisors can help.
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