Choosing the most suitable and affordable policy for you and your loved ones can be an extremely challenging exercise. There are over 100 insurers in the market, a plethora of medical policies and options, with different limitations and definitions.
Whether its called International health and medical insurance or expat medical insurance, it all refers to the same thing and serves the same purpose which is to provide expatriates with access to more choices and high level of medical advice, treatment and facility wherever and whenever they need.
The main objective of an international medical insurance is to pay for the cost of active treatment, which is treatment for acute conditions (an illness, disease or injury that is short-term) and for other costs such as hospital accommodation, nursing, emergency dental treatment, etc. Depending on the type of insurance, it can include cover for other treatments such as out-patient, dental, optical or maternity.
Generally, there are 2 categories of coverage: Standard and comprehensive. Premium for comprehensive cover is higher compared to standard cover.
Under the standard plan, most insurers will provide coverage for the following:
- in-patient: an insured person who stays in a hospital bed and is admitted for one or more nights solely to receive treatment
- day-patient: an insured person who is admitted to a hospital bed but does not need to stay overnight
- emergency treatments including accidental damage to teeth
- medical evacuation: evacuation of an insured person to the nearest medical facility for treatment in the case of emergency and when it is not readily available at the place of accident. Cover is extended to the insured person’s escort.
- home nursing by a qualified nurse immediately after discharge from hospital and on recommendation by a medical specialist
- cancer: Oncology which is treatment for cancer, including diagnosis, therapy (radiotherapy, chemotherapy, surgery, etc)
- reconstructive surgery administered immediately after an accident or disease, e.g. breast reconstruction after mastectomy and sometimes lumpectomy which may take place simultaneously during cancer-removing surgery, or months to years later
The comprehensive plan covers additional out-patient (an insured person who receives treatment at a recognized medical facility, but is not admitted to a hospital bed as an in-patient or day-patient) treatment.
Many insurers provide different modules, which you can add on, such as medical evacuation and repatriation, dental, optical and maternity coverage. Premium increases with more add-ons.
There are a number of different insurers that are available for medical insurance. It depends on your residence and the type of cover you are looking for