How does international private medical insurance work?
International medical insurance, also known as global health insurance or expat medical insurance, is a product that will provide private healthcare for individuals or families living or working abroad based on a temporary or permanent basis.
Who is international health insurance for?
International health insurance is suitable for anyone wishing to live or work outside the UK for an extended period of time, for example expatriates and their families who wish to experience the same level of healthcare they receive in the UK.
At ActiveQuote we compare international medical insurance quotes for UK nationals looking to move or work abroad.
What is the difference between travel insurance and international health insurance?
Travel insurance can provide basic cover for medical treatment, usually up to a maximum of 30 days, as well as insurance against loss of luggage and flight cancellation. However they are not appropriate for those looking to work or live abroad as they can only provide cover for accidents and emergencies and require you to return home to continue your treatment.
International health insurance is a much more comprehensive insurance policy that can cover emergency medical treatment, routine surgery and other healthcare benefits whilst you are abroad for a long period of time. Global medical insurance can provide private healthcare at a hospital of your choice and you will not be required to return to your home country unless you ask to be.
Who can buy international health insurance policies?
Expatriates of any country are eligible for international health insurance and you can insure yourself as well as your family.
At ActiveQuote we compare quotes for UK expatriates looking to move or work in a foreign country.
What types of cover are available to me?
In broad terms international health insurance providers will break their cover down into three categories; Standard, Comprehensive and Fully Comprehensive.
However more insurers are adopting an adaptive approach that will include a core cover policy with a choice of additional add-ons that can be tailored to suit your specific needs. By doing this the customer only pays for the cover they need and can build an overseas health insurance product tailored to their budget and needs.
Will my premiums increase as I get older?
As you get older the chances of you making a claim increase which can be reflected in your annual premiums. More advanced medical treatments and drugs may also cause an increase in your international health insurance premiums.
At ActiveQuote we review each policy on an annual basis to ensure you are getting the best international health insurance policy at the best price.
Will I be covered for illnesses I’ve had in the past?
International health insurers will not cover pre-existing conditions for you or anyone named on the policy. However on a Moratorium plan insurers will include cover for any conditions that have gone untreated and symptom free for a set period time, usually two years.
Will international health insurance cover me for cancer treatment?
International health insurance plans can cover you for cancer treatments and recovery if you choose to include it in your policy. Most cancer care plans included in your international health insurance policy will cover specialists’ fees, nursing care, reconstructive surgery, chemotherapy treatment and preventative cancer care once you are recovered.
Will overseas health insurance cover pregnancy?
Overseas medical insurance can cover you for pregnancy and maternity medical expenses but there is usually a waiting period of 6 to 12 months before you can qualify to claim on your policy. Most policies will have pregnancy cover as an additional benefit that may increase your premium.
Pregnancy cover will increase your premiums and may provide antenatal and postnatal care, midwife or hospital led births and newborn cover for the first seven days of your baby’s life. There is typically an annual limit on any maternity care of £10,000 or £15,000 for each member of the policy.
Will international health insurance cover me for dental treatments?
As with pregnancy cover, you can choose to add dental cover to your international health insurance policy, however some providers may include emergency dental cover in their core policy. You can add dental plans into your policy that can pay up to £3,000 per policy member for dental examinations, treatments and complex dentistry including orthodontic treatment for under-18 year olds.
Will I be covered for a chronic condition?
If a chronic condition develops during your insurance policy then you can make a claim to stabilise the condition and the insurer will pay an agreed maximum amount, usually up to £20,000, for the medical treatment needed to control the condition.
What is the difference between in-patient and out-patient treatment?
In-patients receive medical treatment and recovery that requires you to be admitted to hospital for one or more nights.
Out-patients do not need to stay the night at hospital for their treatment and as such incur lower medical expenses.
Most international health insurance products will include in-patient and out-patient cover as part of their core product.
What is the difference between evacuation, repatriation and compassionate travel?
Evacuation – an individual is transported to a different country as part of their healthcare cover due to medical treatment not being available locally.
Repatriation – in the event of evacuation being required the customer may have the choice to be taken to their home country or country of origin as part of their insurance policy.
Compassionate Travel – in the event of an emergency your healthcare policy can cover flights, accommodation and care of dependents for your family members.
Is there anything international health insurance will not cover?
Voluntary medical expenses will not be covered by international health insurance. A non-exhaustive list may include; IVF treatment, cosmetic surgery, gender reassignment and weight-loss surgery.
International health insurance will not cover pregnancy or dental healthcare as standard but you can choose to add these benefits to your plan if you wish.
You may need to declare that you participate in certain hazardous sports in order to be covered for them but some plans will automatically have no exclusions to injuries relating to sports activities.
Can I choose the hospital I am treated in?
Yes. One of the main benefits of international medical insurance is the ability to choose which doctor treats you and the hospital you are treated at.
How do I make an international health insurance claim?
International health insurers provide a 24-hour telephone service in the event of an emergency or query regarding your insurance policy.
In the event of a non-emergency claim you can send a fax or email form to begin your claim and get treated as quickly as possible under the terms of you policy. All insurers make it clear how to make a claim and will provide these details when you buy a policy.