If you are thinking about becoming an expatriate, you will need top international health insurance. And, in this article, you are going to find crucial information to understand what are the options available and how each of them works.
After reading it, it will be easy for you to perform an international health insurance comparison to choose the best one for your needs.
The Different International Health Insurance Plans
There are 2 main types: the 1st euro (or 1st dollar) insurance on the one hand. And the Social Security with its associated supplements on the other.
All international insurances offer similar services. Its medical coverage provides the following services:
- Follows you throughout the world, including during temporary stays in your home country
- Gives access to assistance in your language, from any location
- Offers simplified contracts that do not require in-depth knowledge of the local health care system.
International Expat Health Insurance From the 1st Euro/Dollar
These international health insurance plans are becoming more and more widespread.
Their principle is simple: all your medical expenses are covered, from the first euro (or dollar) spent. And up to the actual cost of the medical services invoiced.
This type of contract is offered by private insurance companies specialized in international health coverage. These insurers generally have partnerships with local healthcare networks in many countries.
The first euro/dollar policies are well-considered for their good quality-price ratio. And for the great flexibility of the offers available in the market.
The rate varies greatly depending on the coverage subscribed to, the age, and the state of health of the insured (there is a compulsory medical questionnaire). Also, the geographical area covered and the number of people insured.
Generally speaking, the more protective and extensive the coverage chosen, the more expensive it is. But to find out more about the price and guarantees of each offer, the easiest way is to request a free quote online.
Did you know? You can compare international health insurance plans with our comparator!
Social Security: International Health Insurance That Covers Pre Existing Conditions
Social Security is a public entity that is supervised by the State. In the countries where it is available, provides health coverage to all its residents. Since it is not a private company, it can not refuse any membership applications.
Due to this, it does not require the completion of any medical questionnaire. This is useful for people with chronic illnesses or a medical history that could lead to restrictions with a private insurer.
In some countries, it even offers international expat health insurance. However, the coverage is usually very limited. The insured needs to advance all the payments from his/her pocket, and request a refund after.
Most of the time, the reimbursement system is based on the same scales and ceilings as the ones in the insured’s home country. Regardless of the health care rates in the country of residence.
There are also private supplementary insurances to Social Security. They allow improving the reimbursement rates and to benefit from better guarantees.
International Health Insurance Comparison
Between these different options, it is not easy to choose. Here are some tips to help you make your decision.
Social Security Is Not Top International Health Insurance
Subscribing only to Social Security is rarely a good idea if you want to benefit from efficient medical coverage. Even if it is international health insurance that covers pre existing conditions, it also has many limitations.
Indeed, the amount of reimbursements is calculated according to the same scales as those in your home country. And the same limits are applied.
For example, if a consultation with a general practitioner is reimbursed up to 25 euros, this amount can be highly insufficient in many countries. The non-reimbursed part is therefore borne by the insured.
Depending on the country and the type of treatment or care concerned, the sums involved can quickly become colossal.
Besides this, the coverage offered by Social Security is limited and cannot be extended.
For example, it is not possible to include repatriation most of the time. However, it is an essential guarantee, and even mandatory to obtain a residence permit in certain countries of the world.
Supplementary International Health Insurance Plans
This is why there are supplementary policies to go with Social Security. These allow you to benefit from better reimbursements. Or even to extend the services according to your budget and needs.
However, the “Social Security + supplementary” system implies that you have to deal with two different entities for all the administrative procedures.
In addition, the companies that market these supplementary policies require a medical questionnaire. And it can lead to certain limitations in coverage and premium increases in the case of pre-existing medical conditions or advanced age.
1st Euro Policies: The most Popular International Expat Health Insurance
This option is considered as the top international health insurance in the expat’s community. It is very competitive and offers great flexibility.
Each insured can choose between a large number of companies. And each of them gives the chance of adding different services since they offer a great variety of packages.
It is thus possible to subscribe to a customized coverage, or almost. And which is likely to offer very broad guarantees, for example:
- Insurance of your luggage in case of loss or theft
- Insurance of your plane tickets in case of cancellation
- Civil liability in case of damage caused to a third party
- Legal assistance
- Repatriation assistance, which is essential.
Administrative procedures are also simplified since health insurance is managed by a single organization. And these companies generally have partnerships with health care networks in many countries.
For the insured, this allows them to be well oriented, and receive assistance in their language. And it also gives access to preferential rates, and in some cases, to be exempted from advance fees.
Take in mind that getting any type of private policy does not exempt you from joining the local health system in the countries where it is compulsory.
Top International Health Insurance: Frequently Asked Questions
International health insurance is designed for people who are going to be expatriated for a specific period.
It is possible to subscribe to a tailor-made coverage, which is likely to offer extended guarantees such as:
– The insurance of one’s luggage
– Insurance of one’s plane tickets
– Civil liability insurance
– Legal assistance
– Repatriation assistance
To find out more about the price and guarantees of each offer, it is recommended to use a free online comparator.