Health insurance abroad: answers to the most common questions
Are you planning a trip abroad? In order to protect yourself as much as possible during your stay in another country, you need to take out a health insurance policy. In this article, we answer the most popular questions about taking out insurance
If you plan to move abroad, you need to take out a health insurance policy. But why is it so important? Today we will tell you what health insurance is and give answers to the most common questions about the policy.
Is it necessary to have travel insurance for a trip to Europe? Find out here.
What is international health insurance?
International health insurance is designed for workers, expats or foreign nationals living in another country for a long period of time. An international insurance plan helps cover the costs of minor illnesses and serious health problems. More comprehensive plans may cover rehabilitation, maternity, childbirth and cancer treatment.
Is it mandatory to take out health insurance when moving abroad without a visa?
International health insurance is optional, but most expats prefer international health insurance because it provides peace of mind. If you have international health insurance, you won't have to worry about medical problems while in a foreign country.
Do I need health insurance to apply for a visa?
One of the main reasons for the need to take out insurance for expats is the requirements of the law. The immigration service of most countries of the world requires a policy to be issued for a visa or residence permit. Some regions even require special insurance that would cover certain diseases. There are stricter countries that may investigate your health before issuing a permit. However, the policy should usually cover a certain amount of expenses in the local currency and be valid for the duration of your stay.
Travel and health insurance - what's the difference?
The main difference between travel insurance and international health insurance is as follows:
● You take out travel insurance if you go abroad on holiday, business trip or any other trip that will last less than six months. Travel insurance covers emergency medical care and other accidents that may occur during a trip (loss of luggage, flight delay, etc.).
● Take out health insurance if you are moving to another country for work, study or plan to spend most of your time abroad. International medical insurance is long-term and covers most medical expenses you may incur while abroad, but does not cover trip interruptions.
Read more about the differences between the policies at the link.
What does international health insurance cover?
Most international health insurance plans offer coverage for the following cases:
- Inpatient treatment: hospitalization, surgery, stay in the intensive care unit, anesthesia, laboratory tests and X-rays.
- Outpatient treatment: visiting a doctor, visiting a specialist, visiting a psychiatrist, emergency care, etc.
- Emergency services.
- Dental support.
- Protection of mental health.
- Chronic diseases.
- Evacuation or repatriation.
How much can you spend on treatment abroad if you do not have a policy?
If you do not have a health insurance policy, the cost of treatment abroad can be extremely high: for example, according to the Association of British Insurers, treatment for a broken spine in Thailand can cost $124,000, rehabilitation after a road accident in Spain will cost $74,000.
In EU countries, calling an ambulance in emergency situations can cost at least 600 euros. For a consultation with a therapist in Israel, prepare to pay from 75 euros.
Do I need to take out medical insurance if the country I am going to provides foreigners with access to public medicine?
Depending on the country you've moved to, you may be eligible for public health benefits. However, this health care system may have certain disadvantages:
- doctor's appointments;
- the country may lack infrastructure for treatment;
- you will not be able to communicate freely with the medical staff due to language or cultural differences;
- you can get free medical care only after a certain period of stay in the country.
Also, the public health care system may usually have a limited list of free services: it may not cover the treatment of serious illnesses, accidents, emergency care, maternity care, dental services, etc.
To avoid the above-mentioned inconveniences, you should have a health insurance policy.
Is the health insurance policy only valid in one country?
International health insurance can cover many countries or regions. After moving to a new country, you will probably travel a lot, either to different regions of the state where to settle, or to neighboring countries. However, when you cross regional, state, or national borders, your health care rights may change. Since international health insurance covers you anywhere in the world, you will still be entitled to medical care under the policy. This will make traveling to a new region easier, more cost-effective and generally more fun.
Is medical evacuation available under the insurance policy?
Yes, of course, the policy applies to medical evacuation.
If it turns out that you cannot get the medical care you need in your area of residence, you may need a medical evacuation (Medevac), whereby you are transported to the nearest hospital or clinic or to your country of origin to receive care.
Does international health insurance cover prescription drugs?
Whether you need medication for a chronic condition or to treat an illness, the cost of medication can vary by region and your condition – and can be extremely high depending on the type of medication you need.
With international health insurance, you have the option of including medication in your coverage, so if you need medication or repeat prescriptions, you can rely on your policy to cover some (or sometimes all) of the cost of the medication.
Do health insurances cover dentistry?
Acute toothache, broken tooth, acute inflammatory processes, abscesses - the insurance company will take care of this. However, cleanings, fillings, implants or veneers are not covered. Normal practice is, for example, the opening and treatment of canals that cause a person acute pain, but the cost of a new filling, which is placed on a treated tooth, is already paid by the patient.
Is it possible to adapt health insurance to your own needs?
If you have chronic illnesses or need a higher level of care or wish to receive additional treatment under insurance coverage, such as psychological counseling, all this can be added to your policy. With international health insurance, you have the opportunity to design your policy the way you like it.
How to find a doctor when traveling abroad?
Finding an international doctor is easy because the insurance company you choose will provide you with an extensive list of international medical providers. You can call the helpline on your insurance card to get help.
How much does international health insurance cost?
International health insurance can cost you anywhere from $200 to $900 per month, with an average of $500.
What is a franchise?
In simple words, the deductible (or retention) is the amount that is not covered by the insurance company and is paid by the client in the event of an insured event. Most often, the deductible is expressed in a certain defined amount, which will be deducted from the insurance amount, or in the form of a percentage of the total loss.
What to do in the event of an insurance event?
In the event of an insured event, a person should call the insurance company as soon as possible. The company's contacts are always listed on the insurance policy. It is your policyholder who will be obliged to organize an emergency call or the provision of outpatient medical care in a clinic abroad. If an emergency situation occurred, when the person was not able to contact the insurance company before hospitalization, it is worth keeping all receipts and documents, and contact the insurance company at the first opportunity to compensate for expenses.
What to pay attention to when choosing a health insurance policy?
The best health insurance plan is different for everyone, so consider the following when choosing a policy:
1. Is the coverage fixed or comprehensive? Fixed coverage plans are less expensive but only pay a fixed amount per claim (which may be too low in some cases). Comprehensive coverage plans are more expensive, but the insurance company pays based on a percentage that can be as high as 100%.
2. Does the insurance plan cover everything you need?
3. What are the "additional" services covered? Dental support, childbirth, etc.
4. What is the period of validity of the policy?
5. Can it be extended and how?
6. The size of the franchise? How much do you have to pay yourself before the insurance company steps in and covers the rest?
Where to buy health insurance?
You can take out an international health insurance policy from reliable insurance agents on the Visit World portal. The insurance provides emergency medical care, treatment of acute diseases, emergency care, outpatient and inpatient treatment, injuries and burns, evacuation and repatriation, etc.
Products from Visit World for a comfortable trip:
Medical insurance all over the world;
Legal advice from a local specialist on visa and migration issues (to receive the service, select the country of interest and citizenship).
We monitor the accuracy and relevance of our information. Therefore, if you see any error or discrepancy, please write to our hotline.
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