If you work or live abroad, having a global medical cover is essential to ensure that your family’s healthcare needs are covered. Whether taking on a new job, studying, retiring, emigrating, or joining your family or friends overseas, having a global medical cover gives you peace of mind knowing you can access better healthcare when ill or injured.
Global medical cover, also known as international health insurance, covers routine healthcare and emergencies when you decide to love a broad over an extended period, probably more than a year. In other words, it enables you to access private healthcare in your new country of residence or as an expat.
International health insurance companies provide medical coverage for individuals, families, and companies that want to provide health insurance for their employees working abroad. Most of the global medical insurance plans cover the following:
- Surgery when not admitted to hospital.
- Cancer treatment.
- Inpatient or outpatient treatment for acute conditions.
- Routine medical checkup.
- Emergency hospital visits due to an illness or injury.
- Emergency dental treatment requiring continuous hospitalization.
- PET, MRI, and CT scans.
Importance of global medical insurance
There are many benefits of getting global health insurance as an expat or student studying abroad.
It caters to your healthcare regardless of where you are
International medical insurance covers all your medical care costs regardless of where you are, which means that the cover is not restricted to one country only. Many global health insurance companies allow you to choose a specific world area, such as Europe or worldwide, where the cover will be active. But note that traveling abroad for the sole purpose of seeking medical treatment will not likely be covered in your international Healthcare insurance.
It may include an additional cover.
Most of the global medical insurance covers cater for additional covers like repatriation and medical evacuation to your home country if you cannot access better treatment in your country of residence. Other different covers include maternity, optical and dental benefits. Depending on your global insurance company, you may be able to increase the benefits by paying a higher premium.
It eliminates the guesswork of foreign healthcare costs
The access and costs of medical care vary across different parts of the world. While some countries have a free public healthcare system, others require you to pay an amount of the medical costs associated with your treatment. Despite all of that, it is common to find countries where expats cannit access free public healthcare.
A global medical cover gives you peace of mind that you can access healthcare at private hospitals in your new country of residence using your international cover. During emergencies, a global medical insurance cover can cater for repatriation and transport costs if need be.
It gives you flexibility.
International healthcare insurance gives you a choice for accessing medical care in your country of residence. You can choose which hospital to visit, which physician to see, and the type of treatment to receive. Additionally, some of them give you the option to return home for treatment or seek treatment in another country that you spend a significant amount of time in.
But it is worth knowing that the benefits of global medical insurance covers vary from one provider to another. Comparing the top ten health insurance covers is advisable to find one that suits your needs and understand what it covers.
Who is eligible for global health insurance cover?
Global health insurance cover is not a must for everyone living abroad, but it helps expats find their way around the healthcare process in a foreign country. It gives them peace of mind knowing they can access quality treatment should they get ill or injured in the new country of residence.
- Multinational employees.
- Remote workers.
- Frequent business travelers.
- Individuals who want to retire abroad.
- Global companies and groups.
- People studying abroad.
- People volunteering or working overseas for a specific period.
- Individuals or families relocating abroad permanently.
How does it work?
International Healthcare insurance mainly covers you for one year at a time, and you have the option to pay in installments. When you become ill or injured, you can claim to pay your treatment costs, but at times you may have to pay out-of-pocket costs towards your treatment depending on the cover.
Is there a difference between global medical insurance and travel insurance?
International or global medical insurance covers your medical care costs in the long term when living abroad. On the other hand, travel insurance is a short-term insurance cover that caters to your medical and non-medical emergencies during a holiday or business trip abroad.
Travel insurance benefits include healthcare emergencies, accidents, lost luggage, or trip cancellations. Note that travel insurance may not cover medical costs for healthcare needs that can wait until you get back to your home country.
Keep in mind that what a global medical insurance covers varies across plans, so it is essential to perform your due diligence before selecting one to understand what you are entitled to.