Closing a business deal sometimes requires traveling or even moving to another country. When this happens, you want to ensure that you are well-prepared and have the proper protection to maintain your health. International health insurance is often recommended when working or living abroad.
An international health insurance plan will typically cover an expatriate, third-country national or anyone who plans on staying outside of the country for one year or longer. While it may be tempting to enroll in a “domestic” health insurance plan, these policies have certain limitations that can reduce a person’s ability to obtain proper health care. A stand-alone international medical plan is often a better solution.
So, what does international health insurance cover? While this can range from policy to policy, most international medical plans cover the following:
International Coverage For Routine Health Care Visits
A vast majority of expatriates that are living and working overseas do not receive free medical care, they may instead, have to rely on local government medical plans due to their low cost. Unfortunately, these plans can be highly limited and patients may not receive an adequate level of care.
International health insurance provides individuals living or working abroad with the medical care and services they need to maintain good health and wellness. This typically includes routine care such as preventive health checkups and routine physical exams. Health screenings, lab testing and other testing performed for diagnostic purposes are often covered under international health insurance.
Whether you are residing in your home country or living overseas, it is essential to maintain your health. Domestic health insurance may not cover the medical services you need for preventative wellness. Thoroughly review your policy to see what routine care services are covered.
What To Do In An Emergency
Employees may experience illnesses or injuries while traveling for business. When you experience any type of emergency in a foreign country, you want to able to quickly see a qualified physician; this often means going to the emergency department at a local hospital or medical establishment.
Most domestic health plans provide limited coverage overseas, especially when it comes to costly emergency services. Should you need to be evacuated and brought back home, this service is seldom covered by domestic plans, making international coverage invaluable.
Most international health insurance plans will cover emergency medical services, such as diagnosis and treatment for major illnesses or injuries occurring while overseas, and depending on the extent of your policy, you may find that your insurance policy also covers medical evacuations. If you have any pre-existing conditions that could potentially become problematic while you are working or living abroad, you should have international health insurance.
International Care For Mothers
Most countries provide some level of care for expecting mothers; however, maternity healthcare abroad can often be costly if you do not have insurance. Expecting mothers living outside their native country may require international health insurance coverage to cover expenses including prenatal and postnatal care.
Paying for pregnancy and childbirth expenses out-of-pocket is not an option for many expecting parents. International health insurance can provide protection against high maternity and pregnancy costs. Typical coverage offered under maternity health insurance plans include:
- Costs of prenatal checkups
- Costs of routine deliveries
- Costs of emergency Caesarian sections
- Costs of home delivery options
- Costs of delivery following complications
- Costs of postnatal examinations
Some international plans also allow expecting mothers to choose where to deliver their babies. Once the child is born, the new dependent may be added to the health insurance policy.
Stay Up-To-Date On Your RX
Over 131 million people in the U.S., including 66 percent of adults in the country, require prescription medication, according to the Health Policy Institute. International health insurance may cover the cost of prescription medications for new illnesses or injuries sustained during travel, as well as those for certain pre-existing conditions.
Even if you do not currently take prescription medication, your circumstances may change while abroad. Without insurance, prescription medications can become very expensive in other countries or in emergency situations. If the injury or illness is ongoing, the extended use of medication can create unexpected additional expenses.
With international health insurance, you can maintain coverage for prescription drugs, regardless of the travel destination. If you are currently taking medication in the U.S., you can continue to receive this medication when you travel abroad. This coverage is essential for anyone who has a pre-existing health condition.
Find Out More From An International Health Insurance Expert
Most people who have domestic health insurance policies may be unaware that their medical plan will not cover services while abroad or will only cover services to a certain extent. Review your health insurance policy to determine what your policy covers; if it does not provide medical coverage outside of the U.S., consider an international health insurance policy.
Similar to domestic health insurance, international health insurance plans are available with a variety of coverage options. If you plan to be out of the country for a shorter period of time, you may only require a basic policy that covers preventive services, prescriptions and similar coverage options. However, if you will be living or working abroad for longer than a year, a more comprehensive policy may be needed.
For more information about international health insurance or for assistance choosing a policy, contact the experts at Business Benefits Group.