Having adequate health insurance is essential whether you are in your office in Virginia or a business meeting in Japan. You might be wondering- what is international health insurance and why do it need it? International health insurance is recommended for anyone traveling or living abroad.
What is international health insurance, exactly? International health insurance provides individuals and families with comprehensive medical care for those relocating from their home country for an extended period of time. This differs from travel insurance which is designed to cover emergency medical treatment while you are abroad temporarily.
This type of insurance is often used by retirees, expatriates, local nationals, global employees, and others who spend the vast majority of their time outside of the United States. If you are considering international health insurance for business purposes, it is important to compare different plans to find one that meets your unique requirements.
Expatriates and Third Country Nationals
International health insurance is most often used by expatriates and third-country nationals who live or work outside of their home country. While the length of time abroad can range from one person to the next, most require international health insurance if they plan to stay one year or longer.
An international health insurance plan can offer a wide range of coverage options, such as medical care expenses, emergency medical evacuations, maternity coverage, and access to physicians and prescription drugs.
With international health insurance, a person is able to continue receiving medical care regardless of their geographic location. This allows for more flexibility and enables individuals to seek treatment in multiple countries. International health insurance can also protect families against unexpected illnesses or accidents while traveling abroad.
If you are an employer or company with a global workforce, offering international health insurance can be invaluable. The right policy will protect your employees and help ensure that they receive the medical care that they need regardless of where they are in the world.
The Limits of a Domestic Plan
While having a domestic health care plan can be useful if you are traveling within the United States, you may find it fairly useless when traveling abroad. Most regular health insurance plans provide partial or no coverage when you are traveling to another country. This can make it challenging to get the medical care you need if an accident should occur.
Some countries provide what is known as ‘universal health care.’ If you visit a country that offers universal health care you may receive some assistance with minor medical needs; however, these countries are not obligated to provide you with service. In addition, most countries that offer universal health care will not cover major or ongoing medical costs. They also will not pay to evacuate you or assist you in returning home.
Due to the limitations of domestic health care plans, having international health insurance is a must for those who plan on leaving their home country for an extended amount of time. This will help ensure that you receive the best treatment possible no matter the location you are transferred.
Flexibility of Treatment
International health insurance offers flexible, comprehensive medical coverage with a variety of plan options. With global medical insurance, you can take advantage of wellness benefits and preventative care, often with a no waiting period. You may also have access to certain assistance services, such as evacuations, emergency reunions and return of mortal remains.
Many international health insurance plans offer travel preventative coverage. This allows individuals to receive vaccinations and certain preventive prescriptions before they leave the country. Individuals with international health insurance will also have the freedom to choose their own health care provider anywhere in the world they have health coverage.
International health insurance plans can vary based on your unique needs. For example, your choice of coverage area may be worldwide or may exclude certain countries, such as the U.S., Canada, Hong Kong, China, Japan, Taiwan, Macau and Singapore.
Plan for the Appropriate Length
Before choosing an international health insurance plan, it is important to be aware of how long you will be out of the country. This will allow you to choose a plan that provides the appropriate amount of coverage and term length based on your unique needs.
Most international health insurance plans provide long-term coverage of one year or more. Like standard health insurance, these plans are usually renewable as long as you continue to meet the plan’s eligibility requirements. This means that you can renew your health insurance each year that you remain out of the country.
International health insurance is the ideal option for anyone that plans to spend at least six months or more outside of the country. If you will be traveling abroad with your family, you can submit one application for each person and they will receive a separate ID card and ID number. Also take note of the policy maximum when choosing an international health insurance plan.
Get a Quote Today from BBG
Businesses often struggle when choosing the right health insurance, especially when it comes to international health insurance plans. An international health plan for expatriates and third-country nationals is often much broader than what is covered in standard business travel insurance.
An international policy will often usually provide access to local health care services, maternity care, emergency coverage, treatment of ongoing conditions and certain preventive services. While travel insurance may also provide similar coverage options, it is usually to a lesser degree and only covers individuals for a short period of time or for a single trip.
What makes international health insurance so popular is its flexibility. In addition to medical care, some plans also include other services like international dental insurance. If you plan on moving to multiple locations, your policy can travel with you. Many international health insurance plans will cover more than one country of residence which allows you to receive ongoing treatments abroad, as well as make health insurance claims from more than one location.
For more information or to receive a quote for international health insurance, contact the experts at Business Benefits Group.