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Frequently Asked Questions

Find the answers to all your questions

While the countries you move to are all different, your concerns are often the same. We've gathered together the most frequently asked questions by our customers across the globe to give you the answers you need - and we're here to help you 24/7 if you have any other queries.

What do I need to do for my health to leave with total peace of mind?

To leave in the best conditions, we recommend that you do a global health check before you go. Updated vaccinations and dental checks are priorities but it's worth having a full medical checkup and getting a medical certificate to practice all sports too (like scuba-diving, for example). Remember to leave your contact details and policy number of your private health insurance with a member of your family or a friend, along with an address and number where you can be reached.

Why do I need special cover for living abroad?

If you're an expatriate (student, employee, freelance worker, globe-trotter or retired citizen) rather than someone on a temporary assignment abroad, you'll no longer be covered by your home country's health system and will probably have to contribute to the local health system. However it may not reimburse your healthcare expenses at the same rate or provide you with the same level of coverage when you visit your home country.
The cost of healthcare varies greatly from one country to another and can be much higher than what your used to paying at home.
If you subscribe to the local insurance plan in your country of expatriation alone, your reimbursements are likely to be limited or even non-existent and you will not be covered when travelling or for visits back home.

Why isn't my credit card insurance enough?

The medical assistance coverage included with standard credit cards is only valid during your first three months abroad. Ongoing treatment or treatment following an accident will not be covered beyond this initial period and may not be covered by insurance purchased after the event. Also, credit card insurance may have deductibles or consist of cash advances only.

Our offer

Who does MSH work with?

As a duly registered broker by the ORIAS, MSH have partnerships with leading insurance groups like AXA, GROUPAMA-GAN and AIG, and we work closely with highly reputed assistance companies like Europ Assistance too. MSH is also the number one partner for complementary coverage with the French Health Insurance Fund Abroad (Caisse des Français de l'Etranger - CFE).

Why Choose MSH?

We have been designing and creating health insurance solutions for globally mobile citizens like you for nearly 40 years. We understand your concerns and anticipate your needs. We adapt to new challenges with tailor-made solutions and facilitate your daily health management through innovative products and services. Thanks to our international expertise and our presence all over the world, we aim to give you confidence wherever life takes you. Discover all our services in detail here.

What options does MSH offer?

- Routine medical care: covers all your non-emergency but important day-to-day care (general practitioners and specialists, medicines, physiotherapy, tests, etc.).
- Dental and optical: add this option to have your dental or optical care reimbursed.
- Maternity: experience pregnancy, childbirth and the first months of your newborn's life with complete peace of mind.
- Medical assistance/repatriation: covers repatriation to your country of origin in the event of health problems. In the event of a natural disaster or terrorist attack, we cover your return ticket.
- Insurance: to ensure the financial security of your loved ones and maintain their standard of living, should anything happen to you while abroad.

Why do I need legal protection? (automatically included except for the Start'Expat plan)

All sorts of disputes can arise in day-to-day life. Legal protection ensures you have all the legal and financial resources you need to assert and exercise your rights - from basic information and support to full assistance and defense. 

Why do I need third-party liability? (included with the "Standard medicine" option)

While third-party liability insurance may be included in your house insurance policy, it will not be valid abroad. This can be a problem in countries where people are prone to press charges. Taking out third-party liability insurance on a stand-alone basis is very expensive and prices vary greatly from one country to another - that's why we automatically include it in our First'Expat+ and Relais'Expat+ product guarantees, as well as in Start'Expat.

Why should I opt for emergency medical assistance and repatriation coverage?

You may need to have medical treatment in a neighboring country offering better-equipped facilities and high quality care. A plan that includes medical evacuation and repatriation will cover all travel expenses, including a visit from a family member if you're hospitalized, or in the event of a death, or a return ticket for a relative if you're alone and hospitalized for over ten day days. Discover more about this option here.

By opting for a policy that includes medical assistance and repatriation, MSH ensures your repatriation to your home country in the event of a medical emergency. You are covered for all transportation costs, including a visit from a family member if you are hospitalized or in the event of death, or a round-trip ticket for a loved one if you are alone and hospitalized for more than ten days.

What online services does MSH offer?

You can log onto or the MSH mobile app anytime to:
- subscribe online  
- submit healthcare claims and check their status online (member's area)  
- get a quote
- pay your contributions securely 
- print your personal insurance card (member's area) 
- consult your reimbursements in your policyholder area (you'll receive an e-mail alert every time a new statement is available) 
- obtain detailed health information on 150 countries worldwide, including mandatory vaccines, local diseases and the quality of drinking water and foodstuffs 
- access a database of healthcare professionals worldwide: contact details, languages spoken, services available in hospitals, etc. (member's area) 
- leave us a message (member's area)

What are the coverage limits?

Coverage limits depend on the type of coverage you choose:
First'Expat+ Quartz : €500,000 / USD625,000 per person per insurance year
First'Expat+ Pearl : €1,000,000 €/ USD1,250,000 per person per insurance year
First'Expat+ Sapphire : €1,600,000 €/ USD2,000,000 per person per insurance year
First'Expat+ Diamond : €3,000,000 €/ USD3,750,000 per person per insurance year
Start'Expat: €250,000

What treatment and services are not usually included in my policy?

It all depends on your policy, but in general the following are not covered:
- Treatment for conditions indicated on the certificate of coverage,
- Treatment received in detox, anti-aging and weight loss centers,
- Stays in rest homes, nutrition centers, convalescence homes, spas, treatment related to cosmetic surgery not resulting from an accident,
- Medical treatment for which the insured member did not request prior approval, or for which prior approval was not granted by the insurer,
- Hospital stays related to psychiatric disorders beyond a certain number consecutive day of hospitalization,
- Treatment for mental disorders (nervous or mental conditions, psychoanalysis and/or psychotherapy),
- Treatment not reimbursed by social security systems at home except otherwise specified in the chosen options,
- Treatment started before the start date of coverage or after coverage end date.

Make sure you read the general terms and conditions of your policy carefully so that you are fully aware of the treatments and services that are not included before you leave. The DIPA (IPID) form, mandatory for all insurance products sold in Europe, summarizes what is covered and what is excluded.

What sports are excluded from coverage?

Healthcare coverage does not apply to the practice of certain extreme sports, certain mountain sports, certain air sports, certain water sports, competitive self-defense and combat sports and motor sports. 
However, in general, the practice of these sports, including introduction to the sport, for leisure purposes or by way of initiation, if it is supervised by a professional with the qualifications and skills required by the state, is covered with the exception of extreme sports.

What zone does my country of expatriation fall into?

Healthcare costs vary from one country to another. To offer you the best quality/price ratio wherever you are, we organize our products and services according to many geographic zones, which vary according to the type of insurance. For example, Expat+ contracts are divided into 5 zones, while Start Expat has 2 zones.

Zones for Expat+ (First / Relais) insurance:
ZONE 1: all countries (including France) not listed in zones 2 to 5
ZONE 2: Aland Islands, Andorra, Angola, Argentina, Aruba, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bouvet Island, Bulgaria, Caribbean Countries, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic (The), Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic (The), Ecuador, Faroe Islands, Finland, French Southern and Antarctic Lands, Georgia, Germany, Greenland, Guatemala, Hungary, Iceland, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Latvia, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco, Mozambique, Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Panama, Peru, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, South Africa, Svalbard and Jan Mayen, Sweden, Thailand, Ukraine, Uruguay, Venezuela, Vietnam
ZONE 3: Australia, Austria, Canada, Cocos Island, Cook Islands, Christmas Island, French Polynesia, Greece, Heard Island and McDonald Islands, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Marshall Islands, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Norfolk Island, Portugal, Qatar, Russia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, San Marino, Spain, Taiwan, The Holy See, Tokelau, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Vanuatu, Wallis and Futuna
ZONE 4: Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, Bahamas (The), Bermuda, Brazil, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Caiman island, China, Falkland Islands, Guernsey, Hong Kong, Isle of Man, Jersey, Montserrat, Pitcairn islands, Puerto Rico, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, Saint Martin, Singapore, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Switzerland, Turks and Caicos Islands, United Kingdom
ZONE 5: USA, Northern Mariana Islands, United States Minor Outlying Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa

You can use our online quotation tool to find the best health insurance plan for you. N.B: these zones do not apply to the Start'Expat plan, for which the geographic zones are divided as follows:

ZONE A: all countries excluding USA
ZONE B: all countries including USA (world coverage)

Does MSH provide insurance for lost luggage?

Luggage insurance is automatically included in our Start’Expat plan and is effective for the length of the policy (not just while you're travelling to and from your country of expatriation).
While our other plans do not automatically cover loss or theft of luggage, it can be added as an option. This option is included in your repatriation package.

Your Subscription

Who can join MSH?

Anybody over 16, regardless of their professional status, who is looking for health insurance for themselves or their family while abroad can join MSH International. Please note that the age limit for enrollment varies according to the policy.

How far in advance of my leaving date should I buy coverage?

You can subscribe to MSH three months before departure at the earliest. It's best to enroll as early as possible to ensure that your coverage will begin when you want it to, and that you have all the necessary documents in hand before you leave.
Please note that coverage is not retroactive, that is, with a start date that precedes the date your enrollment was actually received.

When does my coverage start?

Your MSH coverage starts on the date you selected in your enrollment form, on condition that your medical questionnaire(s) is (are) approved, your documents are submitted and payment is settled. However, there may be a waiting period if you were not previously covered by a similar plan (see question re: waiting periods).

Is there a waiting period?

Your coverage is active as soon as your policy has been approved and validated - or at a later date (if any additional information is required after your medical questionnaire has been reviewed). However, for certain treatments (depending on your plan), a qualifying or waiting period may apply if you were not previously covered by a similar insurance plan:
- Waiting period of 3 months: routine ‘Dental / Vision consultations and care’ (excluding Emergencies)’ and ‘Periodontics’,
- Waiting period of 6 months : ‘Vision’, ‘Dental (excluding dental consultations and care): Dentures, dental implants, bone grafts and dental surgery’ and ‘Equipment and medical, orthopedic and hearing Prostheses’,
- Waiting period of 10 months: ‘Maternity’ (including Pre and postnatal care), - Waiting period of 12 months: ‘Orthodontics’, ‘Fertility treatment (including Medically assisted reproduction)’? psychiatric treatments and care’ and ‘Prescription drugs for chronic diseases’ (The limit for prescription drugs can be used during the waiting period)
If the member was previously enrolled in a plan which provided equivalent benefits both in terms of the benefits purchased and the levels of reimbursement, no waiting period will be applied (other than the 10 months in respect of ‘Maternity’ benefits (including Pre and postnatal care) and the 12 months in respect of ‘Fertility treatment’.
It is specified that the Insurer will only cover expenses incurred in respect of treatments and procedures prescribed from the Effective date of benefits.
Important: waiting periods do not apply to the Start'Expat plan.

What is the minimum policy period?

All policies remain in effect for a minimum of six months - expect the Start'Expat plan, which can be purchased for 1 month only.

How are my premiums and reimbursements paid?

You can pay your premiums on a monthly, quarterly, bi-annual or annual basis at no extra cost (only on a one-shot basis for Start'Expat) by direct debit from your French bank account and by check, bank transfer or bank debit card (on-line on our secure website or by telephone with an administrator).
The first payment must be made by check in euros or by direct debit from a French bank account. Reimbursements can be issued by check or transfer in the currency and to the bank account of your choice.

How do I join MSH?

You can join MSH online at or by email to Fill-in, date and sign your subscription form and medical questionnaire for you and your dependents and return them to us with the following documents:
- the enrollment form completed and signed,
- the medical questionnaire completed and signed, along with the additional medical details if you answered yes to any questions in the medical questionnaire,
- a copy of your identity card or passport,
- a bank account slip for your healthcare reimbursements from MSH,
- a certificate from your previous healthcare insurance and a summary of benefits in order to possibly waive waiting periods (not applicable for Start'Expat),
- a school/university attendance certificate for your children aged 20 to 25 (not applicable for Start'Expat).
And for payment of your premium:
- The direct debit authorization (for French accounts only) completed and signed,
- the credit card authorization completed and signed,
- a check payable to ASFE.

Policy Management

Am I covered on vacation in a country other than my country of expatriation?

Yes. Your MSH coverage is valid for all your healthcare needs during trips to any countries within the same geographic zone as your country of expatriation - as well as emergency care during short-term trips to countries outside your geographic zone.

Important: this does not apply to Start'Expat.

What do I do if I have a question when I'm already abroad?

As soon as you become a member, you will receive a personal insurance ID card with all our contact details. You can reach our multinational team 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in 40 different languages or you can log into your member's area to file a claim, check your reimbursements or fill out a hospital precertification form within seconds.

Where can I find the names of qualified doctors, clinics and hospitals around the world?

As an MSH member, you will have access via your member's area to a global network of high level doctors and health facilities along with their contact details, languages spoken and key services, country by country or by specialty.

How can I avoid having to make cash advances if I'm hospitalized?

Your personal insurance ID card is the key. Either you or the hospital can contact us from anywhere in the world to obtain hospital precertification. It's important to keep this card on you at all times and present it as soon as you arrive in a hospital.

Is my whole family entitled to the same coverage as me?

Yes, your dependents are entitled to the same coverage as you, unless otherwise specified by our consulting physician when you subscribe.

Do I need to convert currencies and translate documents for my claims to be processed?

No. We can process claims in any language and deal with healthcare expenses in over 150 currencies. To calculate your reimbursements, we use the exchange rate published by the Compagnie Financière Edmond de Rothschild on the last day of the month before your healthcare was administered.

If I subscribe to a 12-month Start'Expat plan and come home after 6 months, will I be reimbursed?

No. The duration of coverage specified in each plan must be respected. If you are not sure how long you will be abroad, we recommend you sign up for a few months with the option to renew for additional months (upon written request by e-mail up to 15 days prior to policy expiry).

What should if do if I move to another country of expatriation during the course of my MSH contract?

Whenever possible, you should inform MSH if you change your country of expatriation at least one month prior to your move. We will then be able to make any changes necessary to ensure your are covered properly in your new country. Any modifications will go into effect the first day of the calendar month following your request. If you need higher level of coverage, you will need to fill in a new enrollment form, under approval of the insurance companies.

Important: this does not apply to Start'Expat plans.

What should I do if my family situation changes?

If your family situation changes (marriage, birth, divorce, death of spouse), you must notify MSH within 30 days and provide official papers (marriage, birth, divorce or death certificate), so that these changes can be incorporated into your policy.
Contact our team of specialists