Whether going on a round-the-world trip, a Working Holiday Program or on a long expatriation assignment, you must take out international healthcare insurance before going abroad. It can be difficult to find the most appropriate healthcare insurance plan among the plethora of offers on the market. Here are a few tips to help you find the international healthcare insurance that fits your profile, type of travel and destination.
Have a clear idea of your project and your needs
To choose the most appropriate international health coverage, you must start by clearly defining your travel plans. Are you preparing for expatriation with your family? Or do you plan to travel the world for several months? If so, which countries do you intend to visit? Equally, have a clear idea of you and your family’s healthcare needs: do you have any health problems that require specific specialist treatment? Do you wear glasses or contact lenses? Will your children need orthodontic treatment? By setting out your needs clearly, you will be able to sort through the various plans on the market more easily, thereby selecting the most appropriate healthcare solutions.
Check your reimbursement conditions
Remember to ask your insurer what to do in the event of a health issue abroad, and what the reimbursement conditions are. Find out in particular about applicable waiting periods, reimbursement ceilings and the supporting documents you must provide. Prefer insurance plans that guarantee fast reimbursement turnaround times of a few days. Ideally, you should be able to submit your claim directly on-line and benefit from access to remote consultation services. With MSH International, you can, for example, submit your claims directly on the dedicated mobile application, simply by taking a photo of your medical bills and other supporting documents. You must also be able to contact the insurer easily from abroad, during extended service hours. This is essential when in need of assistance or advice in the event of a health problem in your destination country. A quality healthcare insurance must include immediate precertification in the event of hospitalization.
Choose the healthcare coverage suited to your situation
Choosing the right healthcare plan also depends on different criteria. You could select a private healthcare insurance that provides coverage as of the first Euro. This type of international healthcare insurance plan provides reimbursement of healthcare expenses as of the first Euro or Dollar incurred. This does not require you to be registered with the Caisse des Français de l’Etranger or with the French Social Security system, or with the basic social security system in the host country (which may be mandatory in some countries, however - find out more before you travel).
However, if you are or have been insured under the French healthcare system (Sécurité Sociale), you can opt for an insurance supplemental to that of the CFE (Caisse des Français de l’Etranger). This healthcare solution is exclusively available to non-resident afiliated persons. It maintains the relationship with the French Social Security system both for healthcare and for pension contributions. In this case, the CFE deals with reimbursements on the basis of reimbursements from the French Social Security system. It is often recommended that you take out a private complementary insurance plan in order to optimize your level of healthcare coverage, depending on the healthcare costs in your destination country. When choosing your international healthcare insurance, remember to check the list of countries in which coverage is applicable under the plan. If you are preparing an expatriation assignment, think ahead to consider any possible trips to countries near your destination country, as well as the coverage conditions during stays in your country of origin.
Check the exclusions
While it is important to find out more about the healthcare benefits provided by the plan, remember to check exclusions concerning certain events or activities, such as some extreme sports.
Choose your optional benefits carefully
Lastly, many healthcare solutions can be customized. This means that you can adjust your plan to include complementary options, such as:
A repatriation insurance,
Benefits for vision and dental care or treatment,
Maternity insurance coverage,
Personal third-party liability insurance,
Compensation in the event of sick leave from work.
With MSH International, you can enjoy an appropriate international healthcare insurance plan, in accordance with your travel plans abroad (expatriation, round-the-world trip, short trips, etc.), and your personal and professional situation (departure alone or with your family, posted worker status, self-employed professional, active seniors, etc.).
Travel Insurance vs International Health Insurance
Travel insurance is often mistaken for international health insurance, but they differ in very important ways. Make sure you choose the right coverage for your time abroad.