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International Medical Insurance Frequently asked question

Frequently Asked Questions about International Medical Insurance

On this page, uses will be guided through the basic working of international medical insurance through the form of FAQ. Regardless of your reasons to go abroad (it may be due to work commitment, study purpose, or simply for leisure), you will find from this frequently asked questions section all the possible answers as you look out for the most optimum international medical insurance plan for yourself and your family.

What is international medical insurance plan?

An international medical insurance plan is a healthcare plan that is going to provide you protection internationally. Within the scope of international medical insurance, the four basic area of cover are hospitalization, outpatient, maternity and dental services. Individual, family, or group (e.g. corporate) may benefit from such kind of medical coverage as any of the insured party has to travel out of the country.
Usually, customers have complete freedom to decide on the types of coverage according to their specific needs and preferences. You are free to decide if the basic cover (e.g. hospitalization) would be just sufficient for yourself, or you may opt for a more extensive healthcare coverage that will give you and your family members true peace of mind no matter where you are.

Will I qualify for an international medical insurance?

Typically, international health insurance does not discriminate on age and nationality, so effectively nobody will be deprived of it. Among the many international health insurance plans, some are designed to particularly to target certain profiles; for example they may be some which specifically provide free coverage for young children in the family in order to entice the parents, while there are those which one to build on their appeal factors such as comprehensive repatriation services from most parts of the world. You will find our advisors extremely helpful in guiding you to the best international medical insurance coverage for you and your family.

What is an excess/deductible?

The term excess/deductible is a commonly used insurance term in the industry. It defines the initial sum of money agreed on before cover provided by insurance company starts to take effect. The amount is either a fix annual fee or the amount is to be agreed based on terms and conditions policies subscribed to. The amount derived is very likely to take into consideration of your historical medical claims on your medical insurance plan. The excess would be worked out every time there is a medical claim involved, and the resultant insurance premium is adjusted according to the amount of excesses.

How does the excess and deductible affect me and my international healthcare insurance?

Excess represents a potential saving for you when it comes to international health insurance premium. If there has not been many medical claims put up by you, then there would be corresponding discount on your medical insurance premium.

How does a Group (Corporate) Health Insurance Plan Different from Others?

There is a minimum requirement to have at least 3 persons working in the company to be insured in the case of Group (Corporate) International Health Insurance Plan. Group (Corporate) International Health Insurance Plan could also be extended to dependents of insured employees (for example, husband, wife or kids of staff).
The premium would reduce with increasing number of employees to be insured. It is also flexible enough to understand corporate may experience staff turnover, so employer can have complete freedom to either add or reduce the number of insured employee as situation dictates, and all these changes will be reflected in the calculation of premiums.

Is There a Time Limit for my International Health Insurance Plan to Stay in Effect?

Typical international health insurance cover will run for 12 consecutive months. They are invariably renewable, independent of your health condition during the last 12 months. So renewal is assured regardless of the fact that you may have been sick during the earlier cover, if you choose to renew.

How is International Health Insurance Plan different from Travel Insurance Plan?

Travel insurance plan is often taken up for relatively shorter time frame. A particular feature of travel insurance plan is that renewal cannot be taken for granted. This feature contrasts greatly with international health insurance cover which guarantees renewal if a customer so desires.
If you are looking for a healthcare plan that is renewable, you should opt for international health insurance plan.
An international health insurance plan is specifically useful with people who often travel abroad because of either job requirement or personal choice. It is also helpful for someone who is planning to relocate to China.
On the other hand, travel insurance is great for both single or multi trips but this plan would not provide coverage when you are in your country of residence.

How can one distinguish between inpatient and outpatient treatment?

Inpatient generally refers to hospitalization. Hospitalization benefits allow the customers to claim the cost of hospital room used and medicine expenditure incurred while staying at a hospital from the insurance companies. Inpatient would cover typically accidents, dental emergencies, surgeries and daycare treatments.

On the other hand outpatient will cover the cost of consultation with either a general practitioner or a specialist. Prescribed medication is usually included as well. Customers of international health insurance plans are entitled to choose their preferred medical facilities as well as doctors from whom they would like to receive outpatient treatments.

Do insurance companies put any cap on age limit?

Some companies may impose restrictions on age, but some do not. There are also a number of healthcare insurers willing to offer lifetime renewal, so customer can choose to extend the insurance coverage as long as they want to. It all depends on the policy of individual insurance company.

What are those geographical areas covered for international medical insurance plan?

Most international insurance companies divided their coverage into two physical areas and they are international coverage outside USA and international coverage including USA.
Thankfully, even for international coverage excluding USA, there are still some international medical insurance plan that could still be willing to provide emergency service should you need help in USA when you are over there for short stay.

Am I entitled to maternity benefits?

Most, if not all, international medical insurance providers do offer maternity cover as option. However, take note that a waiting period of between 8 to 12 months before maternity cover kicks in. Additionally, some health insurance plans would cover for only delivery while others may include outpatient pre-delivery exam cover. Some may even include coverage for complications arisen from pregnancy or delivery. You are always welcome to get in touch with us to understand the different forms of maternity cover.

Is C-section covered by an international medical insurance plan?

Subject to individual medical insurance providers, C-section may or may not be covered. Some provides emergency C-section while others offer elective C-section. You are always welcome to get in touch with us to understand the different forms of C-section cover.

Am I entitled to dental benefits with international medical insurance?

Most, if not all, international medical insurance providers do offer dental cover as option. Dental cover usually includes routine dental treatment such as tooth decay and sometimes they may include orthodontics. However, take note there is a waiting period in the case of major dental work.
Not unlike a cover for outpatient treatment (which allows a patient to seek out his general practitioner of choice), customer is free to choose his preferred dentist for necessary dental treatment.

What is classified as chronic health condition?

This refers to any health condition that is treatable but there is no cure. In that sense, the disease or pre-existing condition stays with the patient for life. Ashtma, for example, falls into this category of condition.

Would international medical insurance cover chronic health condition?

There are a number of insurance companies which provide cover for chronic health conditions and the coverage usually include both acute phases (inpatient) or routine treatment (outpatient). If you need more information about this subject, please get in touch with our advisors.

How do you define a pre-existing health condition?

Any pre-existing condition refers to that kind of health condition you have contracted prior to a medical insurance cover comes into effect.

Am I entitled to pre-existing health condition cover with my international medical insurance plan?

With a moratorium or loading, there may be insurance companies which are willing to take you on. However, more often than not, a majority of them do not provide cover for pre-existing health condition.

Am I expected to settle the bill when I am hospitalized?

If you are hospitalized, the international medical insurance provider will foot the bill on your behalf. Nevertheless, it is expected on your side to notify the insurance company about your hospital stay after you are admitted so as to allow the company time to work out the necessary payment arrangement.

Can I choose my hospital and doctor?

International medical insurance plan gives you complete freedom to select your doctor and hospital.

In case of emergency, what do I do?

All international health insurance providers are obliged to provide you with a 24 x 7 emergency number that you can reach when you are faced with an emergency situation. The helpline is multilingual to ensure that there is no language barrier and you can relate your experience as accurately as possible.

How can direct billing help me?

Outpatient direct billing service is a common feature nowadays for a number of international medical insurance providers which operate a network of clinics and hospitals. If you received your outpatient treatment from one of these facilities, the direct billing service offered would mean that you don't have to pay a thing for the treatment you received.

How do I make a claim on my outpatient treatment?

If there is no direct billing service available from the medical facility that you have received your outpatient treatment, you will have to pay the corresponding medical fees first before you could make a claim. To improve customer service, more and more international health insurance providers allow their customers to send in their claims through either fax or e-mail.

What happened to my international medical insurance plan when I hit home to my country of origin?

Some international medical insurance plans continue their coverage when the customers move back to their respective country of residence. To find out which international healthcare plans that offer such provision, please check with our powerful advisors.

What happened to my existing international medical insurance when I have to relocate to another country?

When you move out from the original hosting country to another one, the coverage on your existing international medical insurance plan is still applicable in general. However, if your next destination is not included in your current plan, you will have to include your next location into your plan.

Are sports activities covered by international medical insurance plans?

In general, the cover of international medical insurance plan does not extend to harmful activities, dangerous sports and professional sport practice. Still, there are a few who are willing to provide full cover for sports. It's getting touch with us to find out the types of plans that include coverage for sport that you indulge in.

Why does the premium of international medical insurance plan have to increase year-over-year?

It is common for international medical insurance plan to have its premium increased over time to reflect the annual inflation of medical related fees as well as the age factor. Our advisors will be helpful in guiding you to the most optimal health insurance plan in accordance to your age and preference.

Why do I need an advisor on my international medical insurance?

You will benefit from qualified, yet free, advices from our pool of experienced and knowledgeable advisors. Our advisors have been comprehensively trained in order to guide our customers to the most appropriate international medical insurance plan according to requirement and preference.

Our services of advices and quotation would not add any additional cost to your intended insurance plan as they are all provided free of charge to customers. You will be delighted to note that our support services would continue to free after you have signed on your ideal international medical insurance plan so you can count on us for excellent services while the insurance plan remains in effect.

How do we get paid?

We earn our income from the international health insurance providers in the form of commission but we would like to assure you that you would not be paying an escalated premium because of this commission; our customers have compared and acknowledged that they would have to pay the same amount of premium had they gone directly with the insurance companies on their choice of international medical insurance plans. What's more, our free advices and support services would continue to be at your disposal even after you have signed on to your selected insurance plan.