1. Who can buy International Health Insurance plans?
  2. Is there an age limit at joining International Health Insurance Plans?
  3. What is an "excess"?
  4. What is an expat medical insurance "deductible"?
  5. Will the policy cover me worldwide?
  6. I am a USA citizen. Can I purchase an International Health Insurance plan?
  7. Does International Medical Insurance cover pregnancy/maternity?
  8. Are dental treatments covered?
  9. Can I choose the hospital for treatment?
  10. How do I make a claim?
  11. How long does it take to handle a claim?
  12. Which conditions/benefits does International Medical Insurance not cover?
  13. What is a medical history declaration cover?
  14. What is moratorium cover?
  15. Which details of my health must I provide the expat medical insurance providers?
  16. Will you be spending any time in your home country while overseas?
  17. Do expat medical insurance providers have a money back guarantee?
  18. Do international health insurance plans cover sport activities?
  19. What am I covered for and what is not included?
  20. What is in-patient coverage?
  21. What is day-patient coverage
  22. What is out-patient coverage?
  23. I have pre-existing medical conditions how does this effect my international health insurance?
  24. Can I purchase an International Health Insurance Plan as a Canadian citizen?
  25. What is the difference between a standard and a comprehensive international health insurance plan?

Q1: Who can buy International Health Insurance plans?

Expatriates of all nationalities can purchase International Health Insurance Plans.

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Q2: Is there an age limit at joining International Health Insurance Plans?

The maximum age when joining International Health Insurance Plans varies from company to company. Some companies will not allow entry past 65, some allow entry to healthcare plans to people of between 70 and 80 years and a few have no upper age limit for entry.

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Q3: What is an "excess"?

An excess is the amount you will have to pay towards the cost of your treatment. Your excess is applied to each claim you submit during each period of cover. A claim is defined as a course of treatment for a specific illness, injury or dental condition.

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Q4: What is a "deductible"?

An individual deductible amount, which must be satisfied before benefits are payable by the Insurer. Deductible means a stated amount of reimbursement for eligible medical expenses, which the Policy does not pay for each calendar year and each insured person. The deductible is applied to the first claims submitted for the calendar year for each covered person.

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Q5: Will the policy cover me worldwide?

It depends on what type area of coverage you need. Cover can be Worldwide, Worldwide excluding the USA or more geographically specific, for example by continent or even country.

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Q6: I am a USA citizen. Can I purchase an International Health Insurance plan?

You can purchase an International Health Insurance Plan provided you are not residing or living in the USA at the time of purchase. Ensure you are covered when you are back in the USA for pleasure or business by using an add on travel option.

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Q7: Does an International Health Insurance Plan cover pregnancy?

It depends on the plan you are choosing. The majority of plans require a waiting period before the benefits will be paid (this can be from 6-12 months, depending on the insurer/plan provider).

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Q8: Are dental treatments covered?

Some Medical plans will offer routine dental cover. Check with one of our advisors for the coverage offered for emergency or routine dental treatment.

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Q9: Can I choose the hospital for treatment?

Yes. You can choose which doctor will treat you and in which hospital/clinic you will have your treatment.

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Q10: How do I make a claim?

Most insurance providers will send a pack, with Insurance Certificate, Claims Forms and Help line Card with a range of contact numbers. Many insurers now pre-authorise any in-patient treatment, meaning that you must contact their help lines before seeking treatment and incurring costs (wherever possible). Out-patient costs are usually dealt by routine Claim Forms (i.e. you pay first). If in doubt always call the help lines before seeking treatment and committing yourself to costs.

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Q11: Which conditions does an International Health Insurance Plan not cover?

Always read carefully the exclusions that are included in a plan. Following is a non exhaustive list of exclusions: war or civil war risks, drug abuse, self inflicted injury, HIV/Aids, Infertility, Normal Pregnancy (unless option taken), Cosmetic Surgery, preventive treatment, kidney dialysis, mobility aids, experimental treatment, organ transplants (unless option taken), injuries arising from dangerous hobbies.

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Q12: How long does it take to handle a claim?

Normally it takes around ten working days from the date the insurer receives all the necessary documents.

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Q13: What is a "medical history declaration" cover?

You will be asked by the insurance provider to fill out a form, giving details of your medical history. Sometimes medical reports may be required. It is essential that you provide all the information required by insurers to avoid future questions or worse, rejection of claims. If you not sure always declare anyway. If you have a medical condition that may come back, the insurance company may cover you, but exclude that condition, reviewing the possibility for inclusion into the plan in later years.

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Q14: What is a moratorium cover?

You may decide to apply for your plan in two ways. The first way is by providing your medical history details and the second is by a moratorium cover. In this case you are not required to provide any medical history but the insurance company may not cover any medical condition which has existed in the last 2-5 years. Such conditions may automatically become eligible for cover only when you do not have symptoms, or receive treatment, medication, tests or advice from your general practitioner, for that condition for a period of (usually) two years, after your policy has been made effective.

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Q15: Which details of my health must I provide the expat medical insurance providers?

There are a number of medical conditions which you may not be able to have covered under insurance plans. You are not normally able to secure cover for an illness you are presently suffering, or have already had in the recent past. These are known as pre-existing conditions.

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Q16: Will you be spending any time in your home country while overseas?

International medical policies are designed to cover you when you are outside of your home country. However, most insurers will cover for a limited period in your home country.

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Q17: Do expat medical insurance providers have a money back guarantee?

Most insurers offer a money back guarantee. If you are not entirely satisfied with your insurance documents, you can often cancel your cover within the first 30 days and, provided you have not made a claim the insurer will fully refund the premium you have paid.

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Q18: Do international health insurance plans cover sporting activities?

With some plans there are no exclusions relating to sporting activities. However, hazardous sports and activities may not be covered unless you have declared that you participate in a particular activity and the insurer has agreed in writing to cover you for that activity. Following is a non-exhaustive list of hazardous sports: mountaineering where ropes or guides are normally used, hang gliding, parachuting, bungee jumping, racing by horse or motor vehicle or motorcycle, snow mobiling, motorcycle / motor scooter riding, scuba diving involving underwater breathing apparatus, water skiing, snow skiing and snow boarding.

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Q19: What am I covered for and what is not included?

Note that medical insurance is designed to cover only treatment for unexpected curable, short term illness or injury. Some illnesses and treatments are never included. A standard or basic scheme will usually cover in-patient or day care treatment, post hospital treatment, nursing at home, emergency dental and complications of pregnancy. It will not cover out-patient, routine maternity or dental costs. A comprehensive scheme will cover all the above plus out-patient care and specialists, complementary care, routine dental (sometimes) and generally has higher budget limits than a Standard plan. Most plans exclude pre-existing conditions which may go back 2-5 years or longer.

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Q20: What is in-patient coverage?

In-patient coverage includes expenses incurred when you go into hospital for private treatment or investigations and stay for one or more nights.

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Q21: What is day-patient coverage?

Day-patient coverage, also called Day-care or Day-case, incurs when you are admitted to a hospital bed and go into hospital for private treatment or investigations, but do not need to stay in the hospital overnight.

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Q22: What is out-patient coverage?

Out-patient coverage includes expenses incurred when you receive treatments from a doctor or investigations or consultations that do not require you stay in hospital, either as an in-patient or out-patient.

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Q23: I have pre-existing medical conditions how does this effect my international medical insurance?

A pre-existing medical condition is a medical condition which has been diagnosed, has required medical treatment, for which you have sought medical advice or symptoms have occurred in a period immediately prior to applying for the plan. Most health plans do not pay for the treatment of pre-existing conditions.

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Q24: I am a Canadian citizen. Can I purchase an International Health Insurance Plan?

You can purchase an International Health Plan provided you are not residing or living in Canada. Make sure you are covered when you are back in Canada for pleasure or business.

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Q25: What is the difference between a standard and a comprehensive international health insurance plan?

A standard or basic scheme will usually cover in-patient or day care treatment, post hospital treatment, nursing at home, emergency dental and complications of pregnancy. It will not cover out-patient, routine maternity or dental costs. A comprehensive scheme will cover all the above plus out-patient care and specialists, sometimes complementary care and routine dental. Comprehensive plans generally have higher budget limits than a Standard plan. A Fully Comprehensive policy generally also offers maternity and routine dental benefits.

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