When it comes to health insurance you have various different options at your disposal. One of these options is to take out a local health policy. This is something a lot of people elect to do, however they later discover that there are unfortunately various limitations associated with this type of health insurance plan. Read on to discover more about the restrictions of local health insurance in order to determine whether this is the right policy for you…
One of the main limitations with local health insurance is the fact that the policies are only country specific. Whilst you may spend the majority of your time in one country and have no intention of moving overseas in the foreseeable future, you may still go on regular vacations. Whilst you are abroad you will not be protected by your local health insurance plan. This is when health policies like global medical insurance really show their worth. After all, treatment expenses tend to be more expensive and access is more restricted when in another country, like Southeast Asia.
Aside from this, there are also restrictions when it comes to pre-existing conditions. If you are deemed to have a pre-existing condition, you will find it virtually impossible to locate a local health insurance policy that accommodates this. However, with international health insurance you will find that there are some exceptions. Insurers are more accommodating and thus will provide you with various options, such as higher premiums since you are a higher risk policyholder.
A lot of people are also shocked to discover that local health insurance policies do not provide the same degree of cover as other options. Whilst a worldwide medical insurance plan offers a high level of cover with virtually everything from dental care to maternity care available, local policies tend to only offer medium cover, with a similar difference being evident when it comes to maximum benefit limits as well. In-patient treatment also tends to be limited with local health plans, whilst full in-patient treatment is offered if you go for the international health insurance alternative.
All in all, there are some evident restrictions when it comes to local health insurance policies and unfortunately this is not something everyone is aware of. There are quite a lot of exclusions and cover is at a medium level.
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WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN IN-PATIENT AND OUT-PATIENT COVER?
When it comes to health care and international medical insurance two terms you may have heard of are ‘in-patient’ and ‘out-patient’. In this section, we will reveal the difference between the two, so you can determine whether you are an in-patient or an out-patient and what this means in terms of treatment, expenses and international health insurance. So, keep on reading to discover all you need to know…
Let’s begin with in-patient care. You are typically deemed to be an in-patient if you have been formally admitted to hospital under a doctor’s order. In-patient care relates to incidents whereby it is a necessity for you to stay overnight.
On the other hand, out-patient care does not require the patient to stay in hospital overnight. They will be released to recuperate at home. In fact, treatment does not always take place in hospital. Alternatively, treatment could be provided at the surgery or practise of a medical practitioner.
Now you know what both in-patient and out-patient refers to. Typically in-patient treatment is more expensive, as it will usually involve a procedure that is more invasive, such as surgery or radiation therapy. On the other hand, out-patient care tends to be less invasive and if surgery is required it will usually only involve a small incision. Diagnostic tests also fall under out-patient care.
So, how do the two treatment types impact you in terms of international health insurance? Well, when looking for a global medical insurance policy you will have different cover levels to choose from. These will typically be as follows – basic cover, intermediate cover and comprehensive cover. In-patient care is the most basic form of worldwide health insurance and consequently it will be covered in all policies, irrespective of what type you go for. Nevertheless, you still need to read the policy conditions in full to be sure of the particulars.
Finally, if you want to be covered for out-patient care as well you will have to go for a policy with intermediate cover and sometimes even comprehensive cover. This all depends on your insurer and the options they present to you. Some insurers will offer out-patient treatment as part of an intermediate plan, however there could be some exclusions, so you need to be mindful of this.
IS DENTAL CARE COVERED IN INTERNATIONAL HEALTH INSURANCE?
When thinking about coverage the mind instantly wanders to medical emergencies, out-patient treatments and such like, yet we often overlook the likes of dental care. Many people do not view dental care as important, however this is definitely an option you should look into carefully before selecting your policy.
It is worth pointing out that dental care is typically only available in high cover international health insurance policies. These plans cover a comprehensive selection of treatments and care. But, what type of dental care are you going to be covered for? Will your insurer merely pay for dental emergencies or will you have other options at your disposal?
Of course, every worldwide medical insurance plan is different from the next, yet generally speaking you will be covered for a vast assortment of dental treatments and care options. If you find yourself in a situation where you need a root canal, a filling or any other common procedure, you will be covered. In fact, policies offering dental care cover annual cleanings, yearly well visits and other forms of preventative care. You may think this all seems a bit unnecessary! However, regular check-ups can ensure serious issues do not occur later down the line, such as oral cancer or periodontal disease. Thus, it’s extremely important that you see a dentist every year and by including dental care in your global health insurance plan you have no reason not to.
Aside from this, you will find that some international medical insurance policies also include dental work such as prosthetics, dentures, veneers and oral surgery. Do you currently use a retainer or a brace? If so, you will be pleased to know that orthodontics is also widely available, which of course makes it possible for you to continue wearing your brace or retainer if you are going to one of the countries that are covered in your policy.
All in all, dental care is indeed covered in international health insurance, but only in policies with a comprehensive amount of cover. You need to read the policy’s terms and conditions in full to ensure you are completely aware of the care you can benefit from.
WHAT YOUR INTERNATIONAL HEALTH INSURANCE POLICY WILL NOT PAY FOR
Finally, when choosing an international medical insurance policy not only do you need to look at what you are going to be covered for, but you should assess what the policy will not pay for as well. After all, there is nothing more disappointing than going to make a claim only to discover that you are not actually covered.
Let’s begin by taking a look at some of the various treatments that are not covered. It’s important to stress that your treatment must be deemed medically necessary; otherwise it is highly unlikely that your insurer will pay for it. International health insurance policies do not cover plastic surgery or any type of surgical procedure that is carried out for wholly cosmetic reasons. What does this mean? Well, if you want to undergo cosmetic surgery – such as breast augmentation – simply because you feel you will look better, your policy will not cover this. Policies also do not cover treatment for injuries that have been self-inflicted. This can include substance related abuse. Treatments for sexually transmitted diseases are usually not covered either.
In terms of medication, your global medical insurance policy will not cover any drugs that can be purchased over the counter. Prime examples include dietary supplements and vitamins. If you can purchase the medication in question without a doctor’s prescription, your insurer will not pay for it. Health insurers also do not cover any treatments or medication that are for experimental purposes. This also includes treatment and investigations into insomnia and other sleeping disorders.
On a final note, when you are choosing the right worldwide health insurance policy for your needs specifically, one of the things you will be considering is the array of areas that are covered in the policy. An international medical insurance policy rarely covers the entire world. Instead, you will have a comprehensive list of countries whereby you can reap the benefits of your policy. If you require treatment outside the geographical area of cover your insurer will not pay for this.
When choosing an international health insurance policy, it is just as important to know what you won’t be covered for as what you will be covered for. Hopefully you now have a better understanding of the most common things insurers will not pay for in regard to these policies.