Why it’s important to have the right medical insurance when traveling
International insurance experts have stressed the importance of obtaining cover for medical emergencies on foreign soil before leaving the UK.
In some countries like Mexico, some private hospitals may refuse treatment unless you can provide a bond and prove that you can cover the cost of the treatment.
The right kind of insurance coverage will allow you to get doctor visits, prescription drugs, medical referrals, and even a translator if needed.
Joe Cronin, President of Insurance of international citizens said, âMake sure you have the right kind of global medical coverage so that you can relax and enjoy life or travel abroad. Health insurance abroad is essential when planning your new life or trip and by purchasing the right coverage, you can rest assured that you will have access to medical treatment if you need it.
In the event of a medical emergency abroad, international health insurance policies with hospital coverage often have direct billing agreements with many hospitals for claims.
Due to the direct billing agreement, the claims process is almost nonexistent as all administration is done directly between the insurance company and the hospital. In this case, you do not need to prepay for the medical procedures (within the limit of your policy).
However, sometimes clients opt for âoff-grid hospitalsâ because they want to see a specific specialist or the treatment will be cheaper than the network hospital. Alternatively, they may suffer an accident or critical emergency and must go to the nearest hospital without having a say in where they will receive medical care.
In this case, you should be able to claim your money back, but the claim process is different. This involves obtaining a pre-authorization form from your insurer, then presenting your medical card and the accreditation documents upon admission to the hospital.
With a pre-authorization letter issued, no hospital bond is usually required. If you don’t have a pre-authorization letter, you may be asked to post a bond, but you can submit a claim form within 90 days of discharge from the hospital to your insurance company.
It helps to choose an insurance broker with experience in this area. Insurance of international citizens The overseas health insurance plans are all with A-rated carriers with 24-hour travel assistance to help you when needed.
Joe Cronin, President of Insurance of international citizens said: âIn our experience, purchasing a policy with an established international insurance company gives you access to a wider selection of networked hospitals and clinics, so you won’t have to deal with hospitalization insurance claims.
âNot all plans are the same, but global insurance specialists like us will walk you through the search and assist you with the application process. “
Learn more about how overseas hospital insurance claims work here.
Case study: Four years ago, a couple moved to Mexico and recently visited Thailand. The woman suddenly fell ill and had difficulty breathing, so they went to the hospital, where she had an x-ray and was given antibiotics. Two days later, her condition deteriorated and they returned to see the doctor who did some tests and found that she was suffering from deep vein thrombosis. She had also developed aggressive pneumonia which could be due to a collision of Thai and Mexican flu. Fortunately, she recovered, but required a lot of home care, including oxygen and visiting therapists. She had been too ill to be medically evacuated to another country for treatment.
The total cost of the medical emergency was Â£ 37,000 – luckily they had medical insurance. But when they arrived at the hospital, they were asked for a bond and were told that some private hospitals in Mexico may refuse treatment if you cannot prove that you can cover the cost of the care. The husband was able to show his insurance card and a small amount was taken from his account, and he informed his insurers who were able to guarantee that they would cover the costs. If they hadn’t had proper insurance, the couple could have faced a Â£ 37,000 bill coming out of their account in the short term.
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