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International Health Information and Tips

International Health Insurance is your informed source for health insurance and general health information.

International Health Insurance Tips

  • Be careful not to authorize any major health services or tests such as CT scans on your own once the immediate emergency is over and your condition is stabilized. This is the responsibility of your emergency assistance service. Make sure the claims will be covered by the insurance company
  • Always carry the name, telephone and fax numbers of your personal doctor with you at all times.
  • Carry a detailed list of your medications and major illnesses along with prescription/doctor notes, especially when traveling in the third world. Also, bring a copy of the prescription if you are going through customs.
  • Always examine your domestic and/or international health plan before leaving for an overseas assignment and avoid making last minute decisions.
  • Try to avoid changing insurance companies if you currently have a medical condition which is being treated or may reoccur. This is because your new plan may not cover that condition because of the pre-existing clauses in most expatriate health plans.
  • Most insurance agents recommend that you obtain your out-patient medical health plan coverage before you become pregnant, as all individual plans and most group plans will view it as a pre-existing condition. You will still be able to get coverage, but with your current pregnancy as an exclusion.
  • Article written by International Health Insurance Danmark's Specialist Lene Hoj called "Precautions When Traveling and Living Abroad." More articles on similar subjects at http://www.ihi.dk
  • If you or your spouse are planning to have children in the near future, make sure your current health plan covers maternity. Many plans don't cover childbirth or only cover it after a 10 to 12 month moratorium. Other health plans will cover maternity as a pre-existing condition so that it either won't be covered at all or only to a certain maximum. Childbirth expenses can be extremely high if there are complications.
  • Check any health policies you already have very carefully. Find out if your coverage extends to emergency medical services outside the country, what that coverage entails and whether that coverage is adequate if something goes terribly wrong on your holiday. Then begin shopping for any extra protection you might need
  • Don't take any chances. Understand, that whether you are out of the country for two hours or two months, accidents are never planned and ill health can come on very suddenly . You could find yourself too sick to travel home for medical treatment and we all know how expensive even a short hospital stay can be. Be aware that you can't just buy your insurance when
    you start to feel badly. Policies must always be paid in full prior to your departure
  • Ask about the insurance company's emergency procedures. What happens if you become injured and need medical assistance immediately? Is their Assistance Center staffed 24 hours a day? How quickly and effectively will their medical staff react to your particular needs? If their 800 emergency number doesn't operate from where you are, will they accept collect calls? Will the
    person at the other end of the line speak English?
  • Never lie or omit any pertinent medical information on your application! All emergency health insurers have very strict rules in regard to pre-existing medical conditions. Discuss these carefully with your insurance company. It's absolute folly to go off without advising them of your medical problems because, in the long run, you will probably lose your coverage and no payments will be made
  • You usually get what you pay for! Never buy your policy based solely on the amount of the premium. If one insurance company is charging far less for premiums than another, be wary. This is the time to ask a lot of hard questions because chances are the coverage will be far less, too.
  • Try to personalize your health insurance policy. Think carefully about the kind of coverage you need. Are you pregnant? Is this a skiing holiday? Are you traveling with children? Are you a diabetic? All of these factors will play an important role in your choice of policies and they must be considered very carefully. For example, did you know that many policies don't automatically cover pregnancy-related conditions or nursery care for premature infants?
  • Do your research. Allow the same time and consideration for picking your policy as you would to deciding on a destination, shopping for your airline ticket or buying a backpack that's just right for you. The wrong backpack can mean a sore back. Choosing the wrong insurance could mean thousands and thousands of dollars in unnecessary debt! 
  • Deal with a qualified insurance broker who offers plans from several different insurance providers
  • If you want to get international health insurance, make sure you purchase it from a reputable international insurance broker. Also make sure the insurer is financially secure.

 

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Note: Some of the products and services described or advertised on this site may not be available to residents of certain jurisdictions, depending on regulatory constraints, including Canada and the U.S. Please contact your insurance agent or the owner of this site for more information about your specific jurisdiction. The above coverage is NOT available to residents in British Columbia.

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