We must start this article with a painful truth: an international health insurance is an expensive product. And with medical inflation, rates are constantly on the rise. (As we have seen in a previous article, international health insurance premiums increase every year.) But rest assured, there are ways to adjust your insurance policy to keep it at a manageable cost without compromising on the quality of your health care. Read our five tips to help you save on your expatriate health insurance.
1. Understand and get to grips with the flexibility of your insurance policy
Make sure that your medical coverage is always in line with your needs. Check if you can add or remove options at each renewal of your policy (for example, dental, pregnancy, evacuation – repatriation). Adding extra benefits to your policy are then reflected in higher premiums, so be sure you do not pay for options you do not need
2. Add a deductible or co-payment to your insurance policy
With a deductible or co-payment you can reduce your premium, as you have opted to pay up to a certain amount towards your medical expenses yourself. Insurance companies have different practices with regards to deductibles and co-payments so it is important to read the terms of your contract. For example, check if the deductible or co-payment applies to all benefits or only hospitalisation, and if the deductible applies per year, per medical condition, or per claim.
3. Learn about the state healthcare of your country of expatriation
Study the ins and outs of the healthcare system of your country of expatriation and the quality of care that is offered. For example, if the medical care is of a satisfactory quality, an affordable health insurance that supports only hospitalisation may be sufficient.
4. An annual payment is cheaper than a monthly payment
Some insurance companies apply surcharges in the case of monthly, quarterly, or half-yearly payment. In this case, an annual payment will save you money.
5. Seek advice from an independent and specialised broker
Other important points need to be considered when choosing an expat health insurance, and they often require an in-depth knowledge of the industry. An independent broker studies the market for you, looking for the most suitable health insurance policies for your situation, while also being able to highlight various options for deductibles and co-payments.
Lastly, beware of “cheap international health insurance”!
Price should not be the only point to consider when choosing an expat insurance policy. Other elements need to be taken into account, in order to make sure you don’t compromise on the quality of your health cover. A cheap international health insurance may seem like a good idea initially, but could be very costly in the long run. For example, if the reimbursement limits are too low, what you are required to pay out of pocket can ultimately be very high in the case of serious illness with complications.
On the other hand, if you choose the right health insurance now, you will be able to plan your potential future medical costs without any bad surprises, which will make more sense financially.
An independent and specialised broker such as Expat Assure, who have an in-depth understanding of how international health insurance companies work, can help you choose the most appropriate insurance for your situation and make the choice that will be most beneficial to you in the long run. Feel free to contact us directly or fill in a form online to request your expat insurance comparison.
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- An immigration health surcharge for long stays in the UK - Visitors staying for more than 6 months in the UK must pay an 'Immigration Health Surcharge'. Since Brexit, European citizens are also included.