Put very simply, International Private Health Insurance is a policy that helps you take care of your health if things go wrong while you’re spending a significant amount of time overseas. It’s sometimes referred to as International PMI.
We’re used to having free health care here in the UK, but medical expenses can be very expensive in other countries – and the quality of care available varies too. With international health insurance in place, you have the added peace of mind that while you’re overseas, you’ll be covered for most medical eventualities, no matter how minor or major they may be. It’s definitely worth considering if you regularly work abroad, go on long trips or happen to be an expat.
What’s the difference between this policy and Travel Insurance?
When booking a holiday, lots of people take out a basic travel insurance policy. Then, if something unfortunate happens while you’re abroad, like a car accident, you’re covered for any emergency medical expenses. Usually, people just want to return home as soon as possible – so any follow up care can often take place in the UK.
However, when you live or work abroad for a longer period of time, you’re more likely to need medical expertise more frequently – even if it’s for ‘day to day’ wellness.
It could be a routine visit to the GP, or an appointment for more serious concerns, but a more complete package of healthcare will be required. With International Health Insurance you’ll be covered for most types of treatment, from prescriptions and vaccinations to lengthy hospital stays and out patient appointments. And if you need to be evacuated to another country, that can be included too.
Should my company offer International Health Insurance?
It’s in every company’s interests to make sure their workforce is safe and healthy while they’re working in a different country. And some countries actually insist you take out International Health Insurance before they will issue a work permit or visa. So if you’re going abroad, it might be an idea to discuss your health care options with your employer. There are a variety of corporate healthcare options like this for businesses – we have a dedicated team to answer many of your questions, both as an employer and as an employee considering International Private Health Insurance.
How do I buy an international health insurance policy?
If you’re responsible for providing your own health insurance, we recommend speaking to a provider with plenty of experience that can help you choose a policy to meet your needs. Before that, it may be an idea to understand the benefits and features of an example policy in more detail.