Sep 27, 2019

Health insurance for international living

Our clients have interests outside their home countries. They buy property and obtain residency permits abroad, open foreign bank accounts, establish business companies overseas, and so on. Recently, we have been lucky to make acquaintance of a company that provides very important services to expats and perpetual travelers. This company stationed in Switzerland helps choose the best health plans designed especially for those who spend a lot of time abroad.

What does our Swiss partner do?

The Swiss company acts as an intermediary between a dozen large international insurance companies and the ultimate client. Every insurance company will have three to five different health plans, which means that our Swiss partners know the details of around fifty such plans. The company has been in this business for over twenty years, so they know all the industry ins and outs.

Depending on your situation, namely, on your international exposure, medical history, coverage preferences, etc. they will help you choose the optimal insurance policy to buy. They have the knowledge and the expertise that are required to make the best choice.

When you place a service request with them, they will carefully analyse your situation, consider all your circumstances and offer your top three options of those available in the market with a rationale on the benefits that each of them has.

They will take the administrative burden off your shoulders. In case you need an operation, for example, they will organize the guarantee of payment from the insurer. This will help you avoid paying upfront for the surgery. After outpatient consultations, the purchase of medicine, and so on, you can send the invoices to them and they will see to the reimbursement of the incurred costs. The company specialists will provide assistance to you all throughout the treatment process: at the pre-treatment, the treatment, and the post-treatment stages.

They work exclusively with clients who live outside their countries of origin. This means that you can apply for their services only if you have an address in a foreign jurisdiction, outside the country of your citizenship.

They do not sell low-cost insurance plans such as a tourist insurance policy with US$ 30,000 or so coverage that is valid in a single country only. Rather, they offer global health insurance plans that provide for a six- or seven-figure coverage or even an unlimited one. Consequently, what they sell is not cheap.

However, they do not charge any fee of their own. The insurance giants pay them commissions for supplying customers to them. That is to say, you would not pay any smaller amount of money if you contacted the insurance company directly. Clearly, the decision to make use of our Swiss partners’ expertise and administrative assistance that come at no cost at all is a no-brainer.

Why do you need a health insurance with a good coverage?

Frankly speaking, the answer to this question should be self-evident. Even this being the case, below we are going to say a few things that may be trite but they are true.

If you are a global citizen, you are not very likely to give serious consideration to your health insurance. You have so many other things to think about: tax optimization, citizenship or residency acquisition, real estate purchase, investment opportunities, and so on and so forth. Under such conditions, it is no wonder that you may forget about your insurance status. But only until you fall ill or get involved in an accident.

Here is another truism: you may fall ill any moment and accidents happen to everybody. Please rest assured that we wish you only the best of luck and good health but we would like you to imagine yourself experiencing a health problem. What would you do if you have a low coverage health insurance plan while developing some serious condition? Yes, this is correct: you would have to pay for the medical care not covered in the plan out of your own pocket.

A low-premium insurance policy works well if you are generally healthy and need only minor sporadic medical attention. However, if you develop an ailment that is out of the ordinary or you are injured badly in an accident, you will actually end up paying more for medical attendance that what you would pay for a high-premium health plan with good coverage.

Year after year, healthcare is steadily growing more and more expensive. State-of-the-art treatment and medication in countries such as Australia, the USA, Hong Kong, and the like can very quickly exceed US$ 500,000 or even one million dollars. In addition to that, some specialists and treatments are available only in certain countries. For example, some cancers are curable only in the US today. For these reasons, it is essential to have a health plan with a limit higher than one million US dollars, preferably with an unlimited coverage. Where a local insurance only covers medical costs in your home country and to a very, very limited extent abroad, with an international health insurance you are eligible and covered for specialists visits and treatments worldwide (wherever the specialists and the treatment may be found).

If bad comes to worse and you need a major medical intervention that costs a lot, you may face a critical dilemma. If you are sufficiently covered by your insurance plan, you keep on living. If your health insurance policy does not cover this sort of treatment, you die. As simple as that. 

Believing in luck is a sign of positive thinking, which is not bad at all in itself. But this is certainly not a sign of good thinking. Count on the best, prepare for the worst. Trite but true.

When you are outside your home country, you are especially prone to running into serious trouble should a nasty thing happen to you. You would not know what clinic to turn to. You would not know if the required specialists are available in the country where you are stationed at the moment. You would not know if you can trust the doctor who attends to you or the surgeon who is about to cut you.

Apart from the financial element of insurance, an international health insurance with the Swiss company gives something that is even more valuable than money: knowledge, access and experience. Imagine that you are on a business trip or vacation and you urgently need treatment. You cannot possibly know which medical facility and which doctor to consult. The Swiss company, however, are very knowledgeable about who the specialist for your specific suffering is, at the location you are now or somewhere nearby.

It is crucially important that the illness be diagnosed correctly. A wrong diagnosis will lead to the wrong treatment that can worsen you condition instead of improving it. With the international insurance plan, you will be attended only by the most experienced and well-educated medical doctors.

With our Swiss partners’ assistance, you will have access to the best clinics and highly qualified doctors wherever in the world you are. If a narrow specialist cannot be found in the country of your current residence, they will find one for you somewhere else. If you prefer to be treated in your home country, they will arrange for that too.

Besides, international health insurance policies offer a guarantee of repatriation and evacuation should the need for those arise. If you suffer in an accident and/ or sustain any severe condition in a remote area in the world or at any other place where specialized, qualified, and adequate medical assistance is not available, the insurance company, thanks to this guarantee, can organize a medical evacuation to the closest location where you can be treated in a proper way. If you are able to start the required treatment as soon as possible, it will mean shortening the recovery time. A convenient medical environment will also contribute to this cause.

If you are seriously injured on a mountain tour somewhere in Central America, or in any other suchlike inaccessible area, even a medicalized helicopter or a plane will be paid for by the insurance company in order to guarantee that you receive medical attendance as soon as possible.

The Swiss company acts as an intermediary between the insurance company, the medical facility, and the client. They will make sure that there is a seamless interaction between these three entities and that you as a client do not have to take care of the paperwork, or submit guarantee of payment from the insurer to the clinic, or prepare the reimbursement documents, and so on. They will do it all for you.

Our partners from Switzerland highly recommend that you obtain an international medical insurance while you are comparatively young. Older clients often have to face various coverage exclusions and restrictions as they usually have the so-called ‘existing conditions’. Even though the Swiss company will do their best to include your existing ailments into the policy, sometimes it is simply impossible. Younger people suffer less ailments, as a rule. Thus, they can obtain a more complete coverage and receive insurance reimbursements should they develop a medical condition later in life.

Your international insurance policy will be tailored specifically to your needs. The coverage can include inpatient and outpatient care, medical evacuation and repatriation, visual and dental care, medical check-ups, purchase of medications, and so on and so forth. An insurance policy for the whole of your family can also be provided. The Swiss company will work closely with you to compile the health plan that suits you best.

The insurance policies that the company offers are not cheap. They will normally cost between US$ 5,000 and US$ 20,000 per year. At the same time, no intermediary’s commission is added to this cost: you would have to pay as much for the full-coverage policy if you purchased it directly from the insurance company.

However considerable the pay may seem, the returns on it are huge indeed:

  • You will acquire a worldwide medical and accident insurance.
  • You will have an insurance plan tailored to your needs.
  • You will have access to doctors and hospitals of your choice as well as state-of-the-art treatment.
  • You will have professional advice on the doctors and clinics to choose.
  • You will have administrative support wherever on the planet you are.
  • You will have access to this support 24/7 and in a number of national languages.
  • Your total security will bring peace of mind to you.

If you are interested to learn more about the proposal that our Swiss partners make, please contact us via e-mail and we will liaise you to them.

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