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Expat Investor : July August 2008
Would you want to know that, no matter where you were in the world, you would be taken to the best place for treatment? To get the feeling, there’s only one number to call. “ I love the feeling that my employees have a choice of hospital ” Unrivalled network of hospitals and clinics Call +44 (0) 1273 208181 or visit www.bupa-intl.com Your calls will be recorded and may be monitored. The above example draws from the experiences of a number of our members or staff; it is not intended to represent the details of any specific individuals or their circumstances. as we do in the UK, and therefore treatment must be paid for, thereby reducing the no claims discount's usefulness. Policy flexibility Some insurers are able to offer expatriates a greater flexibility in the product they choose, by breaking the policy into separate elements or modules, such as inpatient, outpatient, dental and pregnancy. This allows prospective members to tailor their policy to meet their own requirements or situation. This is especially useful when looking at maternity benefit, which is not required by older or male members, HEALTHCARE INSURANCE expatinvestor.com 16 EXPAT INVESTOR ? July/August 2008 Fast Facts 66009 Fast Facts 66413 but is often included as standard within a number of policies on the market. In these two instances, this is obviously a benefit that is being paid for and will never be utilised. In allowing members to choose the benefits they require, members are not paying for cover they simply do not need. There are a number of different insurers within the market, all with different benefit propositions and cover options and there is usually something suitable for everyone, although it can be difficult knowing where to start. The cost of an individual expatriate policy can vary depending not only on the age of the member and the level of cover chosen, but also on the country of residence or area of the world the cover is for. Premiums will increase on an annual basis in line with a member's increasing age, but also as a reflection of medical inflation and claims incidence. Increasing regulation in areas of the world such as the UAE (United Arab Emirates) and the Far East may also play some part in increasing premiums, as insurers may have to pass on these costs to the consumer as a direct result of legislative or policy changes.” Reducing costs Expatriates can reduce the cost of international medical insurance by ensuring the careful selection of an appropriate policy. When looking at the types of policy available, it is always useful to initially look at the cost of local outpatient treatment, such as doctors’ fees which in some countries are minimal. If the expatriate is happy to cover these small costs themselves, the level and cost of the cover can be reduced to hospital or basic cover only. Premiums can also be reduced by increasing or including a plan excess, which can be set at any number of varying amounts from £100 to £10,000. This can bring in a maximum premium reduction of up to 40%, depending on the insurer and policy concerned. Alternatively, some insurers offer a no claims discount facility, which allows members the opportunity to claim up to a 20% reduction in premium, following a period of three years, where claims have not been made against the policy. The no claims discount facility is still not considered common practice within the international individual market, as the vast majority of countries do not have a National Health Service, Managing healthcare insurance costs Katrina Osman is an international business associate for IHC, a broker specialising in providing independent advice on healthcare plans for companies and individuals. Here, she addresses those issues currently facing expats looking for the best possible healthcare policy deals.
May June 2008