Determine your needs and requirements – 5 Points to consider

If something like Swine Flu breaks out in your country of residence, and a pandemic occur, will you and your loved ones get the appropriate level of medical assistance? Will you need repatriation? Are you planning for a baby in the near future? Do you need maternity coverage? Do you travel frequently to the U.S.? Do you need coverage to include medical advice and treatments in the U.S.? Do you have any children? Do you need coverage for your children and what kind? Do you need dental to be included in your policy? How is the standard of medical service and treatment facility in your country of residence? There are a multitude of questions to ask yourself before you start looking at what’s available in the market. Have a clear picture in mind to avoid confusing yourself.

1. The level of cover required

Analyze what is available to you in your country of residence. Not all expatriates need the full coverage. Research medical treatment cost so as to know how much cover you need. In countries where medical facilities are well developed, you may not need medical evacuation or repatriation to be included in your package but you may need your insurer to pay for your every visit to the doctor, hospital or dentist.

On the other hand, if the level of medical facilities is substandard, you want to ensure that your insurer pays for medical evacuation and repatriation should you require medical assistance back home, or at the nearest medical facility.

2. Your future plans

For expatriates planning to retire abroad, it is important that your insurance package includes access to nursing home or home care. For young couples planning a family, you may want to include maternity coverage.

3. Your state of health

Benefits differ greatly from one insurer to another. Some absolutely do not cover any pre-existing conditions or chronic conditions and some do. Do you foresee any special requirements such as hormone replacement therapy, braces, etc? Most insurers impose a waiting period for certain treatments.

4. Your area of coverage

Most international health insurers provide 2 categories: Worldwide and worldwide excluding USA. Some have a more specific geographical breakdown. Premium increases with wider area of coverage. Click here to understand how your choice of geographical coverage affects your premium.

5. Your required duration of cover

Are you looking for a short or long-term solution? If you are looking for a short-term solution, you probably just need a very basic plan that will cover your in-patient treatments. For long-term solution, having an insurer who is able to provide you with guaranteed lifetime renewal despite the change in the state of your health may be an important factor.

Having a clear understanding of your personal circumstances and requirements is a good starting point in your search for the most appropriate health insurance. After you have worked that out, it is important that you work with a professional. Someone who is knowledgeable and trustworthy as there are many variations to even the same kind of products. Someone who is professional enough to understand your specific requirement and take you through all the important points.

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