Planning To Buy Global Health Insurance? Keep These Key Factors In Mind

Medical emergencies are unpredictable and considering the medical inflation across the globe, even a short period of hospitalisation can put you under financial strain during your international stay or travel,” Parthanil Ghosh, Director & Chief Business Officer, HDFC ERGO General Insurance said.
Global Health Insurance, 
Health Insurance
Insurance, Global Health Insurance, Health Insurance

In this interconnected world today, you may never know where your work or travel takes you. While most do have insurance plans to safeguard their finances during a medical emergency or hospitalisation in the country, have you ever wondered how to endure the same when you are overseas? Under such circumstances, Global (or international) Health Insurance Insurance comes in handy for broader coverage against planned or emergency medical services. A global health insurance plan can offer a higher sum insured among several other useful features.

How does global health insurance ensure access to quality healthcare services in different countries and regions?

“Global health insurance plans offer access to medical care abroad in most of the developed nations, ensuring people can receive treatment wherever they are, thus, ensuring peace of mind,” Ghosh said enlisting various ways to provide you security when overseas:

- Access to International Medical Facilities: One can get treated at top-tier medical centres across the globe, thus, availing high-quality treatment irrespective of location.

Emergency Medical Evacuation: As the policy comes with a medical evacuation feature, it allows the policyholder to be transported to the nearest medical centre for better treatment, even if it is in another country. It proves to be lifesaving in case of limited medical infrastructure in some areas.

24/7 Multilingual Support: Policyholders can get access to multilingual customer service, which is imperative for navigating through the healthcare system in a foreign land and dealing with language barriers.

Who should opt for a Global Health Insurance policy?

Global trotters who are frequently on tour for tourism or recreational travel should always keep a comprehensive global health insurance plan. Many who go to study abroad can opt for a student travel insurance plan as it covers health, accidents, and other major travel risks. Moreover, Business travellers and residents who are often sent abroad as expatriates for certain tenure on assignments by the government or their respective companies should consider a plan that covers health conditions for a specific tenure in the country of expatriation.

How does global health insurance differ from regular health insurance plans?

“Medical emergencies are unpredictable and considering the medical inflation across the globe, even a short period of hospitalisation can put you in financial strain during your international stay or travel,” Parthanil Ghosh- Director & Chief Business Officer, HDFC ERGO General Insurance said.

Planned treatment at international medical facilities: A global health insurance plan allows the insured to seek planned medical treatments at renowned medical facilities across the globe, which is otherwise not covered under a regular health insurance plan

Coverage Area: The obvious advantage of a global health insurance plan is the coverage it provides during a policyholder's visit to countries outside India.

Medical Repatriation: Many global health insurance plans extend the offer of medical evacuation or repatriation. Under such conditions, the insurer makes sure that you can be transported to a suitable medical care facility for quality treatment, even if it is in any other country.

Customised plans for frequent travellers, NRIs and expatriates: As global health insurance plans cater to the needs of frequent travellers, expatriates, NRIs, etc., they come loaded with features like coverage for travel-related health risks, language support, etc. On the other hand, regular health insurance plans are designed specifically to meet domestic medical needs. “In some products, like HDFC ERGO’s Optima Secure, customers can also opt to stay covered with travel and stay expenses of an accompaniment of the insured,” Ghosh informed in a media query.

Key things to Keep in Mind:

Network of International Hospitals: Ensure that the enlisted network of hospitals in your global health insurance plan is wide-ranging and the service providers are of international repute. 

- If you are moving abroad for specific medical treatments and have a companion in tow, see if your policy offers coverage for many of the expenses incurred by them.

Understand the scope of coverage: Consumers need to understand the list of countries where coverage is available or extended. “Ensure that the plan covers all the countries that are on the travel list,” Ghosh said.

- Some plans have it mandatory to get diagnosed first in India. Check beforehand.

Expansive Medical Cover: You should choose a plan that covers all illnesses rather than only a few critical ones. You should also ensure that your plan covers any emergency hospitalisation and daycare expenses.

Cost and Premiums: “Compare the cost and premium of the policy and choose the plan that offers both adequacy and affordability. For instance, HDFC ERGO offers a discount of up to 40 per cent to NRIs under the Optima Secure health insurance global coverage to help them enjoy comprehensive and affordable coverage,” Ghosh informed.

Policy Documents: Read the policy document or the customer information sheet carefully to know critical terms and conditions, especially the inclusions and exclusions of the plan. In addition to this, understanding the sub-limits within your plan is also very important.

Financial Security: Before buying any global health insurance policy, check whether your plan offers cashless or reimbursement-based coverage.

Reputation and Reliability of the Insurer: “It is important to check the insurer’s reputation, and financial stability to ensure they have a good financial standing and enjoy a good record of claim settlement,” Ghosh suggests to insurance buyers.

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