Living or working in a foreign country – who’s taking care of your health needs?

 

If you relocate overseas from the UK there are plenty of things you may miss, but there are some things you can take with you. Make certain that one of the things you do take is access to the same high standard of medical care for you and your family.
Many people, especially those in good health, do not place medical health insurance high enough on their list of priorities; but it’s vital that you or your employer (if you are relocating as part of a company sponsored assignment) source the right type of quality medical care cover for you before you leave.

With the growth of global careers, stories of expats unable to afford treatment abroad or of multi-national companies facing large bills because the medical insurance cover they have taken out for their employees is inadequate are becoming more and more common place. The task of researching and keeping up to date with local healthcare schemes, legislation, tax rules and costs can be daunting for both employers and expats but there is an alternative known as an international private medical insurance plan or IPMI.

International Private Medical Insurance Plans:

• Highly versatile – with the many plans available, there is a suitable IPMI plan to give you the level of protection required for you and your family.

• Provide the best medical facilities – an IPMI plan allows you to source treatment in the very best medical facilities around the world, without being restricted to certain hospitals.

• Provide a wide scope of cover – an IPMI plan allows you, in most cases, to seek private medical treatment anywhere in the world, including back in your home country. So, expatriates preferring to return home for treatment can do so.

• Designed for expatriates – for the ‘professional expat’, who may be required to move from country to country on different contracts or assignments, an IPMI plan can move with you.

• Guarantee high levels of customer care – IPMI plan providers include vital support should you need medical attention. They understand how daunting treatment in a foreign country can seem and will help you every step of the way.

What to look for when relocating abroad 

One of the most common misconceptions relating to medical insurance is that you can take your domestic policies with you when you move. In fact, many domestic insurance policies will become void when you leave your country of residence. An expat may consider themselves still ‘resident’ in their home country, even when living abroad… but it’s what the insurer thinks that truly matters.

Another costly mistake is assuming you will be entitled to state cover. Even if this is the case, medical facilities abroad are often of a lesser standard than you may be used to back home.

Perhaps the biggest misconception of all is the definitions and exclusions surrounding pre-existing conditions. It is absolutely essential to seek expert advice on this complex subject – it’s easy to miss the finer details. We can help you.

Independent expert advice

Working or moving abroad can be daunting for both you and your family. With so many things to consider, it’s very important to consult with an expert to ensure that your family’s health and wellbeing is looked after. Equally if you are an HR or Global Mobility professional involved in sourcing employee healthcare schemes you need to ensure that you are relying on expert advice.
Blythwood Group, one of BTR International’s strategic alliance partners, is an independent broker specialising in international medical insurance solutions for expatriates. One of the major advantages of using a broker based in the UK is the assurance that they are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The FCA is noted the world over for overseeing the global markets operating from the City of London.
If you would like to find out more about expatriate/assignee healthcare options please contact corinne@btrinternational.com or Debbie McLean at dm@blythwood.co.uk.

This article appears courtesy of Blythwood Group Ltd (www.blythwood.co.uk) and is subject to copyright. The contents of this article do not constitute advice.

Debbie McLean – dm@blythwood.co.uk is Clients Services Director for Blythwood Group, based in Falkirk, Scotland, UK.

About the Blythwood Group

Blythwood Group is one of the UK’s leading corporate healthcare consultancies, which operates exclusively in the specialist field of healthcare and group risk benefits. We are not tied to one company’s products and are completely impartial when giving advice. Our detailed knowledge of the market place and a unique understanding of the pricing methodology used can enable us to negotiate more effectively on behalf of our clients. Our aim is to develop effective long term working relationships, achieving this by setting realistic objectives. We sell our services on complete transparency and demonstrate how each of our client’s contracts are priced with no hidden costs. As we negotiate face to face with insurers during renewals we can provide clients with a full analysis and the reasons behind any decrease or increase in their premiums. 

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