International health insurance lets you access the highest healthcare standards wherever you go.
International health insurance covers all your healthcare needs if you're living outside of the UK permanently or semi-permanently. It enables you to access routine and emergency medical treatment in private hospitals and surgeries anywhere in the world.
The UK is one of the few countries that offers free healthcare to its residents. Most countries in the world do not, especially not for visitors.
If you live abroad or are a frequent traveller, international medical insurance gives you confidence that should you need medical care, your medical expenses are covered.
If you're one of the following, you could benefit from having an international health insurance plan.
International health insurance plans cover the cost of any medical treatment you need outside the UK. Here's how it works:
International health insurance brings several benefits, including:
With basic and standard policies, you have the option to enhance your cover by adding optional outpatient cove
Wherever you travel in the world, you can insure yourself with international cover.
Many people choose to exclude the USA from their policy. This is because health care in the USA is often more expensive than in other countries, so omitting it from your policy may make it more affordable. Many policies will still cover you for emergency treatment in the US even if you do choose to exclude it from your policy.
Travel insurance typically covers short-term medical emergencies while you're away and non-medical benefits like lost luggage. It would not protect you from any treatment that could wait until you return home.
International health insurance plans cover routine and emergency procedures for people moving abroad and staying long-term in a different country.
For example, an international policy would cover you for a hip replacement and the tests and scans relating to it. Travel insurance would not. If you're travelling to a new country for less than a year, some insurers offer short-term international medical plans, which are a hybrid of travel insurance and international health insurance.
Rather than purchase a global health plan, some expats prefer to buy health insurance from a local insurance provider when they reach their destination, as premiums are often cheaper.
However, there are many drawbacks to purchasing insurance policies in this way, including:
Buying international cover is much better as you get much more benefits and protection.
Premiums for international health insurance depend on several factors, including:
If you're abroad and fall ill, you or someone you are with should call your insurer. All major insurers run a 24-hour helpline to advise you on what to do and where to go.
In most cases, your insurer can liaise with the hospital or medical facility and take care of the medical underwriting directly.
However, you may sometimes have to pay for your treatment upfront. Then, you claim your policy for reimbursement. Make sure you keep all relevant records to show how much you have paid.
If you move abroad permanently but then return to the UK, you may find it hard to get free treatment on the NHS, depending on whether you have paid National Insurance. Check the NHS website for more details.
An international health insurance policy will ensure you can receive any necessary treatment in the UK. In addition, you can access private medical facilities and avoid waiting lists.
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