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Some local health care options might seem like a tempting proposition when you’re trying to cut costs. But as an expat, they can often leave you disappointed in terms of service, benefits, and access to treatment. So before you make any rash decisions, here are three very good reasons why the majority of foreign nationals won’t trust anything other than International PMI.
The NHS does a great job in the UK, but most countries aren’t quite as fortunate. State support can be very limited with little or no medical provision and if you do go down the local health care route, you are likely to need some sort of domestic insurance plan. Even then, benefits can be hit and miss. You might be covered for routine treatments, but emergency cover is often excluded and it’s unlikely you’ll be able to choose when or where you’re treated.
On an international private medical insurance plan, benefits are much more generous. Emergency cover comes as standard alongside a full range of in-patient and out-patient options. There are also plenty of added extras like maternity cover, dental treatment and regular health screens. Plus evacuation and repatriation cover is readily available if local facilities aren’t meeting your needs.
For many expats, access to treatment is International private medical insurance’s biggest selling point. Knowing that you can choose from a range of facilities and consultants anywhere in the world makes life so much easier. It means you can routinely attend international hospitals with multi-lingual staff, where standards of care are closely monitored and waiting lists are practically non-existent.
In contrast, local plans aren’t quite so flexible. Besides restricting your treatment to just one country, they often involve waiting lists and limit your choice of hospital. You don’t have the same level of control and unless you have a good grasp of the local language, communication can be difficult.
When it comes to service, International private medical insurance really comes into its own. Every provider is different, but you can generally expect 24/7 helplines, multi-lingual support and full access to your account online. Providers like AXA PPP International will also have experts on hand to talk you about your treatment, help you make well-informed choices and even book appointments on your behalf.
Needless to say, these types of services are few and far between on most local healthcare plans. But then again, they haven’t been designed with expats in mind.
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