Expat Insurance – Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ has been kindly provided by April Medibroker

Q: Who can buy Expatriate Health plans?
A: Expatriates of all nationalities can purchase international Health Plans

Q: Is there an age limit at joining International Health Plans?
A: The maximum age when joining International Health Plans varies from company to company. Some companies allow entry to healthcare plans to people of between 70 and 80 years.

Q: What is the payment excess on an International Health Policy?
A: The standard excess is the amount of each claim that you have to pay out of your pocket. You may sometimes reduce your premium by increasing your voluntary excess.Q: Will the policy cover me worldwide?
A: It depends on what type area of coverage you choose. Our customer support assistants will be able to advise you on this matter.

Q: I am a USA citizen. Can I purchase an International Medical plan?
A: You can purchase an International Health Plan provided you are not residing or living in the USA at the time of purchase. Ensure you are covered when you are back in the USA for pleasure or business by using an add on travel option.

Q: Does an International Medical Plan cover pregnancy?
A: It depends on the plan you are choosing. Some plans require a period of eligibility before the benefits will be paid (10-12 months). That is, comprehensive plans normally include maternity.

Get Our Best Articles Every Month!

Claim your free Guide To Moving Abroad immediately PLUS access to our moving abroad email course AND get our top stories in your inbox every month


Unsubscribe any time. We respect your privacy - read our privacy policy.

Q: Are dental treatments covered?
A: Some International Medical plans will offer routine dental cover. Please ask our customer support assistants to verify coverage offered for emergency dental treatment.

Q: Can I choose the hospital for treatment?
A: Yes. You can choose which doctor will treat you and in which hospital/clinic you will have your treatment.

Q: How do I make a claim?
A: Most international insurance providers will send a client pack, with Insurance Certificate, Claims Forms and Helpline Card, with a range of international contact numbers. Many international insurers now pre-authorise any in-patient treatment, meaning that you must contact their help lines before seeking treatment and incurring costs. Out-patient costs are usually dealt by routine Claim Forms (i.e. you pay first). If in doubt always call the help lines before seeking treatment and committing yourself to costs.

Q: How long does it take to handle a claim?
A: Normally it takes around ten working days from the date the insurer receives all the necessary documents.

Q: Which conditions does an International Insurance Plan not cover?
A: Always read carefully the exclusions that are included in a plan. Following is a non exhaustive list of exclusions: war or civil war risks, drug abuse, self inflicted injury, HIV/Aids, Infertility, Normal Pregnancy (unless option taken), Cosmetic Surgery, preventive treatment, kidney dialysis, mobility aids, experimental treatment, organ transplants (unless option taken), injuries arising from dangerous hobbies. Almost all pre-conditions treated in the past two years will initially be excluded.

Q: What is a moratorium cover?
A: You may decide to apply for your plan in two ways. The first way is by providing your medical history details and the second is moratorium cover. In this case you are not required to provide any medical history but the insurance company may not cover any medical condition which has existed in the last 2-5 years. Such conditions may automatically become eligible for cover only when you do not have symptoms, or receive treatment, medication, tests or advice from your general practitioner for that condition for a period of (usually) two years after your policy has been made effective.

Q: What is a “medical history declaration” cover?
A: You will be asked by the insurance provider to fill out a form, giving details of your medical history. Sometimes medical reports may be required. It is essential that you provide all the information required by insurers to avoid future questions or worse, rejection of claims. If you not unsure always declare anyway. If you have a medical condition that may come back, the insurance company may cover you, but exclude that condition, reviewing its possibility for inclusion into the plan in later years.

Q: Which details of my health must I provide the insurers?
A: There are a number of medical conditions which you may not be able to have covered under insurance plans. You are not normally able to secure cover for an illness you are presently suffering, or have already had in the recent past. These are known as pre-existing conditions.

Q: Will you be spending any time in your home country while overseas?
A: International medical policies are designed to cover you when you are outside of your home country. However, most insurers will cover for a limited period in your home country.

Q: Do insurers have a money back guarantee?
A: Most insurers offer do offer a money back guarantee. If you are not entirely satisfied with your insurance documents, you can cancel your cover within the first 30 days and, provided you have not made a claim the insurer will fully refund the premium you have paid.

Q: Do international medical plans cover sport activities?
A: There are no exclusions relating to sporting activities. However, hazardous sports and activities are not covered unless you have declared that you participate in a particular activity and the insurer has agreed in writing to cover you for that activity. Following is a non-exhaustive list of hazardous sports: mountaineering where ropes or guides are normally used, hang gliding, parachuting, bungee jumping, racing by horse or motor vehicle or motorcycle, snow mobiling, motorcycle / motor scooter riding, scuba diving involving underwater breathing apparatus, water skiing, snow skiing and snow boarding.

Q: What is in-patient coverage?
A: An in-patient cover includes expenses incurred when you go into hospital for private treatment or investigations and stay for one or more nights.

Q: What is day-patient coverage?
A: A day-patient cover, also called Day-care or Day-case, incurs when you go into hospital for private treatment or investigations, but do not need to stay in the hospital overnight.

Q: What is out-patient coverage?
A: Out-patient coverage includes expenses incurred when you receive treatments from a doctor or investigations or consultations that do not require you to stay in hospital, either as an in-patient or day-patient.

Q: What am I covered for and what is not included?
A: Note that medical insurance is designed to cover only treatment for curable, short term illness or injury. Some illnesses and treatments are never included (see questions on exclusions). A standard or basic international scheme will usually cover in-patient or day care treatment, post hospital treatment, nursing at home, emergency evacuation, repatriation or burial of mortal remains, emergency dental and complications of pregnancy. It will not cover out-patient, routine maternity or dental costs. A comprehensive international scheme will cover all the above plus out-patient care and specialists, complementary care, routine maternity, routine dental (sometimes) and generally has higher budget limits than a Standard plan. Most plans exclude pre-existing conditions which may go back 2-5 years or even longer.

Q: I have pre-existing medical conditions how does this effect my insurance?
A: A pre-existing condition is a medical condition which has been diagnosed, has required medical treatment, or, for which you have sought medical advice or symptoms have occurred in a period immediately prior to applying for the plan. Most international health plans do not pay for the treatment of pre-existing conditions.

Q: I am a Canadian citizen. Can I purchase an International Medical Plan?
A: You can purchase an International Health Plan provided you are not residing or living in Canada. Make sure you are covered when you are back in Canada for pleasure or business.

Q: What is the difference between a standard and a comprehensive international medical plan?
A: A standard or basic international medical plan will usually cover in-patient or day care treatment, post hospital treatment, nursing at home, emergency evacuation, repatriation or burial of mortal remains, emergency dental and complications of pregnancy. It will not cover out-patient, routine maternity or dental costs. A comprehensive international scheme will cover all the above plus out-patient care and specialists, complementary care, routine maternity, routine dental (sometimes) and generally has higher budget limits than a Standard plan. Most plans exclude pre-existing conditions which may go back 2-5 years or even longer.


Latest Videos

This error message is only visible to WordPress admins

Important: No API Key Entered.

Many features are not available without adding an API Key. Please go to the YouTube Feed settings page to add an API key after following these instructions.

Latest Articles

Share to...