Insider tips for frequently asked questions: how to make the most of your international health insuranceHow do you make the most of your health insurance? Whether you’re looking at a short trip abroad or are making a big move, we’ve collected some of the key questions you might have about getting international health insurance.
We sat down with our expert and Head of Customer Care, Giovanni Bretti, to learn the best tips he can recommend for buying international health insurance.
If you are a frequent traveler, is it better to get an annual policy or insurance for specific trips?
For short trips of perhaps a week or two, simple travel insurance that covers your health should be fine. However, if you're traveling often or for a longer period of time, you'll need more comprehensive health insurance, as travel insurance only really covers emergencies.
If you need outpatient care for ongoing health issues, checkups etc., or you're going for a longer period where you might perhaps need medical care, we recommend international health insurance that covers all eventualities.
Is it better to get broad coverage or very specific coverage for your international health insurance?
Getting coverage that’s specific to your needs is always best. You don’t want to be paying for extras you won’t make use of, or be caught out by getting insufficient coverage.
As a broker with connections to recognized insurance partners, we can guarantee that everyone gets the right insurance for their needs. That might not always be the case if you go directly to an insurer, who has less tailored packages to offer.
How hard is it to find all the necessary information when booking your insurance?
It can be a bit intimidating to source all the information you might need for international health insurance coverage. It's sometimes just plain difficult to get information because of the location you’re traveling to.
If you travel to Honduras, for example, it can be tricky to get the information you need to compare insurers and get the right coverage for you. This might be because of a language barrier, a lack of knowledge about what to look for, or not knowing which companies are recommended in the area.
No matter where you’re going, always do a market review and compare the benefits of each policy. Bear in mind that when you choose something cheaper, you’re almost always picking a policy that lacks key benefits. Spending more in advance is usually worth it in the long run.
This is why using a broker can help you. They're experienced in different locations and languages, and can really research to find the best option for you at the best price. You can't really go wrong!
What advantages are there for getting international health insurance through a broker rather than a local insurer?
As ASN is a preferred partner for insurers, we can give our clients quicker access to their insurance - otherwise, you're just one person in a network of thousands of insured people who are all seeking the insurer's time and response. We can guarantee quick access and answers in every case.
Additionally, for our clients, it's especially useful to have the option of using multiple languages. For example, we provide services across four languages, which makes it helpful for our clients who might be traveling to regions that they aren't familiar with or have no language skills for.
The other main advantage is that a broker is independent. We can compare and market-review insurers, and we can guarantee to offer the right international health insurance product for each client. We're not bound to a particular insurer or product - we're not limited in the options that we can provide.
Is it better to set a higher excess amount for a cheaper health insurance policy?
We actually recommend choosing an international health insurance policy without an excess or deductible.
If something serious occurs with your health, and you require inpatient treatment at the hospital, your insurer will issue a guarantee of payment and they sometimes issue the amount with the excess deducted.
This can cause problems, depending on the hospital. Sometimes the hospital won’t accept this guarantee of payment, and when you’re dealing with an urgent health issue, you don’t want to be fighting with your insurer about an administrative matter.
Are there insurance options that people often overlook?
When you’re in the process of moving or working abroad, you’re often busy handling several important tasks at once. That means that when you’re choosing your insurance, you might not think of all the eventualities that you’ll need to cover.
As an insurance broker, we often find that clients forget about these areas where they might need cover: dental cover, optical cover, wellness benefits like regular checkups, and evacuation and repatriation. Vaccinations should also be covered by your international health insurance.
What medical options should your international health insurance cover?
Ideally, your insurance gives you the choice of the best medical treatments and doctors available, no matter where they're located.
For example, in Switzerland, we have some of the best medical facilities in the world - as a Swiss national, you might wish to return home to get treatment, and will need coverage that allows you to do so.
Or, for example, you might need a specific treatment only provided in certain locations - international health insurance coverage will help you access that, rather than restricting you to where you're currently residing.
Is there a "better" time to get healthcare procedures?
The quality of the treatment that can be provided should dictate when you book procedures that aren’t urgent.
For example, if you need dental work, getting it done sooner abroad might mean that the quality of the work done isn't as good. Waiting until there's availability for reputable treatment back home in Switzerland or wherever you come from might be wiser in the long run. You don’t want to have to get the procedure done twice!
Is it cheaper to get combined cover for you and your dependents?
Your premium is always calculated based on the individual and their age, so if your family situation changes, it's best to see what family options you can get for less expensive insurance. Otherwise, you'll be paying for individual insurance for multiple people. This particularly applies if you have children - most of our partners apply a family discount, for example.
Don't forget to add your child to your policy as soon as possible - sometimes people forget! Also, remember that social systems are different the world over. In Switzerland, for example, if something happens to you, your partner and child are well cared for by the social system in place. This might not be the case elsewhere, so plan accordingly.
How often should you review your health insurance policy?
Every two years seems sensible. With a broker, you can review every year, and you will always have a representative available to help you go through your policy.
Any tips for filing a claim on your health insurance?
Choose ASN, because we handle claims for our clients! That's not typical for an insurance broker, so we offer more to our clients that way. With preferred and priority access, we're also able to get clients refunded quicker after claiming.
Claiming online, or through apps, can mean you're one of many people waiting for a response or a refund. You often have to answer additional questions - the invoice isn't usually enough. Using a broker can mean you get the issue resolved faster.
How ASN can help you to choose the best international health insurance
Avoid the stress and difficulty of finding the best international health insurance for your needs by using ASN.
We can help you find a policy that meets your needs exactly, without any hassle. Your personal consultant will provide you with:
- Easy-to-understand information: We make sure that you understand exactly what you’re paying for with your insurance policy.
- Insights from years of insurance expertise: We have 25 years of experience working with the best insurance providers across the globe, meaning you can trust us with finding the best policy for you and your family.
- A friendly and personal approach: Don’t be one of thousands of people waiting for insurers to get back to them. When you need us, we’re here for you 24/7 and can get you the answers you need quickly
Our expert consultants will help you to book the best international health insurance for your needs. Get in touch with us now to start the process, or go to our international health insurance page to find out more.