When living or travelling abroad, it’s important to get an insurance policy that’s right for you. This means understanding what types of medical health insurance are available and exactly what you need from a plan, depending on the period of time and the reason you will be overseas.
In particular, there seems to be some confusion around the difference between health and medical insurance and travel insurance. Although both are intended for people spending time abroad, the level of cover with each plan is significantly different.
So here are the main points of the two types of policies:
Unlike travel insurance, international health and medical insurance is more appropriate for people living overseas long term. It offers protection against costs for long term healthcare abroad that could include:
- Cancer Treatment
- Treatment of Chronic Conditions
- Prescriptions and Doctors Visits
There are a lot of factors involved in the cost of IPMI including age, location, pre-existing conditions and much more. That's why it's important to decide exactly what you need from a medical health insurance policy plan so you don't end up paying for additional benefits you don't need.
Although more expensive, IPMI is the answer if you are looking for high-quality care in a local healthcare system that may otherwise be unavailable to uninsured foreigners.
Travel insurance is intended for short trips overseas, usually ranging from a matter of days up to twelve months. It’s a product ideal for people going on holiday or travelling who would like cover for emergency medical treatment while abroad. This form of insurance also offers protection against travel-related issues such as:
- Loss of Personal Property
- Loss of Luggage
- Flight Cancellations or Delays
In terms of medical cover, travel insurance plans intend to provide cover for emergency/short term treatment. Most commonly, customers are expected to return to their home country for further treatment when they are in a suitable condition to do so.
Travel insurance usually covers the costs for this emergency treatment; however, it will not cover the type of long term medical care in a foreign country that medical health insurance would. Consequently, this means that you will likely have to return home should you require any substantial treatment. If you were to need medical treatment two days into a six-month trip, that could spell disaster and a flight home.
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