Offshore Health Benefits – Tips for Shopping the Expatriate Medical Insurance Market in 2018

Global Medical Insurance for the Expatriate

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1. Reinsurance – make sure the proposed international insurance products are underwritten by a strong re-insurer, this is very important. Re-insurers often audit corresponding companies who sell their products.  Also, a strong re-insurer should have strict guidelines in place related to Underwriting, Claim Reimbursement, Customer Service, Annual Renewals, Pre-existing Conditions and Product Design. Just because the company has the logo “Lloyd’s of London, does not equate to good claims paying. and strong performance.
2. Annual Renewals – make sure the international insurance plan that you are considering guarantees an annual renewal each year.  Many “travel plans” do not offer and renewal.  Also, make sure that you are not penalized too harshly for poor claim experience.  A strong insurance company pools its members by using “age-banded” rating and does not base the annual renewal rate solely on one’s claim experience for the year.  This is one of the most important issues related to annual renewals. Many international carriers weigh in a member’s annual claims experience over many other factors.  Also, make sure that the international carrier’s international pool of members does not include people who live in the USA for more than 6 months out of any year (may vary). This drives up the rates big time. *rates typically rise  higher at age 65 and 70
3. Claims Reimbursement – make sure that a reimbursement check can be cut and mailed out within 2-6 weeks after a claim filing, and that the member is not penalized with miscalculated exchange rates. DHL or UPS are the preferred carriers for international mailing. On many occasions, monies can be wired to a foreign bank account or directly to a hospital.
4. Direct Payment & Wire Transfers – make sure that the international carrier can pay via “direct wire” or “guarantee of payment” for costly or expensive procedures.  A few carriers require the member to pay for large medical expenses upfront; this is not good, especially for care in the USA.  A quality international broker and carrier can get on the phone and make things happen and help you with a direct pay to a hospital or provider. You need to deal organizations who will talk over the telephone or in person, as opposed to relying on faxes or e-mails with no or limited follow-up.  Please note that there are hospitals, clinics and providers abroad which simply do not accept insurance and will require payment ahead of time by a patient. It is good to have a credit card when you travel in case of an emergency.
*We encourage our members to only pay their deductibles and any co-insurance and allow for the insurance company to settle any remaining costs. 
5. Brokers: make sure your international broker or consultant has an insurance license and years of experience.  Many brokers outside of the USA do not have licenses and many international carriers do not require it.  Also, make sure that your broker or consultant has experience in international benefits and is bonded. International insurance companies often market to domestic brokers who mainly sell in the USA, and dabble in international, as prospects pop-up on their radar screens. Offshore Health Benefits LTD has been thriving for 16 years, adding new hundreds of clients each year. Also, we pride ourselves with a very high annual client retention rate. Experience in international benefit planning is everything, especially in a time of crises. Approximately, 70% of our business comes from client referrals.
Contact offshorehealthbenefits@gmail.com or offshorehealthbenefits.com for information and a quote. Call USA-512/296-4976
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