Medical Insurance FAQS

Medical Insurance FAQS

At HealthCare International we try to keep things as simple as possible, but invariably there will be a few questions about the cover provided under HealthCare International’s range of global medical plans.

Should you wish to raise any issues or discuss any part of your application, that we haven’t covered here or on other documentation, please do not hesitate in contacting our help team.

The following questions are those that we find are most commonly asked and which you might find useful.

If you require international medical insurance for you or your dependents, you can complete a secure online application form.

For corporate or group enquiries, just send an email to enquiries@healthcareinternational.com and we will guide you through the process.

You also have the option of requesting an application form to complete and scan/e-mail or fax to our offices. You are welcome to request that we send or fax/e-mail the application form to you.

We will notify you when your application has been received and over the next few days your application will be processed. Subject to your application's acceptance, we will send you your member's pack, normally within 7-10 working days of your policy being issued. If you apply on our website, we will also require a signed and dated copy of your application form before we can pay for any of your claims made against your plan.

You can apply for cover up to 30 days before you would like your policy to start (the inception date).

Once your application has been received, we will process the information you have provided us. If you have answered 'no' to all the medical questions, it can be processed immediately and a policy issued within 48 hours. If you have declared a medical history, your application will be assessed by our underwriting team, which usually takes up to 5 working days.

Once a policy has been issued and your first premium collected, you are covered as per the benefits of the plan that you have selected.

Yes – We ask you to complete a simple medical questionnaire, and do our utmost to keep any restrictions placed against past medical conditions to an absolute minimum. Providing detailed information about an existing or past medical condition will help us to realistically evaluate treatment you may require in the future. This will help to ensure that you do not find yourself with unnecessary restrictions.

We appreciate that some medical conditions may have taken place some time ago and no longer require treatment. In such cases we will try to be as flexible as possible in our underwriting and not automatically exclude past medical conditions. For this reason, it is important that you provide as much information as possible when applying for cover so that we can properly evaluate your application.

At HealthCare International, we define a pre-existing condition as being an illness, injury or related medical condition, which within the last 5 years, you or any dependants included in your application have experienced symptoms or received treatment, medication, advice or investigation.

Any illness or condition occurring between the time of signing and submitting your application to us will also be considered a pre-existing medical condition.

Our Moratorium Policy has a 2 year moratorium waiting period on most pre-existing medical conditions. This means that if you do not experience symptoms or seek medical advice for a pre-existing condition within a continuous 2 year period of cover with us, the condition will likely become eligible for benefit should it reoccur in the future. Should however, the pre-existing condition flare-up during the 2 year moratorium waiting period, or is such that it requires on-going maintenance, the moratorium waiting period starts anew at the point when the condition was last treated or symptoms were present. For Pre-existing Cancer and Cardiac conditions, the moratorium waiting period is extended from 2 to 5 years however we do not class routine check-ups as active treatment, therefore should you remain all-clear after 5 years, you will have full cover.

Full Medical Underwriting is based on the full details of your medical history on your application form. You should provide all the information that is requested. If you’re not sure whether you should mention something it is better to do so otherwise you may be refused payment of a claim in the future. Under full medical underwriting, we will agree your policy based on your medical history. We may also write to your doctor for more information if we require it. In certain cases, you may also be required to attend a medical examination before your health insurance policy is issued. If you have a medical condition that is likely to return, we may issue your policy but exclude this condition (and any conditions relating to it). The condition may be excluded from your cover permanently or for a specified period of time. When you receive your policy you will know specifically which conditions are excluded from your cover. You can then request that we reconsider your cover in future years if the specified conditions have not reoccurred. We will request details from your doctor or your latest medical report relating to the specified condition to determine whether we can reconsider the original underwritten decision. The main advantage of ‘full medical underwriting’ is that it provides certainty as to what you are covered for. Your policy will identify any specific exclusions from your cover so there is no doubt as to what you are covered for – assuming you have declared all information on the application.

Our Short Term Cover policy excludes any pre-existing conditions. This means that any medical treatment for any pre-existing condition or related condition or required treatment or medication, or sought advice for the said condition is excluded from cover.

Almost anyone can purchase a HealthCare International medical policy. Our plans are tailored for expatriates with the only proviso being that you must be aged under 75 when first applying. Annual plans are renewable for whole of life.

Yes – There are some professions perform dangerous activities or experience harsh environments, such as police, the armed forces and sports professionals that require underwriting evaluations and are subject to plan conditions and restrictions. For further information please contact us at enquiries@healthcareinternational.com.

You can choose to have your treatment anywhere in the world, subject to the benefit limits of your chosen plan.

Treatment in the USA is however only available if you select our "Worldwide cover including USA", which is necessary for any member residing in the United States, unless you are a US citizen who spends part of the year back home and covered under a domestic plan or entitled to state benefits such as Medicare.

Selecting our "Worldwide cover excluding USA" does not prevent you travelling there on trips as we will cover accidents/emergency medical treatment up to 60 days per policy year or 7 days with Short Term cover.

Members have complete choice where they have their treatment, and in the event of hospitalisation we will arrange for direct settlement with your provider – avoiding the need to pay any expenses yourself.

Non-emergency treatment in the USA is of course only available if you have selected the "Worldwide cover including USA" policy option.

Your 'Home Country' is your country of origin/nationality and we understand that many of our members living abroad occasionally return home for short visits, where your cover will be continued.

As our plans are tailored for expatriates which means that you must be living outside your home country for at least 6 months each policy year.

Yes – You and your dependents will be covered on the same plan with the same chosen excess and co-pay. An age-rated premium applies for each insured member.

No – However, Holiday Cancellation, as well as protection for other unforeseen travelling incidents such as lost baggage and legal expenses are available under our Travel option.

Yes – Many policies apply a blanket exclusion for War and Terrorism risks however in the unfortunate event that you find yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time, your policy will respond, covering you for medical treatment at either a local treatment centre or if necessary, evacuation to a place of safety.

No – unlike other insurance companies, HealthCare International does not exclude treatment for HIV/AIDS. We provide benefit under all our plans if it is contracted through blood transfusions. We also include cover for Chronic and Dread Diseases.

No – Once the treatment has been pre-authorised, we will settle all reasonable and customary charges for hospital accommodation, surgery and theatre fees etc. up to the specified limits of each plan.

Outpatient treatment and consultations are fully covered under the Executive plan, 75% on the Plus & Premium plans and are not covered under the Standard & Emergency + plans.

Outpatient X-rays and Laboratory Tests are fully covered under the Premium & Executive plans, 75% on the Plus plan and not covered under the Standard & Emergency + plans.

The deductible / excess does not apply to these benefits.

Yes – Our Executive Plan offers a more holistic approach to your total healthcare, including benefits of chiropractic treatments, osteopathy, Chinese herbal medicine, homeopathy and acupuncture, up to the specified limits.

Should you require in-patient treatment, contact the claims department prior to your admission for pre-authorisation. Where possible we will arrange for your medical bills to be sent to our claims department for direct settlement of your bill, avoiding the need to pay any out of pocket expenses yourself.

Please have your HealthCare International Membership Card handy to help us manage the process as speedily as possible.

In the event that local medical facilities are unable to cope with your condition, you or your treating physician needs to contact our 24/7/365 Emergency Assistance Centre immediately. We will then make the necessary arrangements on your behalf, and arrange for you to be transported or evacuated to the nearest facility where you can be treated.

Our 24-hour International Emergency Assistance is provided by HCI 24/7, one of the world's leading and most experienced international emergency assistance organisations. With correspondents & doctors all over the world, HealthCare International is always on hand to help you when you need us most.

Arrange for your treatment with your physician as per usual.

We require a claims form to be completed for each treatment event. It is a two part form, requiring both you and your treating physician to complete designated sections. It is best that you take this form with you to your appointment. Once your treatment is complete, forward this form along with the original bills/invoices to our claims department for reimbursement.

You can also find a Claim Form in your membership pack.

Yes – Once you have been with us for 12 months, both routine maternity and complications of pregnancy are covered on all but our Emergency+ and Short Term plans. We will pay 100% of reasonable and customary charges for inpatient and outpatient treatment, up to the specified plan limits.

You are covered for treatment of a medical condition that arises during the antenatal stages of pregnancy, or for complications that require a recognised obstetric procedure during childbirth. Cover is only provided for caesarean sections required on medical grounds. Elective caesareans and investigations into infertility are not covered.

Yes – Routine Dental care is a standard feature of our Executive Plan and an optional extra for all other plans. This benefit provides for preventative and routine dental cover and includes, subject to policy limits, the cost of dental crowns, bridges, dentures and implants.

With the exception of injuries sustained as a direct result of being a professional sportsman, there are no exclusions relating to usual sporting activities unless specifically noted by HealthCare International in writing. Cover for professional and extreme sportsmen can be offered.

Please contact us for full information.

The benefit will pay for young children, up to the age of seven years, 100% reasonable and customary charges for the child to visit their physician, up to the specified limits of the Plus, Premium and Executive Plans.

Inevitably, there are costs that we cannot cover. However, we try to keep restrictions to a minimum. These restrictions include pre-existing medical conditions during the specified policy periods (moratorium, full medical or pre-existing excluded) and a list of general exclusions that you will find in your plan's policy Terms and Conditions.

Waiting periods apply to a few of our benefits to protect the premium investment made by our existing members. If we had no waiting periods for our dental/optical and pregnancy benefits, people could join when treatment was required, claim for an expensive procedure and cancel their membership until further medical assistance was necessary. This hit and run cycle of membership would cause premiums to escalate at an uncontrollable rate.

Where we haven't arranged to settle directly with your medical provider, we aim to reimburse approved claims with any eligible costs you may have paid as quickly as possible after receiving your completed claim form, the original invoices and receipts.

You can also find a Claim Form in your membership pack.

This varies depending on a member's age, the plan selected, the excess and co-pay selected. Our online quotation system will calculate the premiums for you.

At HealthCare International, we offer multiple levels of excess on most plans. Nil excess will ensure that in most cases you will be reimbursed 100% for your medical treatment. However, having a higher excess (for example: $250 or $1,000) offers a significant discount on your premium and can be linked with your anticipated healthcare needs.

The excess applies to some benefits on a 'per claim' basis. This means that your policy will respond after you have met the first part of every new event up to your chosen excess amount. An example of a separate event could be say breaking your arm in June and then having a heart attack in November. This counts as two events and you will have to pay up to your excess level each time before we take over paying the remainder of your treatment.

If you have renewed your policy and treatment continues into the new benefit year, unlike many of our competitors, you will not be penalised with having to pay another excess.

An additional way to reduce your premium is by opting for a Co-Pay. With this, you will share with us the cost of medical expenses over and above your policy excess. Your maximum out-of-pocket expense is however capped at $/€20,000 (£13,500) limit.

For example, should you opt for a plan with a $1,000 excess and 20% co-pay and you were treated for a medical condition that resulted in $25,000 of eligible medical expenses, you would be responsible for the $1,000 excess plus 20% of $24,000, totaling $5,800.

Credit Card payment is our preferred method of collecting your premiums. If this is not possible, we can accept payment via bankers draft, bank transfer, or cheque. If you are not entirely satisfied with your chosen cover, we will cancel the plan from inception and make a full refund of your premium (providing that you inform us within 14 days of receiving your policy documents, that you have not used the policy in any way, e.g. made a Visa application or a claim made). You will need to return the policy documentation to us before we can issue a refund.

Once cover has been confirmed you will receive a comprehensive membership folder containing details of your chosen plan, your certificate of insurance, a membership card, details of our 24 hour emergency assistance service, claim instructions and a blank claim form, a list of useful contacts together with additional information concerning general health and medical matters.

Claim forms can also be downloaded.

It is not necessary to inform us of brief travels out of your country of residence; however, any permanent change must be communicated to us as soon as possible. We need to be able to inform you of any ongoing developments with your policy and provide you with updated correspondence.

Changes to your benefit level can only be made at renewal and you will need to inform us within 30 days of your renewal date. Any waiting-periods will still have to be served.

No – as long as your premiums continue to be paid on time, you remain an expatriate (living outside your home-country for most of the year) and you have not misled us in any way, cover will remain in force.

It is important that your premiums are paid on time to ensure you have no interruption to your cover. Failure to pay your premiums on time will likely result in your claims being rejected, and/or your policy being cancelled.

You do not have to do anything, as your policy will renew automatically. We will however be contacting you prior to renewal to inform you of the premium for the upcoming year. We will also be telling you of any material changes to your policy and developments within our service proposition to you. We remain ready and able to assist you at any time in ensuring your plan option remains appropriate for your circumstances.

Should you not wish to renew your policy with us, we will require written notification from you 60 days prior to the renewal date.

We will settle your claim / invoices in the currency of your policy unless we are specifically requested to do otherwise.

We are not responsible for any loss you may incur due to fluctuations in exchange rates, or for any bank charges you may incur when you receive a bank transfer, foreign bank draft or when you cash a cheque from us.