If you are considering emigrating from the UK either to Europe or anywhere in the world, or just working abroad for a period of 12 months, you must think seriously about protecting yourself with regard to your healthcare requirements and consideration should be given to the following points:-
If you emigrate to anywhere in the European Union, there is a reciprocal arrangement in place which should protect your healthcare requirements as a citizen of the UK, although Germany and Holland do have some peculiarities which require some special consideration. But by general consensus if you go to Europe, your basic healthcare requirements should be covered, but with regard to any additional requirements, advice should be sought from a specialist with knowledge of International policies which provide this type of cover. One of these specialist Brokers is Premier Choice Healthcare Ltd. If however you are going outside the European Union to far flung places, you must remember that some countries within Africa or Asia do not have the same healthcare systems that we have and sometimes their healthcare facilities are not the most accessible and will invariably be very expensive.
The structure of International policies is usually split into three components and can be identified as follows:-
- Europe including the UK and Ireland
- All countries outside Europe with the exception of the United States
- United States of America
As treatment in these countries is both expensive and difficult to access, it is essential that you have experienced assistance on the ground in an administrative nature as well as experienced and modern clinical treatment. Many International PMI providers have agents working in these areas and it is invaluable if you need emergency or serious clinical treatment at any time of the day or night. This is essential in all countries but particularly in America, where the cost of treatment can be prohibitive as so many leading edge treatments can be sourced in this country.
It is very important to remember when you are living or working abroad that you do not have the comfort zone of just popping into the chemist or the dentist because we sometimes forget to appreciate that in this country these form part of the basic NHS structure. In Malaysia for example, very effective and modern dental treatment can be accessed, but possibly between two or three times more expensive than the equivalent treatment in the UK. Other factors that you have to consider are things like outpatient drugs and dressings, as pharmacies in most parts of the world want paying for their services as they are not subsidised in anyway by the state. In addition, although most countries have emergency treatment by ambulance, this service also has to be paid for by non- domiciled residents in foreign countries. This must be a benefit added to all policies.
Of course in the UK we are so used to having a full maternity service covering pre and post-natal treatment, but in Asia and America, as well as Africa, this cannot be taken for granted and these benefits must be contained within your International plan.
As in the case of travel insurance, most policies will also contain an Evacuation or Repatriation benefit, but always take advice to the limits of these benefits as it is always better to go for Repatriation rather than Evacuation. Repatriation benefit should always include the return of your mortal remains to the UK in the event of your death. The United States of America present the most difficult and complex challenge in this area of International PMI and whether you are emigrating to the USA or more likely you are sending employees to work there, you must observe that each Federal State has different rules and regulations regarding the healthcare of non Nationals. Therefore it is essential that you use the services of the specialist Broker who has access to all of the International PMI Insurers and especially those with professional American strategic partners to work with them in this area.
If you are a company with employees working abroad, you really do have a duty of care to look after them in their place of work as far as practicable. If you employ foreign nationals the same rules do not apply as they do for UK citizens working abroad. For your UK citizens who are in your employment working abroad there is a full range of products to look after their healthcare needs both in a routine environment as well as emergency and it is always appreciated by them should anything happen to them whilst working abroad and a great comfort to their families knowing they are being looked after in their time of need and repatriated to the UK if necessary.
Although both as an employer and as an individual these policies may well look expensive on face value, but invariable when you consider the cost of any treatment carried out abroad, they are amazingly good value. The added advantage of an International PMI plan is that whilst it covers you or your employees whilst working abroad, if you do need to get repatriated for medical needs to the UK, it covers full treatment at any hospital within the United Kingdom. You get full benefits, full cover at both home and abroad.
Also contained and running concurrently with some of these policies are a specialist referral service that gives you access to the widest range of specialist clinicians and medical practitioners who are best and most able in their field. This is an obvious benefit to both you and your employees and usually comes within the basic premiums charged by your insurer for an International policy.
If you would like advice or quotations in this type of insurance, it is always best to seek out one who is both Independent and whole of market with the knowledge and experience that you need in this type of work. There are far more International PMI insurers based in the UK who offer policies than there are ones who just offer policies to UK citizens in the UK, so the market is by definition wider and more involved and than non international.