Expat health insurance cover is a necessity for all those who have decided that the South-East Asian region is where they wish to be based for all, or the majority of each year.
While it is a necessity, those who apply often comment on the amount of questions they need to answer in order to obtain health cover.
Here are some of the reasons why such a comprehensive list of questions needs to be addressed, but first let us explain the fundamental basis that international health insurance cover is based upon.
As with all forms of insurance cover, underwriting is the process an insurer uses when assessing risk associated with providing insurance coverage.
Medical underwriting for expat health insurance involves understanding, examination and analysis of the information provided by the applicant. This analysis is then used to determine the level of risk an individual is in terms of possible health care needs, and, thus, what type and cost the insurance cover should be.
Full Medical Underwriting (FMU)
Much greater detail will be required from international health care providers who base their insurance cover on FMU, but it is certainly the most robust, comprehensive and accurate way to go about assessment.
What is more, once this process is completed, you as an individual will have satisfaction that the various levels of cover offered along with any exclusions are clearly understood.
The FMU process and questions which need to be asked by expat health insurance providers help them assess a client’s medical history. To this end it should be understood that the insurer concerned is at liberty to contact your current doctor or those medical professionals who have treated you in the past.
Standard questions – Honest answers
The medical questionnaire you are presented with asks orderly, routine questions that you must answer honestly. These are such things as age, gender, current location and employment status.
They also delve into your past medical history. Answers to any treatment you have received as well as any pre-existing health conditions must also be answered in the correct manner.
The major thing to bear in mind here is
Pre-existing health conditions
A pre-existing medical condition is any illness, injury, sickness or medical condition relating to the person applying for international health care cover.
If you do suffer from a pre-existing medical condition your health insurance provider needs to be aware of this. It then allows them to assess the risk related to you having the same or related conditions during the life of your health policy.
Their assessment will determine whether you are offered cover as standard, cover that excludes those related pre-existing medical conditions, cover may be offered at a higher policy rate, or declined.
It is important to understand that some expat health insurance brokers will still offer cover based on the type of pre-existing medical condition you have.
Do not fall foul of exclusions
If you omit key information or do not answer the international health cover application questionnaire honestly you are leaving yourself open to nullifying your cover.
An example being: If you do not reveal a pre-existing medical condition to your insurer and subsequently require treatment for that or a related condition.
In this case it is certain that your expat health insurance policy will not be valid and you will have to pay for such treatment out of your own pocket. There is also every likelihood that your current policy will be cancelled.
Honesty is the best policy!
By being up-front and honest in the answers you give to the medical questionnaire presented for expat health insurance cover you are safeguarding yourself. It means there will be no ambiguity and that you will clearly understand exactly what you are covered for in the event you need to seek healthcare attention.