Mix and Match Healthcare Benefits
If you’re shopping around for the most appropriate healthcare insurance, then choosing a plan tailored to your specific needs has not always been possible. But some healthcare companies are looking at ways of customising healthcare plans to offer expats a more flexible choice.
Expats may soon have the option of putting together a comprehensive healthcare insurance package piecemeal. The idea is to pick a core plan with basic cover for inpatient hospital treatment and then selecting individual areas of cover for other eventualities. And the number of healthcare insurance providers offering this kind of bespoke plan is increasing.
Basically, the concept is that once inpatient care is covered you select only those additional benefits you believe may be required; and you de-select any you feel you can do without. That way you avoid paying for a comprehensive healthcare package many of whose benefits you know you will never need. For example, once you’ve had your reproductive tubes tied, so to speak, then maternity cover for you or your spouse is going to be irrelevant. u have reached a certain age, then maternity cover for you or your spouse is pretty irrelevant. So, why pay for it? Equally, if you have no children, then why buy a plan which includes cover for a parent to accompany a sick child?
Take Advantage of Top Up Cover
Another reason why this kind of pic’n’mix is likely to become popular is because it enables enterprising expats, especially those accompanied by their families, to take advantage of top-up cover. Of course, you can only do this if your employer has already provided you with a basic healthcare package. So, when selecting family insurance examine the extent of any cover provided by your employer to find out if you and they are already protected under a company scheme (a surprising number of expats are covered without realising it). Pay attention to the small print and if some vital benefit is not included, and your employer won’t top your cover up, then you might well want to buy in this item of insurance cover yourself.
The principal benefit of such self-selection of course comes down to cost. And buying exactly what you need, whilst ignoring extras you can do without gives you the satisfaction of being more in control of your premiums. But to ensure you end up with the benefits which will genuinely bring you and your family peace of mind, it is essential to trawl through a selection of plans offering individualised or ‘modular services’ to get a sense of the going rate.
Check the Costs Don’t Outweigh The Benefits
Of course, there could be disadvantages to this kind of modular approach. Unless you have a crystal ball, you’ll never know what illness, accident or injury could be about to strike. And without knowing it’s very difficult to second-guess the benefits you will need. Expats opting for bespoke plans need to think very carefully at the outset whether the all embracing blanket cover available from the more traditional plans can be ignored without creating disquiet, or worse, some horrendous bill to be faced in the future. As for the cost, remember it is sometimes all too easy to get carried away adding bolt on after bolt on, which could boost the eventual premium to considerably more than the cost of a packaged plan.