If you frequently visit overseas for work or leisure, whether you are a student, a professional, or a businessman, you might seriously consider buying a global health cover.
This insurance would come in handy should you fall ill in a foreign country. You might panic, thinking you are in an alien land, and medical facilities and treatment would be super expensive. Though you must be having a health insurance policy back home in India, it won’t provide much coverage abroad. Also, your travel insurance may not be sufficient in some cases, as it has its own limitations.
This is exactly when a global health insurance policy would come to your help.
Says Bhaskar Nerurkar, head, health administration team, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance: “Global healthcare has been designed keeping in mind the needs of people who are looking for a seamless coverage, which would take care of treatment costs not only within India, but also across geographical boundaries for emergencies as well as elective treatments.”
This product caters to the likes of the following people:
1. A parent residing in India who regularly visits his/her child who is settled abroad.
2. A senior executive of a multinational company (MNC) who resides in India and travels overseas frequently for business.
3. Ultra high-net worth individuals (HNIs) residing in India who travel abroad frequently for leisure or business or both.
Adds Nerurkar: “Another unique attribute of the product is that due to its seamless nature, even if the actual treatment or surgery takes place outside India, the post-op rehabilitation can continue within India or vice versa if the insured so chooses.”
Global Health Cover Vs Travel Insurance
A travel insurance plan is typically meant for those traveling outside India for a short duration. The contingencies that are generally covered in most travel insurance plans are flight cancellations, loss of personal belongings, and emergency medical treatment.
On the other hand, an international health insurance plan is designed to provide more comprehensive coverage for inpatient treatment outside India, and continuing treatment of chronic conditions.
Moreover, the aim of travel insurance is to get the person well enough to return home. Travel insurance rarely covers long-term medical treatment. Also, once the person returns to his/her home country, the coverage under travel insurance ceases.
Elsewhere, a global health plan coverage lasts for all 365 days, and the coverage continues even after the person returns to his/her home country.
Things To Keep In Mind When Opting For A Global Health Cover
Check whether the global health policy provides coverage across the globe for planned as well as elective treatment. This cover should be seamless, as well as facilitate the ongoing treatment in the insured’s home country if he/she chooses to do so.
One should also check that the global health policy covers not only in-patient, but also pre- and post-hospitalization expenses.
Some global health plans in the market mandate that the diagnosis is made in India for taking treatment abroad. It is recommended that one goes for a plan without such condition and that the insured is allowed to take treatment irrespective of where the diagnosis is made.
Geographical coverage: Most global health plans in the market offer two types of geographical coverage ie, including the USA or excluding the USA. One may opt for the appropriate plan with the required geographical coverage. Plans that exclude the USA have lower premiums than those that include the USA.
Most importantly, check the credibility of the insurance company that would cater to international claims and the ease of the process of registering a claim while one is hospitalized outside India.