Navigating International Health Insurance Jargon: Your Essential Glossary
In today’s rapidly evolving international health insuranace landscape, understanding the ins and outs of health insurance is more crucial than ever. Yet, the sea of acronyms, bewildering terms, and intricate concepts can often leave individuals feeling lost and overwhelmed. Don’t worry we have got you!
Your International Health Insurance Glossary
Area of Cover
The area of cover in international health insurance refers to the geographic region in which the insurance policy is valid. This can vary depending on the policy, but it is typically either worldwide or restricted to certain countries or regions.
A policy with worldwide coverage would cover you for medical expenses incurred anywhere in the world. A policy with restricted coverage might only cover you for medical expenses incurred in certain countries, such as the United States or Europe.
It is important to read the policy carefully to understand the area of cover. Some policies may have exceptions, such as not covering medical expenses incurred in war zones or countries with certain political or health risks.
The length of time that your international health insurance coverage is in effect.
Chronic conditions refer to long-term medical conditions or illnesses that persist over an extended period and typically require ongoing medical care and management. These conditions often do not have a cure and can last for many years or even a lifetime. Common examples of chronic conditions include:
- Diabetes: A condition where the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar levels is impaired, often requiring regular medication, monitoring, and lifestyle adjustments.
- Hypertension (High Blood Pressure): A chronic condition where blood pressure levels are consistently elevated, necessitating ongoing treatment and monitoring to reduce the risk of complications.
- Asthma: A respiratory condition that leads to recurrent breathing difficulties, often requiring medications and inhalers for long-term control.
- Arthritis: Conditions like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis result in joint pain and inflammation, often requiring pain management and physical therapy.
- Heart Disease: Chronic heart conditions like coronary artery disease may require ongoing medical treatment, lifestyle changes, and cardiac monitoring.
- Chronic Kidney Disease: A condition where the kidneys gradually lose their function over time, often necessitating dialysis or transplant in severe cases.
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): A group of lung diseases, including chronic bronchitis and emphysema, that can lead to breathing difficulties and require continuous treatment and support.
International Health insurance policies may have varying coverage for chronic conditions. Some policies may cover the management and treatment of chronic conditions, including doctor visits, medications, and necessary medical procedures. However, coverage terms and limits can differ, so it’s crucial to carefully review your policy documents to understand what is included and any limitations.
The percentage of the cost of a covered service that you are responsible for paying after you have met your deductible.
A fixed amount that you pay for a covered service, regardless of the cost of the service.
Excess/deductible is the amount of money you have to pay towards your medical bills before your insurance plan kicks in. The higher the excess, the lower your insurance premium will be.
If you have an excess of $500 and you need to see a doctor for a consultation that costs $1,000, you will have to pay the first $500 and your insurance company will pay the remaining $500.
A dental practitioner is a dentist who is licensed to practice in the country where the insurance policy is valid.
Dental practitioners who are covered by international health insurance may be able to provide a range of dental services, such as:
- Routine checkups and cleaning
- Root canals
- Orthodontic treatment
The specific services that are covered will vary depending on the insurance policy, so it is important to read the policy carefully.
The Level of Coverage
The maximum amount that an insurance company will pay for a covered service.
Evacuation/ Repatriation Services
Evacuation or repatriation services refer to the transportation of a policyholder to a medical facility in their home country or another country where they can receive the necessary medical care.
Evacuation or repatriation services can be expensive, so it is important to make sure that your insurance plan covers these services.
It is important to choose an international health insurance plan that meets your specific needs and budget. You should also make sure that you understand the terms and conditions of the plan before you purchase it.
Here are some of the differences between evacuation and repatriation:
This refers to the transportation of a policyholder to a medical facility in their home country or another country where they can receive the necessary medical care. This is typically done by air ambulance or private jet.
This refers to the transportation of a policyholder back to their home country after they have received medical care in another country. This can be done by commercial airline, private jet, or even by boat.
Health insurance is a contract between an individual or group and an insurance company. The insurance company agrees to pay for certain medical expenses incurred by the policyholder, in exchange for a monthly premium.
The specific benefits that are covered by health insurance will vary depending on the plan. However, most plans will cover doctor’s visits, hospital stays, prescription drugs, and other medical services.
Hospital cover provides coverage for medical services that require an overnight stay in a hospital. This can include surgery, childbirth, and other procedures.
Some common benefits include:
- Hospital room and board
- Diagnostic tests
- Rehabilitation services
- Ambulance transportation
In-network costs are the costs of medical services that are provided by doctors, hospitals, and other providers who are part of your international health insurance plan’s network. These costs are typically lower than the costs of out-of-network services.
To be considered in-network, a provider must have a contract with your international health insurance provider. This contract typically specifies the amount that the insurance company will pay for services provided by the provider.
In-patient costs refer to the expenses incurred when a policyholder requires medical treatment or care that necessitates staying overnight or for an extended period in a hospital or healthcare facility. These costs typically cover a range of services and fees associated with being admitted as an in-patient, including:
- Hospital room charges: This includes the cost of the room or ward where the insured person stays during their hospitalization.
- Medical procedures and treatments: In-patient costs may cover surgeries, diagnostic tests, medications, and other medical treatments performed while the insured is in the hospital.
- Doctor’s fees: Fees for consultations, surgical procedures, and specialist services provided by healthcare professionals during the hospital stay.
- Nursing care: The expenses related to the care provided by nurses and other healthcare staff while the insured is hospitalized.
- Medical supplies and equipment: Costs associated with the use of medical equipment, such as IVs, monitors, and surgical instruments.
- Rehabilitation services: In some cases, in-patient costs may also cover post-surgery or post-hospitalization rehabilitation services, such as physical therapy.
It’s important to note that the specific coverage for in-patient costs can vary depending on the terms and conditions of the international health insurance policy.
Limits refer to the maximum amount of money that the insurance company will pay for covered medical expenses. Limits can be applied to the total cost of your insurance coverage, or they can be applied to specific services, such as hospital room and board, surgery, or ambulance transportation.
- The maximum limit: This is the maximum amount that the insurance company will pay for covered services.
- The copayment or deductible: This is the amount that you will have to pay out of pocket for covered services.
- The waiting period: This is the period of time that you must wait before the insurance company will start paying for covered services.
- The pre-existing condition exclusion: This is a provision that may prevent the insurance company from paying for treatment for a medical condition that you had before you purchased the insurance plan.
- The portability: This is the ability to transfer your insurance plan to another insurance company if you move to a different country.
Medical history refers to any past or current medical conditions that you have. This includes any illnesses, injuries, surgeries, or medications that you have taken.
Insurance companies use your medical history to assess your risk of future health problems and to determine the premium you will pay for your insurance policy. If you have a history of pre-existing medical conditions, you may be charged a higher premium or you may not be able to get coverage at all.
Out-patient cover refers to coverage for medical services that do not require an overnight stay in a hospital.
The specific benefits that are covered under out-patient cover will vary depending on the insurance plan. However, some common benefits include:
- Doctor’s visits
- Specialist consultations
- Diagnostic tests (such as blood tests, X-rays, and MRIs)
- Prescription medications
- Emergency room visits
- Ambulance transportation
- Physical therapy
- Mental health services
A provider that does not have a contract with your insurance company and may charge higher rates for services.
Period of Cover
The period of cover refers to the length of time that the insurance policy is valid. This can vary depending on the policy, but it is typically from one month to one year.
The monthly amount that you pay for international health insurance coverage.
The factors that can affect the premium for international health insurance:
- Age: Younger people typically pay lower premiums than older people.
- Health history: People with pre-existing medical conditions may pay higher premiums than people with a clean bill of health.
- Type of coverage: The more comprehensive the coverage, the higher the premium.
- Insurance company: Different insurance companies have different premium rates.
- Area of coverage: The cost of medical care varies from country to country, so the premium will also vary depending on the area of coverage.
Prescription Drug Coverage
The part of your health insurance plan that covers the cost of prescription drugs.
A medical condition that you had before you got international health insurance. Some international health insurance plans may not cover pre-existing conditions or may have a waiting period before covering any medical costs related to the condition.
Psychiatric illness refers to mental health conditions that are covered by the insurance policy. The specific conditions that are covered will vary depending on the policy, but they may include:
- Anxiety disorders
- Bipolar disorder
- Eating disorders
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Substance abuse disorders
A specialist is a doctor who has undergone additional training in a particular medical field. This training allows them to provide more specialized care for patients with complex or chronic conditions.
Types of Specialists:
Cardiologists: They specialize in the heart and blood vessels.
Dermatologists: They specialize in the skin.
Endocrinologists: They specialize in hormones.
Gastroenterologists: They specialize in the digestive system.
Nephrologists: They specialize in the kidneys
Oncologists: They specialize in cancer.
Psychiatrists: They specialize in mental health.
Sub-limits refer to a predetermined cap on the amount of money that the insurance company will pay for certain medical expenses. Sub-limits are typically applied to specific services, such as hospital room and board, surgery, or ambulance transportation.
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