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Local and International Health Insurance. Which One is Right for You?

When dealing with health insurance around the world it is important to understand that there are two major types of coverage available in most countries. These are:

  • Local Health Insurance
  • International Health Insurance

While both the local and international variants are designed to protect you against the high costs of medical treatment, the ways in which they will actually do this are substantially different.

Understanding the positives and negatives of a Local medical insurance policy when compared to an international medical insurance policy will be beneficial to helping you find the best coverage possible.

What Is Local Health Insurance?

Local health insurance is the type of health insurance which most people around the world will be familiar with. Simply put, local medical insurance plans are designed to protect an individual within the borders of a single country.

If you buy a health insurance plan in a country like America, for example, there is a very high probability that the plan will be a local one. Consequently that policy will only cover you within the borders of the USA. In the event that you went outside the USA, if you held a local policy, you would have to buy a new plan to cover you while you were overseas.

What Is International Health Insurance

International health insurance plans will normally provide coverage to the policyholder on a worldwide basis. This means that an international health insurance policy will usually be able to protect you no matter where on earth you may be.

Because an international health insurance plan offers global protection, it does not matter where you may be located, you have international protection and the freedom to seek quality medical treatment as and when you need it. Furthermore, in many cases, your international health insurance policy can travel with you should you relocate to a new country, meaning that a single policy can protect both you and your loved ones no matter where you may go.

Are there any other differences outside the coverage area?

While the area of coverage under a local health insurance plan and an international health insurance is the main difference in these two types of health insurance coverage, there are a number of other differences in how these plans operate:

Premiums in Local and International Health Insurance

Premiums are a major place for divergence with Local and International health insurance plans.

Local health insurance policies are typically history, or experience rated. This means that your premium will normally be tied to the number and severity of claims which you may make under the plan. As such, when first purchasing a local health insurance plan the premium can seem to be extremely attractive. This is because you have no “history” under the policy, and will not have submitted a claim.

As soon as you submit a claim under a local health insurance policy it is normal that your premium will rise significantly when you go to renew the plan. This is because you now have “history” under the plan and present more of a risk, which is then factored into your premium.

International health insurance plans, on the other hand, are normally community rated. This simply means that all people with the same plan, in the same coverage area, of the same age, will generally pay exactly the same premium as each other. Their claims history or “experience” under the policy will not normally impact their premium with an international health insurance plan.

For more information about premiums please click Global Health Insurance Premiums.

Renewing a Local and International Health Insurance Plan

Making sure that you are able to renew your coverage, and ensuring that your health insurance policy will protect you for as long as you need it to, is a core concern of any insurance plan. However, there are some major differences in Local and International Health Insurance plans when it comes to the “Renewability” of your policy.

Generally, Local health insurance plan will place an age limit on your ability to renew your coverage. Often between 65 – 70 years, once you are a certain age many local health insurance policies will no longer provide you with a renewal of your policy. This is extremely concerning, especially in light of the fact that individuals will become more prone to developing a severe illness as they age. If you have developed such a condition, and are no longer able to renew your coverage, then you will likely have to cover the costs of your vital medical treatment out-of-pocket.

In contrast to this, an International Health Insurance policy will generally be guaranteed renewable for life. This means that no matter how old you may be, as long as you wish to renew your coverage you will normally be allowed to do so, ensuring that you have the comprehensive and extensive medical insurance protection you deserve for the entirety of your life.

Receiving Medical Treatment under Local and International Health Insurance

Most international health insurance plans on offer through CCW Global Insurance Brokers will enable you to receive medical treatment with the doctor or hospital of your choice, anywhere in the world. This is an aspect of an International plan’s worldwide coverage.

Should you hold an international health insurance policy, in the event that you fall sick you can select which doctor will treat you, even if that doctor may be located in a completely different country! An International plan will allow you to choose your treatment, ensuring that you always receive medical care which you are comfortable with.

Local health insurance policies, on the other hand, will often restrict where you are able to receive your treatment. As previously mentioned local policies will limit you to healthcare treatment within the country where you purchased the plan; but even more than this a local plan will often require you to receive your healthcare at a specific hospital or with a specific doctor, even if they are not the best.

Coverage Limits on Local and International Health Insurance Plans

When you purchase a health insurance policy you will want to make certain that your plan will be able to give you the protection you need. Understanding the Insurance Coverage Limits of your policy is, consequently, vital.

In general terms, International health insurance policies are normally able to provide significantly higher coverage limits than their local alternatives. In many cases the coverage available under an international health insurance policy will normally be above US$ 1,000,000 and CCW can provide international insurance options which have no limits.

Local policies will usually have coverage at much lower limits than the international variants. Furthermore, while most health insurance plans (whether local or international) will have Coverage Exclusions,  Local policies will generally have far more exclusions than International policies.

Free Local and International Health Insurance Quotes

If you would like to receive a free quote for either a local or international health insurance plan please complete the short form at the top of this page. If you would like to learn more about the quotes you will receive from CCW Global please click Our Health Insurance Quotes.

Our expert global health insurance brokers are able to help assist you with all of your global health insurance questions. If you would like to receive more details about the differences between local and international health insurance options please Contact Us today!

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