Expat's Manual

Health insurance policies can be a minefield of technical jargon and small print. In order to help you to identify a policy that is right for your needs we have put together a medical insurance glossary that you can use to navigate the insurance maze.

Accidental Death and Dismemberment- Benefits paid as a result of the insured death or loss of a major body part. In the case of the former, any payouts will be paid to the beneficiary.

Benefits- The amount payable by the insurance provider in the event a claim is made.

Beneficiary- The person or persons who is designated to receive the proceeds of a claim in the event of death of the insured.

Co-Insurance/Co-Pay- This refers to the amount that the insured pays over and above the deductible or excess. If the policy states that the co-insurance is 30%, this means that the insured will be required to pay 30% of any fees generated, while the insurance company will pay the remaining 70%.

Deductible (Excess)- This is the amount that the insured will be required to pay towards their healthcare costs in the event of a claim. This can be an amount payable per year or something you will be required to pay for each claim.

Emergency medical evacuation- This refers to any expenses that may be incurred as a result of a need to send an injured or ill person back to their home country or somewhere where medical help can be accessed. People often take out additional insurance to cover this type of cost as international medical insurance often limits coverage to costs up to $50,000. Emergency medical evacuation may exceed this cost.

Expenses- This covers what types of services the insurance provider will be prepared to pay for. Typically they include surgery, hospital care, doctor and clinical services, x-rays, tests, prescription costs and other treatments. Expenses will vary according to the type of medical insurance you have.

Exclusions- Exclusions are the expenses (services) that are not covered by the policy. Typical exclusions are treatment for any existing health issues and treatment for health problems caused by participation in dangerous activities or drug taking.

Hazardous Sports Coverage- Coverage for any medical expenses that arise as a result of participation in a hazardous sport or activity is often excluded from the medical insurance.

Insured- The person who is insured under the policy.

Maximum Policy Coverage- This refers to the maximum amount of money that the insurer will pay for any claims.

Premiums- This is the total cost of the expatriate medical insurance. Premiums may be charged on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis, depending upon the policy itself. Premiums for travel insurance will generally be payable immediately, upon organization of the insurance.

Pre-existing Condition- Any medical condition that the insured has prior to taking out the medical insurance. Some medical insurance does not cover pre-existing conditions and, if this is the case, they will be termed pre-existing condition exclusions.

Primary Coverage- A plan that provides coverage without regard for any other insurance policies held by the insured.

Travel Assistance- This is not considered to be medical insurance and will not cover medical costs in the event of any emergency. Travel assistance generally refers to services that you may require in the event that you encounter issues while you are traveling. It covers areas such as mutli-lingual customer service, passport and visa assistance and other types of help that traveler may need. It is important to note, however, that although access to services is free of charge, the services themselves often are not. For example, in the event that a customer needs an emergency translator, they will be introduced to one through the travel assistance insurance but will have to pay for the services of that translator at a later date.

Repatriation benefits- These relate to any costs that arise as a result of the requirement to send someone who has died back to their home country.

Secondary Coverage- Anyone who has a secondary coverage plan is required to also have a primary coverage plan. The secondary coverage plan only covers expenses that are not already covered by the primary plan.

Bookmark this medical insurance glossary and refer to it when trying to find a medical insurance policy for you and your family.

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