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Below you will find answers to the most frequently asked questions about travel insurance and international health insurance. If the answer to your question is not listed, simply contact us!
International health insurance is generally aimed at people who are living abroad temporarily or permanently and for whom it is not foreseeable when or even if they will return to the country of origin. This primarily includes digital nomads, emigrants, long-term travellers, remote workers and so-called expatriates (employees sent by employers). Although it is sometimes possible for this group of people to take out health insurance with a local insurance company in their “new home country”, this is often not so easy. International health insurance is particularly recommended when changing countries or in countries with no or inadequate state healthcare systems.
International health insurance offers comprehensive cover for medical emergencies that may occur abroad. As a “private patient”, you benefit from access to and treatment in high-quality medical facilities and by medical specialists in various countries. The benefits are generally (depending on the tariff selected) much more comprehensive than those offered by statutory health insurers in the country of origin. Depending on the desired requirements, preventive check-ups, vaccinations, pregnancies and dental services are included as standard. Comprehensive assistance services as well as valuable additional modules such as international liability, legal expenses, death benefit or daily sickness allowance insurance round off the range of benefits and make international health insurance an indispensable insurance product during a long-term stay abroad. In most cases, normal international health insurance only offers limited insurance cover for people travelling abroad.
It is not possible to make a general statement here, as the amount of the premium depends, for instance, on:
- the age of the insured person (the premium increases with increasing age, as, for example, unlike with German private health insurance, no old-age provisions exist)
- the condition of health (as a rule, a health check is required at the time of application)
- the desired country/countries of entry (different country zones due to widely differing healthcare costs)
- the selected tariff (e.g. basic cover or “premium” insurance cover)
- any agreed deductible option (the higher the deductible, the lower the premium)
- general premium increases due to unfavourable claims experience in the respective country zone of the country of entry
There are both temporary and permanent policies. This depends on the respective insurer or tariff selected.
Yes, as a rule you are insured for between 6 weeks and 6 months (depending on the provider), including all benefits in your home country (depending on the country zone of the country of entry and the country zone of the home country)
This depends on the respective insurer and the selected tariff. There is usually a maximum entry age up to which you can take out insurance. However, once you are insured, the insurance is usually valid “on request” for life (insurance guarantee).
No, it is not possible for the insurer to cancel the policy due to excessively high medical costs. Only the premiums can be increased or adjusted due to an unfavourable claims experience for all insured persons.
Before travelling, everything must always be precisely organised and planned. While you usually have to take out international travel insurance before you leave the country, international health insurance can also be taken out when you are already abroad. This does not result in any disadvantages in terms of medical care.
This depends on the insurer and the chosen tariff. As a rule, however, all benefits can be utilised after taking out the policy. The insurance cover takes effect from the first day. Depending on the provider, there are certain benefits that can only be claimed after a so-called waiting period (e.g. pregnancy or dental benefits).
In contrast to German statutory health insurance, where the spouse and children are usually automatically insured with a main earner (1 main insured person), international health insurance charges a separate premium for each family member. The sum of all individual premiums is therefore the total premium. However, there are providers who offer a family premium (e.g. free co-insurance from the third child or similar) or discounted rates.
The deductible is the amount you pay for treatment yourself. International health insurance companies generally offer different excess levels (e.g. 0 euros, 250 euros, 500 euros, 1000 euros, etc.).
The expressions “travel health insurance” and “international health insurance” are often confused.
The following “rule” applies for a clear distinction:
– Travel health insurance is health insurance for travelling and stays abroad of up to one year. For your information: classic travel insurance policies are usually limited to a few weeks (per trip) and are valid for any number of trips during a year.
– International health insurance, on the other hand, is health insurance for trips and stays abroad of more than one year.
– However, there are also long-term tariffs for international health insurance that allow stays abroad of several years (up to a maximum of 5 years) and also offer a very good price-performance ratio. These are specially developed for travellers and generally only offer limited cover for medical emergencies and unexpected events. These often include accidents, theft, loss of luggage and cancellations. Preventive medical check-ups, vaccinations etc. and treatment by private doctors are not included.
Many people believe that they are well covered by their statutory health insurance against possible medical expenses abroad. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Although the statutory health insurance funds cover costs in the event of illness when travelling, this is only the case if the damage occurs within the countries with which a social agreement exists. These include almost all European countries. When travelling outside these countries, there is no insurance cover in the event of illness beyond the statutory health insurance. For this reason alone, international health insurance is indispensable. However, even in countries with social agreements, medical costs are not always fully covered by statutory health insurance. Health insurance companies bill services according to the respective fee schedules. These are sometimes not standardised. This means that the traveller alone must pay for any difference in costs that may arise. Depending on the tariff, international health insurance would cover the full costs. In the event of illness or accidents during a stay abroad, it often happens that the sick person has to be transported back to the country of origin for medical reasons. This is generally not covered by statutory health insurance. These costs can sometimes be very high. Depending on the situation and tariff, international health insurance will also cover these costs.
In the case of repatriation to the home country, “medically necessary” is understood to mean – as is usual in many health insurers’ terms and conditions – if there would be a lack of medical care locally (in the destination country) for the existing medical condition.
Repatriation is “medically reasonable” if – apart from the question of medical care on site – repatriation to the home environment can promote or accelerate recovery from a psychological or social point of view. As experience shows that sick people prefer to be treated in their home environment, the extended criterion of “medically advisable” directly serves the well-being of the patient in all cases known to us.reasonable