Finding an international insurance plan is not always a simple task, especially when it comes to deciphering all of the terminology. One common term that might cause you confusion but is important to understand while browsing for an insurance plan is insurance provider network. When purchasing an insurance plan you will need to understand what a provider network is and how it will have an effect on your out of pocket expense.
First, let’s look at the basic differences of an HMO and PPO when it comes to an insurance provider network. If your plan is a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) you will need to receive most if not all of your care from a certain network provider. If your plan is a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) you are able to choose from a list of providers and even decide to visit a provider that is not on the list.
When reviewing the coverage of a PPO health insurance plan you will see coverage based upon “in-network” and “out-of-network.” What does this mean? If you stay in-network this means you will be choosing a provider from the insurance provider network. If you go out-of-network you will be choosing an international doctor or hospital that is not on a certain list of contracted providers. Having the option to go out of network allows individuals who have a favorite doctor that is not on the in-network provider list to still visit that provider and receive coverage. However, when a doctor that is not in-network is visited, there is usually a higher out of pocket expense you will be responsible for.
For example, you might see a plan that has a break-down like the following:
In-Network: 100% coverage
Out of Network: 80% coverage up to $5,000
When reviewing different PPO insurance plans for purchase, you will want to check their in-network provider list to ensure that your favorite doctor is on the list if you are not willing to switch. If not, make sure you know what the out of network coverage will be.
If you have any questions regarding what an insurance provider network is or if you are looking for a plan with a certain provider included, feel free to contact us for further more information.
How to Find a Good Local Doctor While Abroad
When moving to a foreign country or booking an international vacation thinking about medical care, and finding a doctor who can take good care of you, is probably the last thing on your mind. When preparing for your trip there are some things you know you need to bring with you: clothes, toiletries, your passport, medications, plane tickets, etc., but what about things to safeguard you in case of a medical emergency? While some travelers feel they are financially covered, either through their major credit card company or their domestic insurance plan, often this coverage is not enough, especially in the case of a medical emergency.