An important question to ask before purchasing your international insurance plan is, “what is the procedure if I want to use my plan?” Whether you are looking for a travel or international health insurance, you’ll want to know how much you will pay out-of-pocket before the plan covers you and also how claims are paid. This will determine if you will pay the full service fee up front or whether you will just pay your out-of-pocket expenses.
Most international insurance plans do not have an international network outside the US. Depending on the plan, claims are generally paid 2 ways:
- The insurance company will pay directly to the doctor or hospital
- You will pay for the treatment and be reimbursed
Some insurance plans may not have an international network, but may still reach out to your doctor or hospital to pay directly. Some companies have an international network where you can find nearby hospitals or doctors that they have previously worked with and recommend. Other companies have a client relations phone number you can reach, and they will work with you to find a local provider.
This may not be as important for a doctor visit – but knowing how your plan works in case of something major, like hospitalization or a medical evacuation, can save you thousands of dollars (or its equivalent) up front.
We recommend that you call your customer service representative to find out the procedure for the policy you are interested in.