Medical care in India might be cheap when compared to first-world nations. However, as an expatriate in the country, it is always a wise option to buy a health insurance policy. Investing in a good policy will prevent any extra expenditures. A health plan will also protect you and your family in medical emergencies like injuries and accidents. It is especially helpful if you have a pre-existing condition that you are undergoing treatment for.
If you are staying in India for a short duration, consider buying a travel insurance policy. A travel health insurance policy is usually valid for shorter durations. Such policies cover the costs of emergency treatments and emergency evacuation mainly. However, if you are planning to stay for a longer duration, it is advisable to buy a private health insurance policy from an Indian insurer or invest in an international healthcare plan.
Health Insurance for Expats:
Travelling to a new country comes with its own challenges. However, in the adjusting phase do not forget the importance of healthcare. A medical emergency can befall upon anyone, anytime. In such cases, a health insurance policy will help you stay prepared financially.
Often employers provide health covers for the employee and any family member travelling to the country. In case, your employer doesn't provide a health insurance policy, you can buy one yourself. India has a plethora of insurance providers and each come with varying offers. You can choose from different plans and pick the one that fits your needs.
International Insurance vs. Travel Insurance:
Though it is common to confuse travel insurance with international insurance, both are very different in nature and coverage. Here are some distinct differences between the two:
|Travel Insurance||International Insurance|
|Duration||Short term||Long term|
International insurance policies have various benefits and are very customizable in nature. It allows the policyholder to receive medical treatment in any part of the world. The same feature makes it very flexible in nature.
Travel insurance is ideal if you are travelling for a shorter duration. Such policies usually have a higher sum insured since the policy period in short. Travel insurance policies cover evacuation charges in case the medical needs of the policyholder can’t be met in the foreign country.
International insurance policies are usually more suitable for expats due the renewability feature, long-term duration, and comprehensive coverage.
When to Buy the Policy?
It is advisable to opt for a policy few months ahead of moving abroad. Since the insurance company requires relevant documents and other necessary paperwork, starting the process a couple of months in advance will fasten the whole procedure. The sooner you start the process, the sooner you’ll get health cover in the new country.
If you choose to buy an insurance policy after moving to India, make sure that it provides the necessary coverage. Even if you already have an insurance policy provided by your employer, consider investing in add-on covers like dental and vision, emergency evacuation, and maternity among other things.
Important Points to Remember While Buying a Health Policy:
When buying a policy keep the following points in mind to ensure that all your needs are covered:
- Check if the claims are on a cashless basis or on reimbursement basis. Cashless facility can be very beneficial in a foreign country and hence, make sure your policy contains that.
- Insurers provide cashless facilities only in their network hospitals. Therefore, make sure to choose an insurer with a wide network of hospitals.
- Before buying a policy, invest some time in research. Compare plans from different insurers to find the best deal.
- It is important to check the plan’s sum insured. A lower value might not cover all your medical expenses while a very high sum insured will increase your premiums.
- Read the finer details of the policy document to prevent any confusions during the claim.