What you need to know about international private medical insurance


— February 01, 2017


What is international private medical insurance ?

International medical insurance provides healthcare cover for individuals, couples and families working and living overseas for more than 1 month. Policies are designed to protect your healthcare needs when you are living abroad. What’s included in your health insurance cover will depend on the plan and provider you choose.

How to Prepare to Move Abroad

APRIL International UK plans insure many nationalities including British, EU and US nationals.

International private medical insurance (iPMI) can also be called international health insurance , global health insurance or expat health insurance.

Why do you need it?

If you can answer “yes” to any of the following:

  • You are an expat working overseas
  • You are about to spend more than one month in a country where you may not know about their healthcare system or where you can get treatment
  • You are planning on moving abroad to start a new life

Then you could benefit from international private medical insurance.

There’s certainly no comfort in discovering that you really need protection after you have fallen ill and are without access to possible lifesaving medical treatment; or are facing the burden of a large bill for treatment.

Protect your health with overseas medical insurance

Many people are unaware of how expensive healthcare can be around the world.

If you ever needed to use a healthcare system abroad, you could end up thousands of pounds out of pocket as some systems are simply much more expensive than people think.

That’s why it’s important to have an international health insurance plan in place if you live or work abroad.

By covering yourself with international medical insurance , you benefit from the peace of mind that you are covered financially if a health problem ever arises.

What does it cover?

Every international health insurance plan is different depending on the type of cover and the provider.

A fully comprehensive expat health insurance plan can cover everything from in-patient and out-patient treatment, cancer treatment, new chronic conditions, HIV/aids benefit, emergency medical evacuation benefits and war zone cover. Some plans may also cover dental care, optical care and maternity, or may provide these as an optional extra.

What’s the difference between international private health insurance and travel insurance?

Although they both provide you with peace of mind, they have slightly different purposes.

Travel insurance, often referred to as ‘holiday insurance’, is suitable for those who wish to insure themselves for trips or holidays for a limited period. Whereas international health insurance plans are designed to cover you for time periods of one month or more. The main difference is; travel insurance policies will only cover you for medical emergencies and will not pay for treatment that can wait until you return to your home country, but international health insurance plans allow you to receive treatment in non-emergency situations in the country you are living in.

How to apply

The application process is different depending on the insurance provider. But usually you will have the option to apply by phone and, in some cases, online.

You may also need to fill in a medical questionnaire to make the insurance provider aware of any existing health conditions.

To make it as easy as possible for you to apply, you can apply either on our website or by calling +44 (0) 203 418 0470.

How it works

Once you have your expat medical insurance policy in place, your chosen insurer should provide you with the information you need to make a claim. The claims process is different for each provider. For example, the APRIL International UK claims process for long-term, short-term and student plans is outlined here. For group plan claims, please contact us.

Please note: waiting periods may apply to policies or to benefits of a policy. Please see policy documentation for more information.

How much does it cost?

The cost of each expatriate health insurance plan differs depending on the provider, the type of plan, the period of cover and what is covered in the plan. To make it as easy as possible for you, you can get a quick quote from our website by visiting one of our product pages. Below are some examples of costs:

  • For a single 24 year old moving from the UK to Spain for 6 months it would cost £300.00 for basic cover on the Short Term Plan.
  • For a married couple both aged 34 years old with one child aged 5 and in full-time education moving from the UK to Belgium long-term it would cost £2,591.41 for one year on the basic International Plan with no excess.
  • For a 19 year old with no pre-existing conditions moving from the UK to study in Germany it would cost £360 for 12 months cover.

(All rates correct at September 2016).

Our plans

We have 4 different types of global health insurance plans designed to meet a wide variety of needs whether you are living, working, studying or travelling abroad. Our plans are outlined below:

  • Long-term plan: for those living or moving abroad and seeking cover for one year or more. This solution is for individuals, couples and families and is available in 4 levels of cover allowing you to choose a plan with benefits to suit your needs.
  • Short-term plan: for individuals, couples or families living overseas from 1 to 12months. This plan is suited to travellers, as well as those working abroad for short periods of time.
  • Student plan: for those studying abroad. This plan is available for up to 12 months with the option to extend the cover, once the 12 months is up.
  • Group plan: for businesses looking to cover employees who are working abroad. This plan is available in 4 levels of cover, allowing you to tailor the plan to suit you or your employee’s needs.

Additional services

At APRIL International UK, we believe in pushing the boundaries of what an international health insurance provider can to do for its clients. That is why we provide these three additional services that go beyond the basic definition of health insurance - at no extra cost:

  • Best Doctors: An expert second medical opinion service
  • Red 24: providing assistance to help you in the event of a crisis and to alert you if risk levels change in your location
  • The Blood Care Foundation: providing properly screened blood worldwide in an emergency