International health cover? What does it mean ?

by MANON │on AUGUST, 05│ 2012

     You never understand things about insurance? And now you need to choose an international health insurance? It’s not so complicate; you just need to be clear about the difference between French and universal insurance …

A health insurance is insurance against the risk of incurring medical expenses among individuals. All around the world the definition stay the same, conditions change. 

In international health insurance there are two types of coverage: one including the U.S and the other without U.S because the medical system in there is very expensive compared other countries. International Health Cover uses to deal with a lot of French expatriates in Shanghai and around China and so let us explain some differences between a French coverage and a universal one.

In France, the national system of health insurance is pretty old because it was instituted in 1945, just after the end of the Second World War. In 2000, the World Health Organization found that France provided the "best overall health care" in the world. Approximately 77% of health expenditures are covered by government funded agencies. After paying the doctor's or dentist's fee, a proportion is reimbursed. This is around 75 to 80%, but can be as much as 85%. The balance is effectively a co-payment paid by the patient but it can also be recovered if the patient pays a regular premium to a voluntary health insurance scheme. There are a lot of private health insurances and is not easy to choose which one it fits you. For that, you can find free international health insurance advice: International Health Cover.

Why is it important to subscribe insurance? Because everybody is exposed to various health hazards and medical emergency can fall upon anyone without any prior warning or time for preparation and it could be very expensive.

In France insurances offer several plans offering a broad range of benefits from hospitalization to prescribed medicines, visits to doctors, specialists, ambulances through to dental and optical cover. French people likes the system called “1er euro” or “first euro” which means that insurance pays for everything at anytime. For an international cover it’s different you can choose plans covering hospitalization, visits to doctors and drugs (the ‘out patient’), dental expenses and maternity costs but even if you take a plan covering everything you will pay a deductible (per year or per medical condition) or a coinsurance (for dental care) depending the price of the offer.

One criterion very important when you’ll choose your insurance is to know if you want the cashless system. With cashless health plans, you do not need to settle the bill with the hospital as long as the hospital is in the network of the insurance company you are associated with. A representative from your health insurance company gets in touch with the hospital to settle the bill.  In France this system is available only for the 75% or 80% health expenditures covered by government funded agencies but at the international it works if the hospital and the insurance company are associated. It’s another important criterion to choose the good health insurance.

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