FAQ

  • 1. HOW DO I APPLY FOR COVER WITH HEALTHCARE INTERNATIONAL?

    If you require international medical insurance for you or your dependents, you can complete a secure online application.

    For corporate or group enquiries, just send an email to info@swissinsuranceonline.com  and we will guide you through the process.

    You have the option of completing and submitting the form to us online, or alternatively to request that we send or fax the application form to you, so that you may print it out, complete and sign it and forward it to us.

    We will contact you to confirm that your application has been received and over the next few days your application will be processed. Subject to your application's acceptance, we will send you your member’s pack, normally within 7-10 working days of your policy number being issued. If you apply on our website, we will also require a signed copy of your application before we can pay for any of your claims made against your plan.

  • 2. WHEN DOES COVER UNDER HEALTHCARE INTERNATIONAL BEGIN?

    You can apply for cover within 30 days of the date you would like your policy to start (inception date).

    Once received, we will process your application based on the information you have provided us. An application with no pre-existing medical conditions can be processed immediately and a policy number issued within 48 hours.

    If you have a declared medical history, your policy will be assessed by our underwriting team. This process usually takes 5 working days, as we consider each application on its own merit.

    Once your premiums have been received and a policy number has been issued, a member is covered as per the benefits of the plan that they have selected.

  • 3. DO I NEED TO SUPPLY DETAILS OF MY MEDICAL HISTORY?

    Yes - We ask you to complete a simple medical questionnaire, and do our utmost to keep any restrictions placed against past medical conditions to an absolute minimum. Providing detailed information about an existing or past medical condition will help us to realistically evaluate treatment you may require in the future. This will help to ensure that you do not find yourself with unnecessary restrictions.

  • 4. WHAT ABOUT PRE-EXISTING MEDICAL CONDITIONS?

    At HealthCare International we appreciate that some medical conditions may have taken place some time ago and no longer require treatment. In such cases we will try to be as flexible as possible in our underwriting and not automatically exclude past medical conditions. For this reason, it is important that you provide as much information as possible when applying for cover so that we can properly evaluate your application.

    A pre-exisiting condition includes an injury, illness, condition or symptom:

    for which treatment, or medication, or advice, or diagnosis has been sought or received or was foreseeable by You in the five (5) years prior to the commencement of the Policy for You or the Insured Person concerned, or
    which originated or was known to exist by You, or the Insured Person, in the five (5) years prior to the commencement of the Policy whether or not treatment, or medication, or advice, or diagnosis was sought or received.
    It is a condition of this Policy that any illness or condition that would cause you to make a claim, that occurred between the time of signing and submitting the application to the insurance company, will be considered as a pre-existing medical condition.

  • 5. WHAT IS A MORATORIUM POLICY?

    Medical treatment for a Pre-existing Condition or related condition, unless a period of 24 months continuous insurance with HealthCare International has passed, during which time you have not received or needed treatment or medication, or sought advice for the condition.

    For Pre-existing Cancer and Cardiac conditions, this period is extended and benefits will only become available once a period of 5-years continuous insurance with HealthCare International has passed, during which time the you have not received or needed treatment or medication, or sought advice for the condition.

  • 6. WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO APPLY FOR COVER?

    Almost everyone can select international medical insurance cover with HealthCare International. Our plans are tailored for expatriates only, and a new member must join before their 75th birthday. Renewing your cover each year entitles a member to be covered for life.

  • 7. ARE THERE ANY OCCUPATIONS THAT ARE NOT ELIGIBLE TO TAKE OUR COVER?

    Yes - There are some professions, such as members of police and army forces, and sports professionals which require underwriting evaluations and are subject to plan conditions and restrictions. For further information please contact us at enquiries@healthcareinternational.com.

  • 8. IN WHICH COUNTRIES CAN I HAVE MY TREATMENT?

    You can choose to have your treatment anywhere in the world, subject to the benefit limitations of your chosen plan.

    You can elect to be covered for either full treatment in the USA or worldwide cover excluding the USA. Selecting a plan that excludes USA cover means a member is only covered for accidents and emergencies whilst traveling in the USA. This emergency cover is limited for a period of up to 90 days per visit to the USA, and for a total treatment period of 60 days per year.

    To be covered in the USA, you will need to choose a plan that includes full USA cover. This means that you can claim for all benefits. A USA inclusive plan is required for any member residing in the United States for more than 90 days per policy year.

  • 9. WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I RETURN TO MY HOME COUNTRY?

    We understand that many of our members living abroad occasionally return home for short visits and you will continue to be covered by your HealthCare International medical plan. As our plans are tailored for expatriates you must be living abroad from your home country for at least 6 months each policy year.

  • 10. WHAT DOES "HOME COUNTRY" MEAN?

    Your Home Country is where you are expatriated (your country of origin/nationality).

  • 11. WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I CHANGE MY ADDRESS?

    It is not necessary to inform us of brief travels out of your country of residence. However, any permanent change to your details should be communicated to us as soon as possible. We need to be able to inform you of any ongoing developments with your policy and provide you with updated correspondence.

    N.B. You will also be able to change this on our website from early 2008.

  • 12. WHEN CAN I CHANGE THE DETAILS OF MY POLICY?

    Any changes to your policy can be made upon annual renewal. If this is the case, you will need to inform us within 30 days of your renewal date. If you are changing your level of cover, you will still have to serve any applicable waiting periods for certain benefits.

  • 13. WHAT HAPPENS WHEN MY POLICY IS DUE FOR RENEWAL?

    Although you do not have to do anything, as your policy will automaticaly renew, we will contact you prior to the renewal date of your policy and inform you of the premium for the upcoming year. This will be sent to your last address, unless we have been updated with a new address. We will provide information should there be any changes to your benefit option, and we are able to assist you in determining that the plan option you originally chose is still suitable for your circumstances.

    Should your circumstances require that you cancel your policy with us, we need to receive written notification from you 60 days prior to the end date of your policy.

  • 14. WHAT HAPPENS IF I DON’T PAY MY PREMIUMS ON TIME?

    It is important that your premiums are paid on time to ensure you have no interruption to your coverage. Failure to pay your premiums on time may result in your claims being rejected, and/or your policy being cancelled.

  • 15. CAN I BE COVERED IN THE USA?

    All our plans have the option of including or excluding cover in the USA.

    Selecting a plan that excludes USA cover will result in a member only being covered for accidents and emergencies whilst traveling in the USA. This emergency cover is for visits of up to 90 days per policy year, and for a total treatment period of 60 days per year. A plan that excludes full USA treatment does not cover for emergency medical evacuation to the USA.

    Selecting a plan inclusive of USA cover is required for any member who resides in the USA. This will result in a member being fully covered in the USA according to the plan benefits that they have selected. A plan that includes full USA cover will also allow you to be evacuated to the USA for emergency medical treatment, and to claim for elective treatments.

  • 16. WHAT ABOUT TREATMENT IN THE USA?

    Treatment in the USA can be included under any HealthCare International medical plan for up to 100% of the costs. This is subject to the deductible level being reached and to the plan and benefit limits.

    ALL our plans do ensure that should you fall ill or have an accident and need emergency treatment whilst travelling in the USA, 100% of all eligible claims will be covered. Accident and emergency treatment is determined by HealthCare International as having been essential and which could not reasonably have been delayed until the patient’s returned to his/her normal country of residence.

  • 17. DOES EVERYONE IN THE SAME FAMILY HAVE THE SAME LEVEL OF COVER?

    Yes - you and your dependents will be covered on the same plan with the same chosen deductible. A premium applies for each insured member.

  • 18. DOES MY INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL PLAN COVER ME FOR HOLIDAY CANCELLATION DUE TO ILLNESS OR INJURY?

    No - the medical plan does not cover this benefit. However, Holiday Cancellation, as well as protection for other unforeseen traveling incidents, is available on our Annual Travel Plan.

  • 19. WHAT DOCUMENTS WILL I RECEIVE FROM HEALTHCARE INTERNATIONAL WHEN I TAKE OUT A POLICY?

    Once your cover has been confirmed you will receive a membership folder containing details of your chosen plan. The documents included are your certificate of insurance, details of our 24 hour emergency assistance service, claim instructions and claim forms, list of useful contacts, and additional information concerning general health and medical matters.

    Each member is provided a unique membership card detailing your policy number, plan option and our contact details, including the 24 hour emergency hotline.

  • 20. MANY INSURANCE SCHEMES EXCLUDE TREATMENT FOR HIV/AIDS. IS THIS THE CASE WITH HEALTHCARE INTERNATIONAL?

    No - unlike other insurance companies, HealthCare International does not exclude treatment for HIV/AIDS. We provide cover for HIV/AIDS under all our plans (subject to terms and conditions). We also include cover for Chronic and Dread Disease.

  • 21. HOW MUCH WILL A HEALTHCARE INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL INSURANCE POLICY COST?

    The cost of international medical insurance cover with HealthCare International will vary depending on a member’s age, the plan selected, the deductible and any co-pay chosen. In the first instance, our online Fast Quote will calculate the premiums for you.

  • 22. HOW DOES THE DEDUCTIBLE WORK?

    The deductible now only applies to some benefits, such as In-Patient, Life-saving Organ Transplants, Emergency Evacuation and Repatriation.

    This means that you will pay the deductible each time you claim for a new event. An example of a seperate "event" could be breaking your arm in June and then having a heart attack in November. This counts as two events and you will have to pay the deductible twice.

    If your treatment continues after your policy year has ended (provided your policy has been renewed) then you do not have to pay a deductible again for that treatment (unlike many providers who charge the deductible again).

    Depending on your chosen plan, the Out-Patient benefits are not subject to the deductible. Only the Co-Pay amount needs to be settled, if one is applied to that particuliar benefit of the plan.

  • 23. WILL HEALTHCARE INTERNATIONAL EVER REFUSE TO RENEW A POLICY, SIMPLY BECAUSE A CLAIM HAS BEEN MADE?

    Absolutely not. No matter the number of claims made, as long as your premiums are paid and you have not misled us in any way, cover will remain in force.

  • 24. DOES HEALTHCARE INTERNATIONAL LIMIT THE AMOUNT THAT CAN BE CLAIMED FOR HOSPITAL ACCOMMODATION?

    No - Each plan covers 100% costs for Hospital Treatment and Accommodation subject to the plan limits. However, except in an emergency, treatment and accommodation must be pre-authorised and are subject to the specified levels of cover of each plan.

  • 25. ARE OUTPATIENT TREATMENTS AND CONSULTATIONS COVERED?

    Out-patient treatment and consultations are fully covered under our HealthCare Premium and HealthCare Executive Plans up to the benefit maximum. Under our HealthCare Plus Plan, a $1,000, €1,000 or £650 limit per annum applies depending on your chosen plan currency. Outpatient treatments and consultations are not covered for the Standard or Emergency Plus plans.

  • 26. MAY I INCLUDE COVER FOR ALTERNATIVE OR COMPLIMENTARY MEDICAL TREATMENT?

    Yes - Our Executive Plan focuses on a more holistic approach to your total healthcare, including benefits of chiropractic treatments, osteopathy, Chinese herbal medicine, homeopathy and acupuncture up to a benefit limit of $400, €400 or £265 per policy year depending on your chosen plan currency.

  • 27. WHAT HAPPENS IN THE EVENT OF A SUDDEN ILLNESS OR ACCIDENT IN A PLACE WHERE MEDICAL FACILITIES ARE LIMITED?

    Emergency medical evacuations are covered under all HealthCare International Plans. Should necessary and immediate hospitalisation or local treatment be unavailable, our 24 Hour Emergency Assistance Service will arrange for you to be evacuated to the nearest facility where appropriate treatment can be provided. All HealthCare International Plans will also pay to arrange for a member of the patient's family to travel to the medical facility where they are receiving treatment should hospitalisation be expected to last more than 10 days.

  • 28. WHAT MUST I DO IF I NEED TO BE EVACUATED TO A MEDICAL FACILITY?

    In the event that local medical facilities are unable to cope with your condition, you or your treating practitioner need to contact our 24 Hour Emergency Assistance Centre immediately to advise us of your condition. We will then make the necessary arrangements on your behalf, and arrange for you to be evacuated to the nearest facility where you can be treated.

  • 29. WHO PROVIDES HEALTHCARE INTERNATIONAL'S EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE SERVICE?

    Our 24-hour International Emergency Assistance is provided by HCI 24/7, one of the world's leading and most experienced international emergency assistance organisations. With correspondents & doctors all over the world, HealthCare International is always on hand to help you when you need us most.

  • 30. DO I HAVE A CHOICE WHERE MY MEDICAL TREATMENT IS PROVIDED?

    Members have complete choice where they have their treatment, and in the event of hospitilsation we will arrange for direct settlement with your provider - avoiding the need to pay any expenses yourself.

    Treatment in the USA is only applicable if you have selected any plan that includes full cover.

  • 31. WHAT DO I NEED TO DO WHEN I REQUIRE NON-EMERGENCY MEDICAL TREATMENT?

    Arrange for your treatment with your physician as per usual.

    We require a claims form to be completed for each treatment event. It is a two part form, requiring both you and your treating physician to complete designated sections. It is best that you take this form with you to your appointment.

    Once your treatment is complete, forward this form along with the original bills/invoices to our claims department for reimbursement.

    In-patient treatment is treatment received in a hospital where you or your insured dependant are admitted as a registered in-patient and occupy a bed for one or more nights.

    Should you require in-patient treatment, contact the claims department prior to your admission so that they can preauthorise your procedure. Where possible we will arrange for your medical bills to be sent to our claims department for direct settlement of your bill, avoiding the need to pay any out of pocket expenses yourself.

  • 32. IS PREGNANCY AND MATERNITY CARE COVERED?

    Maternity Care and Pregnancy benefits are provided on the HealthCare Standard, Plus, Premium and Executive Plan. A 12 month waiting period applies to this benefit.

  • 33. WHAT MATERNITY BENEFITS ARE COVERED?

    Routine Maternity is covered on all plans, except the Emergency Plus Plan. We pay 100% of reasonable and customary charges for inpatient and outpatient treatment, subject to a $25,000 (€25,000 or £16,600) limit for the Executive and Premium Plans, and a $3,000 (€3,000 or £2,000) limit for the Standard and Plus plans.

    Under the Standard, Plus, Premium and Executive Plans, we also pay for complications of Pregnancy and Childbirth. You are covered for treatment of a medical condition which arises during the antenatal stages of pregnancy, or for complications that require a recognised obstetric procedure during childbirth. Cover is only provided for caesarean sections required on medical grounds.

    For the Standard and Plus plans, this benefit is limited to $10,000 (€10,000 or £6,600) for each pregnancy. For the Premium and Executive Plans, this benefit is limited to the plan maximum of the policy.

    Investigations into infertility and elective caesarean is not covered.

    There is a 12 month waiting period for pregnancy benefits, all of which require pre-certification before we authorise to pay the costs.

  • 34. Is dental treatment covered?

    Yes - Dental is available as an optonal extra and is included within the Executive Plan. This benefit provides for preventative and routine dental cover and includes, subject to policy limits, the cost of dental crowns, bridges, dentures and implants.

  • 35. Are Sporting activities covered?

    With the exception of injuries sustained as a direct result of being a professional sportsman, there are no exclusions relating to usual sporting activities unless specifically noted by HealthCare International in writing.

  • 36. What must I do if I require emergency in-patient treatment?

    We want to ensure that you and your family are safe and well, and at the first sign of a serious problem, one telephone call to our experienced multi-lingual claims centre is all it takes to organise assistance. If for any reason this is not possible, it is necessary for us to be contacted within 72 hours.

    With emergency assistance centers spread across the globe and with correspondents and doctors in over 168 countries, no matter where the cry for help comes from, you will be in the best possible hands with HealthCare International.

  • 37. How quickly are claims normally settled?

    Where we haven't arranged to settle directly with your medical provider, we aim to reimburse any eligible costs you may have paid within seven working days of receiving your completed claim form and the original bills. 

  • 38. What are the options to pay for my policy?

    Credit Card payment is our preferred method to receive your premiums. If this is not possible, we can accept payment via bankers draft, bank transfer, or cheque. If you are not entirely satisfied with your chosen cover, we will cancel the plan from inception and make a full refund of your premium, under the provision that you inform us within 14 days of receiving your policy documents that you have not used the policy in any way, and no claims have been made. We will need to receive your policy documentation before we can perform this refund, as set out in your pack.

  • 39. What isn’t covered by HealthCare International?

    Inevitably, there are costs that we cannot cover, however, we try to keep restrictions to a minimum. These restrictions include pre-existing conditions for the Moratorium period and those specific conditions that may have special conditions applied to and are detailed under your Plan’s policy terms and conditions.

  • 40. What is Well Child Care and what does it cover?

    The policy will pay for young children, up to the age of seven years, 100% reasonable and customary charges for the child to visit their physician.

  • 41. Why are there waiting periods on some benefits?

    Waiting periods apply to a few of our benefits to protect the premium investment made by our existing members. If we had no waiting periods for our dental/optical and pregnancy benefits, people could join when treatment was required, claim for an expensive procedure and cancel their membership until further medical assistance was necessary. This hit and run cycle of membership would cause premiums to escalate at an uncontrollable rate.