International healthcare premiums: top tips for easing the pain

International health insurance needn’t cost an arm and a leg – there are a number of ways to make cover more affordable without compromising risk or simply increasing the excess. Are you, for example paying for international health cover you don’t really need?

Willis Towers Watson Health & Benefits offers top tips for keeping a lid on your premiums.

  • Azerbaijan or Spain? Think twice before committing to out-patient cover. Comparing out-patient fees at your destination country with the corresponding insurance benefit cost may give you food for thought. Outpatient cover can account for up to 50 per cent of a scheme premium, yet in some countries, outpatient consultations are relatively inexpensive. A consultation in Kazakhstan or Azerbaijan, for example, will cost an average of £20. If you are investing in a comprehensive high value scheme, you may have the option to exclude out-patient cover. 
  • Maternity cover: a pregnant pause for thought. Most comprehensive plans will include maternity cover. If you’re a single male however, why pay for a benefit that you know you will not claim for? With maternity cover typically accounting for around 15 per cent of a premium, you should seek professional advice on whether or not this is being included as standard. 
  • Routine treatment: a painless extraction? Regular check-ups and minor treatment can be relatively inexpensive but excluding routine dental and optical can mean slashing your premiums by more than 20 per cent. Hospital or emergency dental or optical treatment abroad, by contrast, can be exorbitantly expensive but you’ll invariably always be covered for this under standard international health insurance policies. 
  • Is evacuation cover a needless luxury? Falling victim to an accident or illness that requires care unavailable in the part of the country where you are located can be a frightening prospect. Moreover, emergency evacuation can cost you tens of thousands of pounds. If you are, or plan to be, living in a country with comprehensive first-rate medical services however, evacuation cover could be viewed as an unnecessary addition to your scheme. Take appropriate advice and research the medical facilities available to you at your country of destination.