Expatriate health insurer Bupa International has created Worldwide health options, a private medical insurance plan comprising a core element with four options that can be bolted on.
The plan took 18 months for the company to develop. It researched the market to discover which features people considered the best amnd rolled them into a single product.
The core element, worldwide medical insurance, is designed to cover overnight hospital stay or or day-case treatment up to a maximum of £1.5m, euro 1.875m or $2.55m year. Surgery, cancer treatment and advanced imaging are included as well as transplant services, intensive care and transport by ambulance.
The four bolt-on options enable clients to pay only for cover they need as opposed to plans which do not take the building block approach. It also means the plan can be easily adapted in line with line with local compliance and regulation issues.
The worldwide medical plus option is for specialist treatment where a hospital stay is not required. It covers consultations with a doctor or specialist, a range of medical treatments and other benefits such as maternity cover.
Worldwide medicines and equipment is for prescribed medicines, the rental of medical appliances and any medicines for chronic conditions such as asthma. Worldwide wellbeing covers medical screenings, optical and dental treatments.
Worldwide evacuation is used when treatment is not available at a local hospital. It covers transport costs to the nearest hospital, repatriation and cover for young children to be taken to a relative or guardian until their parent has recovered and the cost of compassionate visits for relatives. USA cover is another option.
A range of deductibles, which are similar to excesses, help clients to manage the cost of cover. They can be treated in any one of Bupa’s 5,500 hospitals and clinics around the world. They also have access to Bupa’s doctors and in-house medical teams in Brighton and Copenhagen.
This product could be useful for expatriates and people who spend long periods working abroad. People who spend more than three months living outside the UK are not automatically entitled to free NHS hospital treatment and travel insurance is more appropriate for short trips overseas.
However, premiums will be higher than those of domestic PMI plan, particularly where USA cover is included, as healthcare costs in this country are high.