The pandemic has people looking for ways to take care of their health and improve their financial security. Consequently, securing insurance has turned into a priority for many. The ongoing pandemic has reminded us that we’re only one unexpected event away from needing an insurance plan. Whether it’s a pandemic or an accident, unforeseen circumstances can happen at any moment, and we must be protected.
However, shopping for an insurance policy is not exactly easy, especially if you’re not familiar with the jargon or know what to look out for. Our friends at Pacific Prime Thailand have compiled five tips to help you find the best international health insurance during the pandemic.
Evaluate your healthcare needs
The first thing you should do before comparing health insurance policies is to think about your actual healthcare needs. To begin with, consider whether you need inpatient or outpatient coverage, or both. If you or your family member visits the doctor regularly, your optimal plan should feature outpatient benefits to help cover care outside of overnight hospital stays. If, on the other hand, you’re considered healthy and have a good medical history, you could probably do with a comparatively basic plan featuring inpatient-only coverage to keep costs low.
Some other considerations to think about include whether you have:
- Any pre-existing conditions – These are typically excluded from coverage or come with a waiting period or additional premium.
- A preferred General Practitioner (GP) or specialist – If so, you’ll want to make sure that they’re part of your insurers’ network of providers. Otherwise, you might only get a small payout or no reimbursement at all.
Determine your ideal coverage benefits
Once you’re aware of your healthcare needs, the next step is to determine the coverage benefits you should have. It only takes a quick comparison of health insurance plans online to notice the huge differences between coverage benefits offered by insurance providers, and even plans from the same insurer.
While the right plan for you will be based on your needs, most insurance plans in Thailand include some, if not all, inpatient coverage, outpatient coverage, and vaccinations. On top of that, expats often look for international health insurance plans that also cover the following:
- Health checks
- Pre-existing conditions
- Dental treatments
- Maternity care
- Vision care
Understand how to reduce your premium
Price is certainly an important factor when it comes to buying insurance plans, but it shouldn’t be the deciding one. In fact, the cheapest health insurance policies generally should be avoided. While they may seem more pocket-friendly, these plans are usually cheap because of their value – and can end up costing you more than a more expensive plan down the line.
Fortunately, you can save on your premium in other ways. A good place to start is by adjusting your deductible, or the amount you pay first before the plan comes into effect. In most cases, a higher deductible means a lower premium. However, you must be sure that you can pay for your deductible if you need to.
Carefully compare your insurance options
Comparing your health insurance options might seem like an overwhelming and time-consuming task, but it’s a step that could save you a lot of money and stress. Plan comparison tools such as ours are helpful since you can look at different insurance quotes without having to refer to many different sources. With that said, it’s essential you only use the services of a licensed broker since some comparison sites may not be in your best interest.
While there are many different factors to consider when looking at different plans, some of the most notable ones that you should be aware of include:
- Price – Remember that cheapest usually doesn’t mean best.
- Renewability – Make sure that you can renew your policy if you develop a serious condition.
- Insurance provider’s reputation – Your insurer should be known for exceptional claims reimbursement, reliable customer service, and stable premium increases, to name a few.
- The network of providers – Check that the policy covers the right healthcare facilities and hospitals.
Engage the help of a licensed insurance broker
Why spend all that time and effort only to second guess whether you’ve chosen the right international health insurance plan when a professional can do it for you? A licensed insurance broker works independently from any insurance provider to ensure plans are chosen in your best interest.
Whether you seek the help of a broker or decide to look for health insurance on your own, be sure to keep the tips above in mind throughout the process.
As a leading insurance broker, Pacific Prime offers international health insurance, travel insurance, family insurance, retiree insurance, and more. Pacific Prime can compare health insurance in Thailand to help you find the right policy for your needs and budget. Contact Pacific Prime Thailand for expert advice or a free quote and plan comparison today.