Expat life – What to do if you get sick – spotlight on cancer

Expat life – What to do if you get sick – spotlight on cancer

14th September, 2013

If you become seriously ill, for example with cancer, you need international health insurance that pays for the treatment you need based on the plan you’ve bought, in suitable medical facilities, wherever in the world you happen to be. And you want it all to happen quickly and smoothly. 

Things to find out about your health insurance policy in advance

It helps to be properly prepared in the first place, so you can act quickly if you need to. All health insurance policies are different. They protect you against different things, for different amounts, for different periods. Your first responsibility is to check what is covered and what isn’t, so you know exactly where you stand. It is also important to provide accurate information on your medical history to your health insurance provider to ensure that cover is available when needed.

It’s important to find out:

  • Which medical conditions and benefits are covered.  Some benefits might have a sub limit, for example a fixed value or fixed number of sessions, so make sure you are aware of them
  • Which medical conditions and benefits are not covered
  • How long the cover lasts.  Be aware of your renewal date so that your plan doesn’t lapse in the middle of your treatment
  • What kinds of treatment are covered.  It’s worth noting that some insurance providers do not pay for second opinions or experimental treatments.
  • Whether you have an excess or deductible on your plan that you will have to pay before you can get treatment
  • Whether your cover includes in-patient, day-patient, out-patient treatment or all three

What to do if you are diagnosed with cancer?

Time is usually of the essence with a condition like cancer. The experts might recommend tests and hospital admission, so it is important to get your GP and any specialists involved as quickly as possible.  It is also very important to get in touch with your international health insurance provider at this point too.  They will be able to help you work out the best way to get access to treatment so you can focus on yourself and not worry about complicated claims procedures.

If you need help at any stage, your insurer should have a helpline or even telephone access to qualified specialist medical people.  All Now Health customers have access to the Health at Hand service, which is a telephone health information service operating 24 hours a day 365 days a year.

The team of nurses, pharmacists and counsellors is on hand to provide information if for instance you would like to know more about a particular medication or if you forgot to ask your GP a question.  Health at Hand does not diagnose or prescribe and is not designed to take the place of your GP, but the service can give you valuable information to help put your mind at rest.

Any questions about international health insurance and cancer?

Do you have any questions? You can leave a comment below, or connect with us on Twitter @now_health or on the Now Health Facebook page so we can share them with our readers.

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Alison Massey

Group Marketing Director

Now Health International

Alison Massey is a 15-year digital marketing veteran, who has spent the last seven years using social media to help expats and soon to be expats find out what to expect from a life overseas. An expat living in Hong Kong herself, Alison is the Group Marketing Director of Now Health, the award-winning international health insurance provider.

Contact Alison Massey

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