Health Insurance: Choose Local or Go Global?

Lifestyle diseases are on the rise, especially among people under the age of 45. Illnesses like diabetes, obesity, respiratory problems and heart disease, which was once thought to be more prevalent among the older generation, are now showing a worrying upwards trend in younger people too.

Comprehensive health insurance cover for yourself and your family can provide added protection to overcome the devastating impact of the unexpected. More importantly, with this additional peace of mind, you can focus on your top priority – the road to recovery.

In this exclusive feature by Asia Advisers Network, Relationship Director, Financial Services, Christina Kokadir shares about the essential benefits of health insurance, as well as the best-fit solutions that Manulife Financial Advisers can offer.

While an unforeseen illness can lead to mental anguish and stress, there is another side that can leave you financially drained – dealing with the hospital bills. As Christina shares from her experience in helping her clients, “By having a suitable health insurance policy, you can better manage your medical expenditure without dipping into your savings. In fact, some insurance providers offer cashless treatment, so you don't have to worry about reimbursements either. Your savings can be used for their intended purposes, such as buying a home, your child's education, and retirement.”

So now the question is: Should you choose a local or global health insurance plan? Christina explains: “This decision is heavily dependent upon your personal circumstances, your medical condition, the quality of the local healthcare system and hospitals, if you intend to settle in your country of residence for the long run, and whether you travel frequently among other matters.

If you are an expat who frequently globetrots due to the nature of your job, or if you plan to move back to your home country at some point in the future, the one thing you will want to bear in mind is how you will be covered when you relocate. If you're on a local plan, you will have to subsequently take out a new plan once you've moved. This can pose an issue if you've developed a medical condition or suffered a serious illness, as the insurer in your new home may treat it as a pre-existing condition and exclude it from coverage.”

To drive home the importance of choosing the appropriate coverage, she adds: “Most international health insurance plans are globally portable, so you can take them with you when you move. This means that there are no breaks in your insurance coverage and there is no need to undergo the underwriting process again which means you're not in danger of having pre-existing conditions excluded from coverage under your new plan.”

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A well-tailored plan will ensure you are adequately covered, no matter where you are now and where you decide to be in the future. Speak with our consultants to understand more.

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