After an online request for a quotation from a British client in the US, Medibroker International took the following key elements into account before suggesting specific plans.
We first considered age, nationality of passport, state of health and the time intended to remain as expatriates in the US.
Mr and Mrs Griffin were 41 and 40 years old respectively with a young son and daughter, aged three and five years. Clearly the issue of further additions to the family should also be considered for healthcare insurance planning purposes; a routine maternity add-on option.
Mr Griffin wanted a middle-of-the-range plan, as US healthcare cover is notoriously expensive compared with UK domestic private medical insurance (PMI).
He did not want an all-bells-and-whistles policy that could cost him a small fortune in premiums. However, some out-patient cover together with full in-patient and daycare cover were important.
We normally recommend a comprehensive plan to any family overseas having such small children, as out-patient visits are almost inevitable. The family additionally felt a travel option, non-medical globally, would be helpful, as they visited the UK from time to time.
An importer and greencard-holder, Griffin was established in business in the US and was unlikely to return to the UK to live for the foreseeable future but he kept his British home address for any international healthcare plan.
The family wanted international private health cover in the US with the option of UK and other worldwide cover included, normally called Area 3 by insurers . The Griffin family was in glowing health and without pre-existing treatment over several years. This meant “moratorium” cover, rather than a fully underwritten plan, was possible.
We decided to offer both options to them. As the client also stipulated a budget limit of £6,000 for the premium, we restricted our suggestions to plans offered by Á la Carte, Goodhealth, IHI Denmark, InterGlobal and Morgan Price International.
A PPP comparison indicated premiums in excess of £9,000.
Further discussion with Griffin indicated the issue of routine maternity cover was important for the next year or so. However, he preferred an add-on option for this benefit so that it could be looked at separately.
He wanted an option for non-medical travel cover too. Voluntary deductibles were something for the Griffin family to look at in the future if premiums increased too much for their budget.
Finally, after sending the relevant brochures, the client turned down IHI Denmark, because the US costs for out-patient GP consultation would be higher than the capped amounts shown in the IHI benefit schedule.
The Á la Carte inclusion of a benefit for chronic conditions appealed but the family finally chose the Ultracare Comprehensive Plan from InterGlobal because the optional benefits for routine maternity were higher at US$11,250 with only ten per cent co-insurance, as opposed to others at 20 per cent.
Flexibility in future was offered with other options for travel, personal accident and also critical illness.
Organ transplant was included to US$225,000 as was personal legal liability, emergency evacuation and repatriation, plus repatriation of mortal remains.
As this plan was the best priced, including additional children at no extra cost (up to four), Griffin decided to proceed.
Should the client or his family have had pre-existing conditions, our approach may have differed considerably as full underwriting would have then been the best way to proceed.
The family now has a medium-priced comprehensive plan, with limits on out-patient cover, to a total plan benefit level per annum, per person insured of US$1,500,000, based in the US, providing cover worldwide.
Any eligible pre-existing conditions can be covered after two years on the moratorium-based plan and there is a limitless choice of hospitals or clinics.
A cheque is guaranteed within 14 days on all legitimate out-patient claims or US$15 a day from the plan provider, for any delays.
If they do decide to expand their family and use the routine maternity option, their third child will be covered free of charge.
Providing the insurer does not radically increase Griffin’s premiums over coming years, he should be able to hold such a plan for the longer term.
If the Griffins decide not to have more children they can cancel the routine maternity option without penalty.
In this way they will be able to keep to their £6,000 ceiling budget over time, even accounting for medical inflation, which is some ten per cent plus annually in the US.