Description of cover
Inpatient expense is a core cover of any international health insurance plan. It refers to the costs incurred at a hospital, during of which the patient is admitted for 24 hours or more. This usually involves a stay in the ward.
Coverage under the category typicallyencompasses:
- Hospital accommodation
- Intensive care unit charges
- Surgical implant and prosthesis
- Specialist, anaesthetist & surgeon fees
- Psychiatric treatment
- Drugs and dressings
- Diagnostic tests and scans
Depending on the insurer and the coverage level of the plan, the core cover may or may not include more modules. To increase the flexibility of the plans, insurers will usually offer the rest of the covers as optional top-ups, so that the policyholders can choose what is most relevant for them and pay only for what they need.
There are typically four stages when we talk about maternity cover – pre-natal, pregnancy, childbirth and post-natal. Some providers cover only certain stages while others have conditions and exceptions tied to what kind of child delivery it is so you have to be careful in comparing the plans.
Not every mother is fortunate enough to have a smooth and natural delivery. It is always wise to prepare for the worst and ensure that you are protected no matter what the circumstances may be.
Here are some of the non-traditional childbirth deliveriesand procedures that you will want to look out for:
- Induced labour – this may be required if you have diabetes, high blood pressure or a pregnancy that is past due.
- Assisted labour – tools such as forceps and vacuum may be used to extract your baby, and you may be medicated with analgesics, tranquilisers, and anaesthetics to reduce the pain.
- Caesarean section, commonly known as the C-section surgery
- Water births and home births – if covered,are there restrictions on the choice of medical facility and midwives?
- Immediate treatment for critical complications such as abnormal presentation of the baby or umbilical cord
Other questions to ask:
- What is the coverage for prenatal tests such as ultrasound and amniocentesis?
- Will the policy cover an extended stay in the hospital after delivery, if necessary?
- Is there coverage for related medical ailments such as post-natal depression, miscarriage, prematurity or congenital conditions?
- Does the policy come with wellness benefits? (e.g. confinement, newborn care etc.)
AXA PPP International Prestige and Prestige Plus plans get you a basic cover for routine pregnancy and childbirth. It is worth noting that the previously-mentioned International Medical Insurance add-on by Cigna Global, Worldwide Medical Insurance by Bupa Global and Aetna International plans not only cover homebirths but spreads its coverage from mothers to the baby as well! This includes newborn care and congenital conditions.
However, do not get too carried away after you have gotten your maternity cover. Some insurers require you to adhere to a strict claim policy. For example, a claim may only stand if you are treated or referred by their team of specialists (e.g. obstetrician, gynecologist etc). For certain maternity care, pre-authorisation may be needed before purchase. Lastly, you have to be clear about the process on your actual admission for delivery. Are you required to notify the insurer immediately? Otherwise, what is the specified time frame?
Any hospital visit less than 24 hours is considered outpatient. It is probably the most encountered type of treatment. Most major operations or illnesses will require pre-diagnostic tests as well as aftercare and regular yearly follow-ups. This is on top of the common medical procedures such as removal of in-grown toenail, stitches,cataract surgery etc.
Outpatient covers the following:
- Diagnostic & laboratory tests
- Specialist consultation
- Emergency injuries
- Minor surgeries
- Long-term treatment such as addiction rehabilitation, physiotherapy and chemotherapy
Dental, vision and wellness
This covers the costs incurred for preventive measures such as vaccination, laboratory tests, screenings and routine health check-ups. Some covers will also include vision and dental care. Eyecare comprises spectacles, sunglasses and contact lenses expenses, while dental care usually provides partial cover for treatments beyond basic teeth maintenance such as putting of braces or restorative surgery.
Evacuation & repatriation
With this rider plan, you are given the following benefits:
If you are trapped in an inaccessible region or is in a critical condition, you may need special transportation services such as an air ambulance to bring you to the nearest medical facility.
The policy will undertake flight and accommodation costs involved in bringing a friend or family member to the medical facility you are being treated in the case of emergency. If you would like, they can sometimes help to transport your children to your home country or location of choice as well.
Should the need arise for further treatment in the home country, transportation cost will be covered. Whereas, in the unfortunate event of death, the policy will undertake the costs of transporting your body to your home country or a nearby cremation facility.
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