Clutching his train ticket tightly in one hand and his briefcase in the other, Tom headed towards the exit of Iarnród Éireann station. He was starting his professional career in Ireland, having secured a prestigious overseas stint. The expatriate package was generous indeed, but the real prize lay in being able to claim he was a part of Google, in the tech capital of the world, no less.
A Singaporean leaving to work Abroad
There had been unique challenges, many of which he did not foresee. Getting a decent accommodation had been nothing but a pain. Less than a fortnight after leaving Singapore, homesickness already crept up on him like a chill. The Irish were friendly but nothing beat the warmth of his own family. While Tom relishes the chewy taste of Black Pudding (an Irish breakfast favourite), he still hankers after aromatic Kaya toast. But food, family, and lodgings were small problems compared to what came next.
As Tom scanned the surroundings for directions, he inadvertently missed a step. Thrown off balance by surprise, his hands flailed to grasp the railings – in vain. He crumpled up in pain as he landed awkwardly on his left leg.
A few kind-hearted passers-by help him up. A good guess would be a fracture. A gentle half step confirms it. He curses his bad luck as he is waiting for the ambulance to arrive. A severe fall on his first month at work in a foreign land. It is a nightmare. The one and only silver lining? He had the foresight to obtain coverage under International Health Insurance (IHI).
A prolonged hospitalisation stay made affordable
The diagnosis is grave – Comminuted fractures of tibia and fibula. It will take Tom months to achieve full recovery. Worse, he has to undergo surgery to realign the bones so that they may be properly healed. A thousand and one thoughts ran through his mind, many of them unpleasant. Could he walk normally in the future? How will his new boss react? Will that pretty lass in office visit him?
But the question of affordability never once crossed his mind. Save for the deductible and coinsurance, the bills will be paid in full by his IHI policy. We are talking not only about the hospital ward stay but all the associated bills such as: surgeon charges, theatre fees, diagnostic tests and medicine. These before mentioned items can add to tens of thousands of Euros. Without having to worry about the payment, Tom can focus on what it really matters at this point – full recovery.
Cushioning the fall
Besides taking care of the entire hospital expenses, IHI takes good care of Tom in many other ways. As Tom has selected a plan that entitles him to a single bed ward, he is able to recuperate in complete peace. He does not have to entertain an inquisitive room-mate or share the bathroom with someone else.
Tom is not alone though. IHI dispenses a daily accommodation benefit for Tom’s mother who has rushed over to Ireland upon receiving the news of his bad fall. It is a great lift to Tom’s morale to be able to enjoy his Mum’s home-cooked food and companionship even in an Irish hospital. Just ask Schooling on the importance of hometown food!
For each day that Tom has to be hospitalised, he receives a cash benefit. That helps to pay for the miscellaneous non-medical expenses such as rent, phone bills, etc. Being injured in a foreign land is never easy. While all these fringe benefits are not critical, they all add up to alleviate Tom’s hardships. When things go awry, it is these little positives that he can take heart from.
Why not Travel Insurance?
At this point, you may be wondering why not get an annual Travel Insurance. It is much cheaper and it has more than just medical coverage. Travel insurance is intended to cover short-term visits, not long-term residents. It provides coverage so that you may receive emergency assistance overseas but it expects you to come back home as soon as possible.
On the other hand, IHI allows you to stay, work and continue your treatment. The medical expenses limit for IHI is much higher than a travel insurance. (Most Travel Insurances have a limit of 250 – 500k, but IHI start from 650k – 2million, some even have no limit!) It also covers a much wider range of medical contingencies, as evidenced by Tom’s experience.
The Unbelievable Follow-Up Package
“Congrats Tom, you can go home now.” Dr. McCallum spoke without looking up from his clipboard which is covered completely illegible scribbling. His strong accent was matched only by his full beard. “Great. Except I do not have an actual home in here.” Tom quips internally while extending his hand to Dr. McCallum. It was a wonderful start to the brand new week. He can finally leave the medical facility.
The journey to full recovery does not end here. It is only the beginning. Although the fracture is healing ahead of schedule, Tom does not take his rehabilitation lightly. He works diligently through all the exhausting exercises while being guided by his physiotherapist. A lot of fracture patients tend to stop going for rehab as each session is costly. Tom does not have to because his IMI policy is paying for them.
The policy will also pay for a home nurse if the doctor recommends for one. Thankfully for Tom, he does not need one. What he does have a need for is to rent a wheelchair. Oh yes, it is also paid for by insurance.
In order to ensure that Tom’s recovery is on the right track, he has to attend a few follow-up sessions with the Orthopaedic specialist. The cost? Irrelevant. Because it is fully covered. After seeing for herself that Tom is now ambulated with the help of clutches, his mother decides to return back to Singapore. Tom is amazed that his mum is entitled to claim for her flight home. What a great decision to purchase this policy
International Health Insurance: Necessity for Those Who Work Abroad
Be it for work, leisure or a meaningful cause. Whether you are going to a developed city or a war-torn 3rd world country. If you are going to spend a considerably long time away from your home nation, IMI plan is an absolute necessity.
You are likely alone, without the support of your family and friends. Arranging for a short-term rental while not speaking the same native language is both arduous and frustrating. Not to mention that your new boss demands nothing but the best from you.
With myriad of medical benefits, an IMI policy not only provides you with assurances that your medical needs are properly taken care of, but also allows you to focus on why you are there. Just like how IMI plan has helped Tom to return to full mobility and ease back to being a star performer at his new workplace in spite of the unlucky fall.
A plan that never stops giving!
Tom is up and running, literally and figuratively speaking. He is able to jog every morning without pain. Just like his recovery, his work performance is impeccable. He is able to excel in every single project he is assigned. Like clockwork.
But even a well-oiled machine will break down someday. Tom falls ill from time to time when he is hard at work and neglect to have his proper meals and exercise. An occasional flu like everyone else. However, his IHI policy never forgets. When Tom has to make a visit to his family doctor, he is able to seek reimbursement from his insurance from its outpatient benefits.
That is not all the perks. TCM, Chiropractor, dietician, homoeopath, osteopath, podiatrist and speech therapist are some alternative medical services that are included in the package. Regular medical examinations and vaccinations can be claimed if Tom chooses to go for them. And you may not believe this. When Tom returns to Singapore, IHI follows him all the way home!It is full coverage 24/7 and wherever Tom may be. Unlike my telco coverage, IHI’s one is omnipresent. Sounds great! Where do I get it?
Who should get an International Health Insurance Plan?
Tom’s experience shows the importance of having a comprehensive medical coverage when away from home. Your Shield plan and Employee benefits insurance do not travel outside of Singapore. Thus, it is rather important for expatriates, exchange students and anyone who is going overseas for a prolonged period of time to get an IHI.
IHI is a highly customised plan. You get to choose the deductible (excess) amount as well as the co-insurance. Even if you want to save on premium by having co-insurance, you can choose to cap the maximum out-of-pocket amount you are liable to pay in a policy year.
Does your new workplace offer you inpatient benefits? If so, you may opt out of the same in your IHI to avoid double coverage. Dental and optical coverage is also optional too. With various options available, you will want to be able to mix and match the different options so that you may find a plan that is a perfect fit for your budget. You will also like the convenience to do so quickly anywhere anytime.
How to get International Health Insurance?
When it comes to International Health Insurance, Insurance Market is truly THE marketplace that you have to visit. On our platform, you can examine the benefits offered by each plan. Compare the prices between different insurance providers. Adjust the deductibles and coinsurance and get an instant quotation.
All of the above are available at Insurance Market. The only thing you cannot do at here is to haggle over prices. Why bother anyway? You already know that you are getting the best-fit plan at the best price possible at Insurance Market anyway.
Returning home safe and sound
After 2 years in Dublin, Tom ends his work tour and returns home. He enjoys his overseas stint immensely, learns aplenty and builds a strong relationship with the top honchos in the head company. Most importantly, he is healthy. His experience is not waylaid by that horrific accident at the start of his overseas stint. It could have been much worse. But thanks to a brilliant dose of insurance planning, disaster has been averted.
International Medical Insurance, you should never leave home without it