The Difference Between International Health And Travel Insurance

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Whether you are heading out on an exciting family holiday in order to enjoy a for a much needed break or simply  making a more permanent change and moving your family abroad to a foreign country, you will need to make preparations for how you will be looked after if you require medical attention. This is especially important if you have children with you as well. As parents, we know all too well how stressful traveling or moving with kids can be, so making sure you have the correct insurance in the event of an emergency will allow you to focus on other things knowing that the most important thing, your family, is covered. But, what exactly is the difference between international health insurance and international travel insurance, and which one do you need?


Which insurance do I need?

The difference between international health insurance and travel insurance is a source of confusion for many. Although both are intended for people spending time abroad, the level of cover and intended purpose of each plan is significantly different. Not understanding the difference may leave you in a difficult situation overseas.


Travel insurance is geared towards providing cover for emergency treatment or unexpected circumstances while you are in another country for a short period of time, whereas International health insurance is designed to offer a comprehensive level of healthcare cover to those relocating from their home country for a longer period of time. 


What is travel insurance?

Travel insurance is designed to cover you for trips of limited duration. It is intended for holidaymakers and short term trips abroad, and offers protection against travel related issues such as:

  • Cancellations
  • Loss of luggage
  • Loss of personal belongings
  • Emergency medical treatment

Many people believe that standard travel insurance will provide adequate cover in a foreign country, but are not aware of its limitations.

In terms of medical cover, travel insurance is intended to provide cover for short-term emergency medical treatment, within your specified area of cover. The aim of which is to get you well enough to return home.

Where required, travel insurance will not cover long term medical treatment. In this instance you will usually be expected to return to your home country to continue treatment once you are medically fit to do so. Cover ceases once you are back in your country of residence


What is international health insurance?

International health insurance is designed for those living or working overseas for a prolonged period of time. It covers treatment for both emergency and routine healthcare, and provides expats with flexibility in terms of choice of doctor and treatment facility, with the ability to receive treatment anywhere within their region of cover.

For those relocating or who have a home abroad, and would like comprehensive medical cover in their home country as well as other countries where they regularly spend time, international health insurance would be required.

When experiencing a medical emergency, or even routine medical care, in a country where you are not familiar with the health system, and where you do not speak the language, international health insurance cover will ensure you get the medical attention you need.

The difference between international travel insurance and international health insurance
International health insurance cover varies depending on selected plans, but often includes:

  • Hospital stay
  • Routine check-ups
  • Cover for pre-existing conditions
  • Cover for chronic conditions
  • Choice of medical providers


As living abroad can already be an expensive experience, it can be tempting to try to keep costs down by opting to rely on local healthcare when you are abroad. However, should you fall ill, you may find that the local healthcare options do not meet your needs. And depending on where you are moving to and your individual circumstances, you may not be entitled to free or subsidised healthcare. Without an expatriate health plan, you may incur expensive medical costs.

Before venturing abroad, it is important to weigh up your options and ensure that you have adequate health insurance you can rely on. Having the correct cover in place, will give you peace of mind that the medical needs of you and your family will be taken care of. Get the best treatment possible in the event of an accident with comprehensive international health insurance from Allianz Care.  


As always, be sure to check the fine print for your individual insurance plan.


Be sure to check out the Bébé Voyage blog for other articles on how to prepare when traveling or moving abroad!


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