Thursday, April 21, 2011

Medical insurance

Medical insurance

Health insurance like other forms of insurance is a form of collectivism by means of which people collectively pool their risk, in this case the risk of incurring medical expenses. The collective is usually publicly owned or else is organized on a non-profit basis for the members of the pool, though in some countries health insurance pools may also be managed by for-profit companies. It is sometimes used more broadly to include insurance covering disability or long-term nursing or custodial care needs. It may be provided through a government-sponsored social insurance program, or from private insurance companies. It may be purchased on a group basis (e.g., by a firm to cover its employees) or purchased by an individual. In each case, the covered groups or individuals pay premiums or taxes to help protect themselves from unexpected healthcare expenses. Similar benefits paying for medical expenses may also be provided through social welfare programs funded by the government.

By estimating the overall risk of healthcare expenses, a routine finance structure (such as a monthly premium or annual tax) can be developed, ensuring that money is available to pay for the healthcare benefits specified in the insurance agreement. The benefit is administered by a central organization such as a government agency, private business, or not-for-profit entity

Find out before you come

The company that you are with, or are going to work for, should provide medical insurance for expatriate staff and their family members, as well as their permanent Indonesian staff. Ask for details from your employer to ensure that your policy will
adequate cover your family members for sickness or accident emergency, whether in Indonesia or when you are returning home on leave or when you are visiting other countries in the course of your work or on vacation.

If you are joining a new company, you must remember that they may never love you more than when you first join. Do not rely on promises that medical insurance coverage will be sorted out when you arrive in Indonesia. It may in fact be taken care of to your satisfaction, but it could be the case that what the company considers ideal coverage may not meet your expectations. Be sure, before you come, that you understand what medical coverage your company will provide for regular medical concerns, and major medical situations such as surgery or deliveries, as well as medical evacuation to another country or from a remote site to a big city in Indonesia.

Medical evacuations are a big factor in medical coverage as the quality of medical service will be quite poor in outlying areas in Indonesia. Emergency medical evacuation (medivac) to a large city or even to a neighboring country is considered essential in most medical emergencies.

Options in Medical insurance coverage

International Medical Insurance plans from the U.K. for instance, include emergency medical evacuation and there is the possibility to add outpatient services to cover everything but minor outpatient items. The reason for excluding minor outpatient claims is to keep the costs down as the paperwork involved in claims could well exceed the claim itself. The outpatient claims therefore have a deductible.

The deductible is related to the illness - not the claim - so the patient may have several doctor and specialist visits plus the prescribed medicine for one particular bout of sickness and there would only be one deductible. A point worth noting is that a person could be undergoing outpatient treatment with a very serious illness, which would not be covered under a local clinic scheme.

There are many foreign joint venture insurance companies with offices in Jakarta selling medical, hospitalization and other general insurance products for group and individual medical insurance policies, so you do have a large choice of companies and products. You could also purchase a medical insurance or travel plan from a company based in your home country which provides some medical cover while you are traveling overseas, however, you must be very sure about the restrictions on such plans as it may not cover you completely while residing overseas.

Finding the best plan for your particular requirements can be very time consuming with the many options. Any local or group venture health insurance company representative will tell you how good the product is from his company. That's what he's paid to do, and it could in fact be the best plan available for you. The representative is not paid to explain that another company does the same thing (or better) at a cheaper cost, and he's not paid to promote his competitors' products.

Consider Costs

Good, comprehensive medical insurance is not cheap, nor is emergency medical evacuation, so most people will take cost into account when making their decision on medical insurance coverage. It is important to find out all your options from an unbiased source, which could be an agency or broker, who can assist you to make the choice based upon your individual or company requirements.