Have you ever rushed to the hospital when your child fell off the swing or had a high fever? You’ll often see worried parents in the hospital waiting area, pacing back and forth waiting for their child to get better. It’s times like these that you are reminded that family and health come first.
Fortunately, we can access quality healthcare in Thailand and give our families the best care. But the best care often comes with a high price tag. The good news is that you don’t have to pay hefty out-of-pocket payments when you have the right family health insurance plan. So how do you choose the right one?
Carefully look at the terms of coverage
Some family health insurance plans have a shared limit between vaccinations and health checkups. That means you might have to decide what’s more important, based on your family’s unique needs. I strongly suggest for you to carefully go over your policy’s terms of coverage so you know exactly what it entails. You’d be surprised to know how often people skim over the fine print and end up disappointed at the limitations later on.
Ask for a discount
An easy way to lower your total premiums is to ask if the insurance provider offers any discounts for families. Essentially, family health insurance plans are individual health plans for family members with a more affordable total cost. The more family members you add to the plan, the more discounts you can get. The amount that you can save will vary from insurer to insurer, but I’ve seen families get up to 20% off simply by asking.
Make sure you can still see your family doctor
Most families have one family doctor that takes care of all members of the family. These doctors know everyone’s personal and family history and are often the ones that your children are most comfortable with. So you’ll want to make sure that your family health insurance plan makes it possible to visit your family doctor.
That means the doctor’s practice must be part of the insurer’s provider network and direct billing access needs to be an option. Otherwise, you’ll end up having to deal with the stressful and difficult claims process.
Consider outpatient services
While you might be thinking about excluding outpatient services to save on costs, the reality is that outpatient services are highly recommended for family health insurance plans. The reason for this is that children usually need more outpatient services, especially younger children. Just think about the number of times that you need to visit a doctor as your child is growing up and it’ll make sense to include outpatient services to alleviate out-of-pocket expenses.
Customize your family health insurance plan
Cheaper health insurance plans sound better because they’re, well, cheaper. But you can’t just look at cost alone. Comprehensive plans tend to cost more because they offer more benefits than basic, cheaper plans.
With family health insurance plans, you can choose different options for different family members. For example, you can get comprehensive health insurance for your kids and partner, and an inpatient-only plan for yourself. Since this depends on several factors, you’ll have to speak with an insurance advisor first.
Decide whether you need international coverage
If you and your family travel or move a lot, you’re going to want to make sure your plan offers international coverage. Otherwise, you’ll only be covered for treatment in Thailand and will have to pay for medical costs out of pocket when you’re outside of Thailand. When looking at international coverage, it’s advisable to see if it includes emergency evacuation since that can save you a lot of money if any family member needs to travel for medical treatment.
Talk to a reputable insurance broker
Going over the details of a health insurance policy is a tricky task for anyone who isn’t familiar with the world of insurance and its lingo. Having an expert guide you through the policy and answer any questions that come up is definitely handy. However, you want to make sure that the person you’re talking to has your best interests at heart.
One of the big differences between going to an insurance broker instead of directly to an insurer is that they work with many insurers and can give you options based on your needs. At Pacific Prime Thailand, the broker I work for, we pride ourselves on simplifying insurance and making the process easier for you at no additional cost.
It’s time to experience the peace of mind that comes from knowing your family can access the best private healthcare facilities and services whenever they need it.
Whether you’re looking for family health insurance for expats in Thailand or internationally, Pacific Prime is here to help simplify the process. Contact us for insurance advice and a free comparison today!