22 February 2021

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For diplomats working abroad, health care can be extremely expensive if they do not have adequate insurance. The United States, the United Kingdom and Hong Kong are three of the most expensive countries in the world for health care.

Diplomats or their relatives may have to deal with illness or accidents while on assignment abroad that require treatment in the host country.

International insurers are working to set up Health Care networks around the world to control health care costs and guarantee the quality of care provided.

What is a Health Care network ?

Since the early 2000s and the increase in the number of expatriates abroad, many insurers have been organising themselves to establish their international medical network.

By defining a nomenclature of healthcare costs with different partners abroad (hospitals, private clinics, care centres, etc.), insurers can guarantee fixed costs and avoid unpleasant surprises.

But beyond the negotiation of tariffs with health institutions, the construction of these international care networks also helps to ensure access to quality care. Indeed, in developing countries, the health offer is limited and hygiene protocols may differ from those applied in the country of origin.

Two types of Health Care networks

There are two types of health care networks on the market. A distinction is made between open and closed networks.

The so-called open networks are accessible to any health professional who requests them from the insurers, provided that the network’s criteria (quality and prices) are accepted. Conversely, closed care networks are limited in the number of professionals who are chosen according to the criteria defined by these networks.

Hospital Health Care

The advantages of Health Care networks

In some countries, while the health care networks developed by insurance companies provide many advantages with attractive prices and services offered to local populations, these networks are also very useful internationally.

These care networks are particularly useful in finding quality health professionals in sometimes less developed countries. The great strength of these international partnerships is that the establishments are visited regularly to ensure the quality of the care provided.

The insurers stay in contact with the various partner institutions to facilitate the management of patients and medical expenses.

Thanks to the partnerships established with the insurance companies, these establishments are able to respond more easily to the needs of people outside their home country with privileged contacts and adapted communication.

Here are the main advantages of health care networks:

  • Negotiated care rates
  • Controlled facilities to ensure good reception conditions and quality care
  • Third party payment
  • Easily find health practitioners thanks to the applications dedicated to policyholders.

The right reflexe to adopt

If building international social protection for its diplomats is essential before leaving for foreign countries, comparing the care networks of different insurers is just as essential.

Indeed, depending on the destination, the different networks offered and the negotiated rates will be more or less advantageous.

Although there are many health care networks around the world, they are not exclusive to any one insurer. Moreover, healthcare professionals may be affiliated to several healthcare networks as well. Insurance brokerage companies such as Ambrelia can compare these different international insurances for you and offer you the most suitable offer for your situation.

In order to choose the most appropriate insurance to protect your collaborators abroad, it is important to take into account various parameters:

  • Take stock of the needs of the people concerned (diplomats and their families).
  • Take into account the distance from their home country. For the most complex treatments, it may be simpler to carry them out in their home country.
  • Take into account the care system of the host country and where the diplomats and their families live.
  • Check the various repatriation, care and exclusion arrangements offered by insurers.

Different solutions for diplomats abroad

In the context of a departure abroad for an assignment, it is essential to ensure the best possible protection for diplomats and their families.

To this end, many international insurers offer contracts for diplomats going on mission. They provide their policyholders with online services and 24/7 contact facilities to ensure rapid assistance in the event of a serious event.

In addition, some insurers, thanks to their strong international experience and a well-established care network, offer international third-party payment to avoid the policyholder having to pay medical expenses in advance.

For more details, please send us your questions : info@embacity.org