When it comes to visiting overseas temporarily, people have a tendency to buy health insurance cover without knowing the importance of getting familiar with the level of coverage.
This is the reason that despite of getting an adequate level of health coverage from home country, they don’t get covered for the medical expenses overseas or get the very minimal level of coverage.
One of our clients, Mr Priyank (name changed), is a testament to this fact. He had a difficult experience with an Indian insurance company.
Mr. Priyank visited Australia to see his son on a visitor visa
. He took an insurance out for both him and his wife with an insurance company in India. During his travel, he contracted Malaria and had to be hospitalised as soon as he arrived in Australia. He had to bear the initial expenses by himself by paying from his pocket, as Indian insurance companies cannot participate in bulk billing arrangements and money can be recovered by filing claims later.
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The expenses came out to INR 1,20,000 which included expenses for medical admission in to hospital, pathology tests and treatment for malaria.
Thanks to his son who is a resident in Australia, Mr. Priyank was able to manage these unexpected expenses in Australia. Mr. Priyank gathered all the paperwork meticulously to make sure that he could file his claims with the insurance company once returning to India.
But the litigation process with the insurance company took nearly 10 months to recover most of his money. Mr. Priyank was able to get INR 1,12,000 of his money back but in bits and pieces and only after aggressive follow ups from his end. He could get an initial Rs 28,000 through a quick reimbursement process after which the file was put on hold for extended periods.
Standard documents were repeatedly asked making the paperwork lengthy. The rest of the money came in parts, sometimes forgotten by claim officers and a partial amount will only be transferred after the insurer tracks his impending payments. The process was stacked up against the insurer to basically make them give up on claims by making them undergo a long and contrived process.
However, getting an Australian visitor cover
means access to bulk billing medical outfits, emergency services, hospitalisation etc. Also the claims process is fairly simple and done in a steadfast manner.