For over 25 years, William Russell has been one of the most competitive insurers on the market offering some of the best value when it comes to international private medical insurance (IPMI) plans. William Russell is continuing their competitive streak having recently improved their individual plans to offer full cover for certain pre-existing medical conditions.
Traditionally, insurance companies will exclude the client's medical history from their range of coverage. In some cases, a moratorium up to two years might be used. However, there has been an increasing demand in the market for individual plans to have cover for pre-existing medical conditions via a loading on the premium.
With a thorough understanding of the needs of expatriates around the world, William Russell is stepping forward to make any improvements it can to its first class service. William Russell is ready to meet the requirements of a demanding and growing expatriate community where the increasing costs for medical coverage has created expectations for cover which is inclusive rather than exclusive.
For many people who are looking to purchase an IPMI plan, there is often a misunderstanding that international insurance companies apply exclusions on treatments for conditions that exist before the plan starts.
This holds especially true for those who come from a country with a government funded medical system that usually has the option to pay a smaller amount for additional private cover to increase the coverage and scope of the public healthcare system. In many cases a majority of the treatment received by those with private cover is done through the public facilities already paid by the government, therefore the cost for additional private medical cover is relatively low. Further to this, most health systems driven for government with options for private coverage have very strict laws that 1) ensure a client's full medical history is covered, and 2) help to stabilize the costs of medical treatment.
However, the same story doesn't apply to the international medical insurance market and can be the cause of confusion for many new consumers.
The entire cost of the international insurance is shouldered by the client because of the lack of government subsidization with international plans. The cost for basic healthcare, normally covered for free in a local national system, can have astonishingly higher costs at international facilities. Besides the lack of subsidization, there is a lack of governmental control in treatment costs where year upon year the costs become higher at the international facilities as globalization and increasing expatriate mobility result in increasing demand for superior levels of healthcare.
Finally, without the subsidization granted by local governments to hedge against the increase cost for coverage of pre-existing medical conditions, international insurers typically excluded treatment for said conditions in a drive to keep their claims loss as small as possible, subsequently helping to keep premiums low and sustainable each year.
What is loading?
For individual policies, insurance companies offer several options to cover people with pre-existing diseases: exclusions, moratorium or loading.
- Exclusions occur when an insurer agrees to cover a client but excludes all the pre-existing conditions and their related conditions.
- In other cases, some insurers provide clients with coverage including the pre-existing conditions but after a moratorium – a period without any symptoms, effects or treatment for the pre-existing condition. Usually, this time is around 2 years.
- Finally, a loading guarantees a full coverage of pre-existing diseases, but with a higher premium. Not all insurance companies offer this option.
Only a few insurers offers full coverage, and they do it on a case by case basis.
William Russell loadings
It is important to understand that international insurers are the only option for people living permanently overseas. However, as with any other insurance cover, it is risky for an international insurance company to accept all pre-existing conditions for individual policies.
On the other hand, as a person ages, he or she is more likely to develop a disease, especially "lifestyle diseases" such as type II diabetes, hypertension or high cholesterol. As a result, if a person does not have full coverage before the onset of the disease, that person is likely to remain without insurance coverage for said disease.
So, in the long-term, sometimes it is convenient to search for an insurance plan that provides full coverage, including the pre-existing conditions, but with premium loading, meaning that the client must pay a higher premium in the beginning.
Taking into account the above, William Russell announced for the first time that it is offering loadings for certain conditions. These options are now available worldwide. This insurance company is also giving expatriates the opportunity to access the best doctors and top medical facilities available around the world, even when clients have pre-existing conditions.
William Russell is now offering loadings of various degrees for the following pre-existing conditions:
- Detached retina: Full coverage with loading at ~25%.
- Glaucoma: ~35%.
- Eczema and/or dermatitis: If a client suffered a single attack only of eczema and/or dermatitis, William Russell could indicate a loading at ~5%.
- Hypertension: ~25%.
- Hypercholesterolemia: ~15%.
- Renal stones or renal lithiasis: If a client suffered renal lithiasis and is successfully operated and non-recurring, then loading could be ~25%.
- Asthma: When the asthma is intermittent and light, the loading offered is ~25%.
- Non-operated fibroma: ~25%.
- Endometriosis: is an often painful disorder that affects around 10% of women worldwide. The loading offered by William Russell for this pre-existing condition is ~40%.
- Fibrocystic breast disease: ~15%.