Travel Insurance vs International Medical Insurance

Travel insurance and international medical insurance are two types of insurance policies that are designed to protect you against unexpected expenses during travel or medical emergencies. Although both types of insurance policies may seem similar, there are several key differences between them that you should be aware of when deciding which policy to purchase.

The Differences between Travel Insurance and International Medical Insurance

Whilst travel insurance and international medical insurance provide coverage for unexpected expenses, they both have different levels of protection whilst you are away from home. Lets look at what the differences are, and which type of cover would work better for you.

What is Travel Insurance?

Travel insurance is a type of insurance policy that is designed to protect individuals against unexpected events that may occur while traveling. These events can include trip cancellation, trip interruption, lost or stolen luggage, medical emergencies, and other travel-related incidents.

It can be purchased for a single trip or for multiple trips throughout the year. The cost of coverage can vary depending on the type and level of coverage required, the destination, and the length of the trip.

What is International Medical Insurance?

International Medical insurance is a type of insurance for those who are traveling or living abroad. It is designed to cover medical expenses that may arise during international travel or living abroad, including emergency medical treatment, hospitalization, prescription medication, and medical evacuation. This can be purchased individually or through an employer-sponsored health plan. Some common types of medical insurance include comprehensive health insurance and short-term health insurance.

Policies can also include routine check-ups, diagnostic tests, and emergency medical care. The level of coverage can vary depending on the policy and may include coverage for pre-existing conditions, maternity care, and dental care.

Having the right level of travel insurance is an important consideration for anyone planning to travel. This is especially true for international travel or should you participate in high-risk activities such as adventure sports or extreme sports. It can provide peace of mind and financial protection against unexpected events that may occur during a trip.

Getting the right cover for you ensures that you can focus on enjoying your travel experience without worrying about unforeseen expenses.

Deciding what insurance you need for your trip, can be confusing. If you need help or further advice, our team will be happy to assist you. Say Hello

How to apply for a Portugal Visa

HCI Group Events - woman at Malaga

Portugal is a beautiful country located in the western part of Europe and if you are planning to visit, you will need to make sure you have the correct visa for entry. There are a few visa options available depending on the length of stay or reason for visiting.

How to Get a Visa for Portugal?

If you are a citizen of the European Union, the European Economic Area, or Switzerland, you do not need a visa to enter Portugal. However, if you are not a citizen of these countries, you will need to apply for a visa to travel to Portugal. The application process for a visa is simple and straightforward. You can apply for a visa at the Portuguese embassy or consulate in your country.

What Type of Visas are Available for Portugal?

There are several types of visas available for travel to Portugal. The most common types of visas include:

  1. Schengen Visa: This visa allows you to travel to Portugal and other countries in the Schengen area for up to 90 days within a six-month period.
  2. National Visa: This visa is for those who plan to stay in Portugal for more than 90 days. This visa allows you to stay in Portugal for up to one year.
  3. Transit Visa: This visa is for those who are transiting through Portugal on their way to another country. This visa is valid for up to five days.

What you need for your visa application

  • Your passport. It must be valid for 3 months from your departure date
  • The Portugal Visa Application Form
  • Passport sized photos that must;
    • have been taken recently
    • be on a white background.
    • and your face must be visible
  • Travel Medical Insurance
    • It must be valid in all the Schengen Area.
    • Must cover at least €30,000 of medical emergencies and evacuation.
  • Provide proof you have paid any fees owed
  • Detailed travel plans
  • Provide a letter detailing your reason for travelling. This must also include your arrival AND departure dates
  • Proof of funds. You must be able to prove that you can provide for yourself financially through the duration of your visit.

Depending on your reason for visiting Portugal you may also need additional documentations

  • Travelling for work: Proof of employment
  • Travelling as a student: A certificate of enrolment from your place of education
  • Retired: Your pension certificate.

Guidelines for Documents

  • All documents must be in English or Portuguese. If they are not, you must have them translated by a certified translator.
  • If you have civil documents, such as birth certificates these have to be legalised by an Apostille Stamp or by the Portuguese Embassy.

What Happens If You Overstay Your Visa?

Overstaying your visa in Portugal could mean consequences such as fines, deportation, or being banned from entering Portugal in the future. It is important to ensure that you have the correct visa and that you do not overstay. If you need to stay in Portugal for longer than your visa allows, you should apply for an extension before your visa expires.

Need more information? Our team would be happy to advise you on the next steps to take. Say Hello

Do you need a Visa for France?

Obtaining a visa for France can be a daunting process, but with the right preparation and knowledge, it can be a straightforward experience. Whether you’re planning a holiday, studying or working in France, it’s essential to understand the different types of visas and requirements before beginning the application process.

What do you need for you visa for France?

  • Passport with at least six months left before expiration date
  • A completed application form
  • Your passport photo (you will need two photos)
  • Proof of travel insurance that covers you for at least 30 days after arrival in France. This includes emergency medical expenses

What type of Visa do you need to enter France

Tourist Visa:

If you are thinking of booking a holiday to France, you will likely need a Schengen visa. This allows you to visit France and other Schengen countries for up to 90 days within a six-month period. To apply for a tourist visa, you’ll need to provide proof of your travel itinerary, this includes your accommodation details. You will also need to display your financial status to cover your expenses during your stay. A valid passport, travel insurance, and proof of return or onward travel must also be provided

Student Visa:

Studying in France will require a long-stay student visa. To apply for a student visa, you will need to provide proof of enrolment in a recognised educational institution in France. You will need proof of financial means to support yourself during your stay. You’ll also need to provide a valid passport and travel insurance.

Work Visa:

Working in France, needs a long-stay work visa. To apply for a work visa, you will need to provide proof of employment in France, such as a job offer or contract, and proof of financial means to show you can financially support yourself. You’ll also need to provide a valid passport and travel insurance.

You can start your French Visa application via the Governement Website 

Can you extend your stay?

If you plan to stay in France and exceed 90 days, you are required to apply in advance for a long-stay Visa.

Your long-stay Visa must be between three months and one year. If you are planning to stay longer, you must apply for a residence permit. This can be applied for at a prefecture and will grant you an autorisation provisoire de séjour, which cannot exceed 180 days. 

What happens if you overstay your Visa?

Overstaying 90 days in France, will put you at risk of having a fine, being deported or potentially get yourself banned from entering the Schengen Area for a certain period of time.

Should you find yourself in an exceptional situation such as, you are a child and you cannot leave due to a sick parent or carer, your flight was cancelled or you are sick and seeking medical attention you can request a force majeure, this could help you obtain permission to stay a few days or weeks longer.

If you are needing to apply for medical insurance for your time in France, our team would be happy to advise you on the next steps to take. Say Hello

What Do You Need To Obtain a Visa For Spain?

Calpe city and tropical beach, Alicanta -  Apply for a Visa in Spain

Spain is a popular travel destination for many reasons. It offers beautiful beaches, historic cities, and plenty of culture. It’s also a great place to learn the language! If you’re planning on visiting Spain soon then this guide will help answer all your questions about travel visas.

Do You Need a Visa to Enter Spain?

There are a few different types of visas that you can apply for, depending on your situation. And quite commonly as with anywhere new for travel you may find yourself asking “What do I need for a Visa in Spain?!”

The most common one is the tourist visa, which allows you to stay in Spain for up to 90 days if you’re visiting friends or family members who live there. Other types include business travel visas (for those travelling on behalf of their companies), student visas (if you’re going to study at a Spanish university), and working holiday visas (for young people between 18-30 years old).
The requirements vary depending on what type of visa you need and where it will be used. However, all applications must include proof that:

  • You have enough money in your bank account (at least EUR 500)
  • Your passport has at least six months’ validity left before expiring
  • If you’re planning on staying longer than three months or if your reason for visiting Spain isn’t tourism-related (for example, if you’re going there for work), then it’s likely that you’ll need another type of visa. These Visas are Digital Nomad Visa, a Non Lucrative Visa or a Golden Visa.

Digital Nomad Visa

The digital nomad visa is a new option for those who want to stay in Spain for up to 1 year. It requires proof of income and health insurance, as well as a valid passport.

Non Lucrative Visa

A non-lucrative visa allows you to stay in Spain for up to 1 year. You must have proof of income, health insurance and a valid passport.

Golden Visa

The Golden Visa is a new program that allows you to stay in Spain for up to five years. It requires proof of investment in Spain and a valid passport. The amount you invest depends on how long you want to stay. If it’s less than one year, then at least 250,000 euros. If it’s between one and two years, then you will need 500,000 euros. And if it’s three years or more (and up to five), then 1 million euros will be needed in your investment.

How to Apply to get a Visa for Spain

You can apply for a visa to Spain online or at one of the Spanish consulates in your area. The required documents will vary depending on your situation, but they generally include:

  • Passport with at least six months left before expiration date
  • A completed application form (you can find this online under Schengen visas)
  • Your passport photo (you’ll need two photos)
  • Proof of travel insurance that covers you for at least 30 days after arrival in Spain, including emergency medical expenses

Our Short term Plus insurance plans provide cover for up to 6 months, and is different to standard travel insurance as this is to cover those travelling for work or study compared to insurance cover for leisure.

Visa Requirements for Spain

  • Length of stay: The length of time you can stay in Spain is determined by your visa type. If you have a short-term visa, it will be valid for a maximum period of 90 days. If you have a long-term visa, it will be valid for up to 5 years.
  • Entry and exit requirements: All visitors to Spain must have a valid passport that’s at least six months old when they enter the country. Your passport must also have at least two blank pages available for stamps. You will need proof of onward travel before entering Spain; if there’s any doubt about whether or not this requirement applies to your situation, contact us

Can You Extend Your Stay?

You can apply for a visa extension at the local police station in Spain. The process is not very complicated and takes only a few minutes, but it’s important to know what documents you will need.
The reasons why you might need an extension include:

  • Wanting to stay longer than 30 days in Spain (the maximum time allowed by most nationalities).
  • You have overstayed your current visa. This means if you leave Spain now and try re-enter within six months of departing without another valid visa, border control staff will refuse entry into the country. This will be until they see proof of legal status from either your home country or another Schengen member state where you currently hold residence status (i.e., Italy).

Visa Overstays in Spain

Overstaying your visa could mean you will be fined and deported from Spain. If this happens to you, it’s important to remember there are ways for visitors to stay in Spain even after their visas have expired.
Friends or family members who have legal residency in Spain and have been granted permission to host guests which is called tolerancia or permiso de residencia can help get your visa extended so that you don’t have any problems leaving or entering the country again.

If you are looking to apply for a visa and medical insurance for your time in Spain, our team would be happy to advise you on the next steps to take. Say Hello

International private health insurance for working abroad

Working abroad can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it can also present some unique challenges when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

If you or your employees are planning to work overseas it is important to stay healthy and have private medical cover in place in case the unexpected happens.

Depending on the country you’re working in, healthcare may not be easily accessible or of a high quality. Having international private health insurance can provide you with access to quality healthcare services and facilities, including inpatient hospital treatment, emergency care, and specialist consultations. HCI Group offers flexible policies for every scanario, taking the stress away from you and your overseas employees.

Some countries require visitors to have health insurance as a condition of entry, and having international private health insurance from HCI Group can help ensure that you meet these requirements.

International private health insurance can provide valuable coverage and peace of mind when working abroad, and it is worth considering as part of your overall company benefits package.

 

Tips for keeping healthy while working abroad

  • Stay active: Make an effort to exercise regularly, whether it’s going to the gym, taking a walk, or doing some yoga. This will help you maintain your physical and mental health and also help you adjust to the new environment.
  • Eat well: Pay attention to what you eat and make sure you’re getting a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables. Try to avoid eating too much junk food and eating out too often.
  • Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially if you’re in a hot climate. This will help you avoid dehydration and keep you feeling energized.
  • Get enough sleep: Make sure you’re getting enough sleep each night to help your body recover and stay healthy. Try to stick to a consistent sleep schedule as much as possible.
  • Take breaks: It’s important to take breaks throughout the day to avoid burnout and keep your mind and body refreshed. Take a walk, read a book, or just take a few minutes to relax and recharge.
  • Stay connected: It can be easy to feel isolated when working abroad, so make an effort to stay connected with family and friends back home. This will help you stay emotionally healthy and provide a support system when you need it.

If you are interested in discussing a group policy for your overseas employees please contact Jerome.Newman@healthcareinternational.com

What is expat insurance

If you’re thinking of travelling to study, work, or live abroad, it is advisable to invest in Expat insurance, also known as international health insurance or global medical insurance, which provides reliable and affordable insurance cover designed to protect you and your family, your health and your finances, from the high costs of healthcare overseas.

Woman tourist enjoying Calpe city and tropical beach, Alicanta, Spain

Health Insurance For Living Abroad

Expat Insurance policies typically provide worldwide medical coverage for those who aren’t already covered by their existing health plan for travel overseas, and it is important to have proper health coverage in the event of unexpected illness or injury.

There are varying levels of cover, and it’s essential when comparing insurance plans to consider what’s included and which treatment plan best suits your needs and circumstances. 

Types of private medical insurance for international travel purposes could include the avoidance of long waiting lists, hospitalisation, have preventative health benefits by providing test and examinations, emergency care, doctors visits, prescriptions, give you financial peace of mind with set fees as part of the claim process, and you could be seen much quicker if you require medical assistance whilst travelling away from home.

Short Term Insurance

Our Expat Insurance is the ideal short term solution for living overseas, providing medical cover for (almost) anywhere in the world for between one and three months. Our packages are readily available to those working abroad on placements, travelling, or taking extended vacations.

Designed for those living abroad for a few weeks or months, our international health insurance covers the cost of private medical treatment in the country you’ll be living in for the duration of your stay, making it the ideal choice for travelling short term.

HealthCare International has over 35 years’ experience in the Expat Insurance industry.

Get in touch with one of our customer service representatives today for a quote.

Meet the HCI Group team at A Place in the Sun Live

Come and meet the HCI Group team! We will be at

A Place in the Sun Live in Manchester.

If you are based in or near Manchester why not come and visit us at A Place in the Sun Live on the 3, 4 or 5 March?

We will be at stand F14, on the left hand side when you come in the entrance, and have an exclusive offer for all event attendees!

A Place in the Sun Live is a popular exhibition that focuses on buying property abroad. Visitors to the event in Manchester can expect to find a wealth of information and resources on everything related to buying property overseas.

Whether you are in the early stages of considering emigration or you already spend time living overseas, HCI Group can offer you various options for international private medical insurance including our Short Term Plan and Short Term Plan Plus. These policies are available to buy instantly and require no medical underwriting. 

Our health insurance policies cater for anyone living outside their home country for more than 30 days and our typical customers include expatriates, digital nomads and the internationally mobile.  

As well as information on global healthcare, A Place in the Sun Live has lots to offer. The packed agenda includes:

  • Property Exhibitors: The event features a wide range of property exhibitors who can offer advice and information on properties available to buy in popular destinations around the world.
  • Seminars: There are also a number of seminars and talks given by experts in the property industry, which cover topics such as buying property abroad, tax considerations, and legal requirements.
  • Advice: Visitors can also speak with property experts who can provide personalized advice on buying property overseas, including financing options and legal requirements.
  • Networking: The event is a great opportunity to meet and network with other like-minded individuals who are also interested in buying property abroad.
  • Freebies: If you are a chocolate lover don’t forget to visit our stand for a sugar fix!

 

 

Advice for LGBTQ expats

If you are a member of the LGBTQ community living abroad can feel daunting. It can be easy to worry about feeling safe or being accepted in a new environment. Many LGBTQ people want to make new friends, meet life partners or find their chosen family while living abroad and while some places are notoriously unsuitable for LGBTQ expats (Iran or Qatar are probably off limits) it can be hard to gauge how welcoming other countries can be.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the level of acceptance and tolerance for the LGBTQ community varies greatly from country to country and even within cities. However, some cities that are generally considered LGBTQ-friendly include:

  • Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Berlin, Germany
  • Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Toronto, Canada
  • Sydney, Australia
  • Tel Aviv, Israel
  • San Francisco, United States
  • Barcelona, Spain
  • London, United Kingdom

It is important to note that even in these cities, there may still be pockets of discrimination and prejudice, so it is always a good idea to research and stay informed about the specific location you are visiting.

Our Emergency Plus policy is designed for expats, digital nomads and other people living outside their home country. We offer the reassurance of private, in-patient care to our customers in the case of an accident or unexpected illness.

Our Short Term Plan provides three months of in-patient cover for people living abroad short term, travelling or taking an extended vacation.

Five benefits of international private medical insurance

When we are unwell, the last thing we want to do is be added to long waiting lists or face a hefty bill.
The benefits of private health insurance policies have been created to make life, and health issues, less stressful and much more comfortable to deal with. In the recent years, it has also become a lot more affordable and accessible.

Forget public hospitals waiting lists

By holding private medical insurance, you can skip ahead of long waiting lists that local hospitals and public healthcare systems often have, especially on illness and injuries regarded as ‘elective surgery.’
Elective surgery is defined as any surgery that is not deemed immediately medically necessary, therefore you have to wait on a list to have them done. The procedures can include many common illnesses such as joint operations to having tonsils removed.
Waiting lists for these types of operations with public hospitals can be anything from weeks, to months, and sometimes even years.
Not only will private medical insurance get your surgery booked in much earlier, your date will not be pushed back to prioritise a more urgent patient, unlike public healthcare services.

Preventive Medical services

Preventing potential or future health conditions by early diagnosis saves lives.
Private medical insurance policies can include a number of tests and examinations, to help keep you healthy and to catch a potential health issue before it arises.
These preventative health benefits include annual health checks to make sure there are no changes to your overall well-being, such as changes in blood pressure, weight, cholesterol and glucose levels.
Not only that, private health policies also include vaccinations and routine gynaecological tests, mammograms and prostate exams.

Financial protection against life critical illness

Private medical healthcare insurances provide financial peace of mind and support from large and unexpected monetary disbursements, leaving you or your family to focus on getting better and moving forward.
Being unable to work due to a critical illness can cause additional unwanted strain and pressure in hard times.

Prices negotiated beforehand

Should you choose or need to have private treatment and you do not have a policy in place, there will be little or no room to negotiate what that would cost. Private treatments have set fees which are often very costly.
With a private medical insurance policy, all costs are negotiated and agreed upfront as part of your claim process. This means that there will be no nasty surprises should you need to have any private treatment.

Avoid Accident & Emergency

Hopefully you haven’t needed to visit A&E in a public hospital. If you have, you will know that emergency room waiting times can be very long, sometimes lasting hours. Unless you are in a severe life-threatening situation, all you can do is wait for your turn.
Whilst private hospitals in the UK do not have an A&E department, many private hospitals outside of the UK do. This means that with private medical insurance should you need to visit the hospital for an accident or emergency, you will be able to be seen much more quickly than in a public hospital.

Here at HealthCare International we have over 35 years in the expat insurance industry, providing medical cover that is customisable to your needs. To get a quote or speak to one of our sales representatives, please contact us.

Find out more about our International Private Medical Insurance for expats.

Healthcare International product suite added to Health Compass platform

Press release

London: 30 September 2022

Healthcare International, a leading provider of International Private Medical Insurance (IPMI) to expats, digital nomads and the internationally mobile has been added to the Health Compass price comparison platform.

Insurance and financial intermediaries can use the Health Compass technology solution to compare both the price and quality of cover of IPMI products in the market.

Health Care International’s full product suite now includes those previously offered by Integra Global and policy cover ranges from budget in-patient care to premium outpatient services such as maternity and dentistry. Every policy is now featured on Health Compass and available to brokers via an umbrella agency agreement.

HCI is a well-respected MGA in the world of IPMI and has recently expanded its proposition with the acquisition of the Integra Global book of business and product suite,” said David Eline, Founder of Health Compass. “We now have nine of the world’s leading International PMI insurers and MGAs on the platform, giving intermediaries the ability to offer products to their customers from across the market.”

With 20 years in the IPMI sector and the recent purchase of Integra Global’s book, HCI has established itself as a leading option for brokers looking for robust solutions at competitive price points. HCI’s inclusion will only add to the variety of choices already available on the platform.

“We are delighted to be part of what is an- truly innovative technology solution for the IPMI market. Health Compass offers distributers the unique ability to compare price with cover quality, together with the assurance that all regulatory arrangements are in place.,” said Ian Wood, CEO of HCI. “We are confident that our products will stack up well against the competition and look forward to a fruitful long-term relationship with David Eline and his team”