Thursday, March 19, 2009

Health Insurance Abroad

My health administration friends will get a kick out of this. So one of the drawbacks of living abroad is the paperwork involved with international health insurance claims. We are on an international health insurance plan called BUPA (run by United Healthcare). Strange name, don't you think? Well it is of course a super duper coverage plan that comes with a super duper price tag, but worth it. Except when it comes to submitting claims. It is enough to make me sick all over again.

When we seek care we have to pay the total to the provider up front, usually in cash. The doctor's office does not submit the claim. Then we are to get a receipt for the care (which are often written by hand) and submit back the claim where BUPA will then convert the currency exchange rate and refund what we are due. Gaps in the system include: remembering to submit claims, trying to keep up with receipts, and filling in the novel required with each claim. Not only do they want the whole health history involved but also the bank account information to return the money automatically. It is enough to make me cross-eyed between the three of us, our ID numbers, and the receipts. Oh well. A small price to pay to feel secure health-wise so far from home.

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