Many of our readers who live in Turkey full time have asked us for information about medical insurance. The following article explains where and how to get cover and the likely costs.

Many of our readers who live in Turkey full time have asked us for information about medical insurance. The following article explains where and how to get cover and the likely costs.

Turkey doesn’t provide free medical cover for UK expats. So, if you fall ill in Turkey you will be faced with potentially costly medical bills. You might think you can just go back to the UK for free NHS treatment but under the current regulations, anyone who spends more than 3 months living outside the UK is no longer automatically entitled to free NHS hospital treatment in England. This includes people in receipt of UK state retirement pensions. More details can be found at the link below.

http://www.dh.gov.uk/PolicyAndGuidance/International/OverseasVisitors/OverseasVisitorsBrowsableDocument/fs/en?CONTENT_ID=4099060&MULTIPAGE_ID=4955359&chk=mJFm70

So what are your options? You could set some of your savings aside and self insure paying bills as they arise. But what if you need more expensive treatment and can’t afford it? Well, you can offset most of this risk by taking out medical insurance. But how do you go about getting a suitable policy and good advice and how much will it cost?

Finding a suitable policy can be as easy or as difficult as you want to make it. We’ll start with the hardest one first – wandering around the local insurance brokers in Turkey trying to find one that not only speaks good enough English but who also has good knowledge of the policies and can explain them to you. But how will you know if the policy they are selling is the best one for you or just the one that pays the most commission?

The next involves contacting all of the big insurance providers direct – easy on paper but very time consuming and potentially complicated.

But the easiest in our opinion is to get someone else to do all the hard work for you who is based in the UK, speaks your language, provides consumer protection and has contacts with all the major worldwide insurance companies. That’s why we consulted with Andrew Wilson of Medibroker Limited a UK medical insurance broker. Medibroker is a fully independent international medical, health and travel insurance broker offering a free quote service with advice, globally across the Internet. Their service is available to people of any nationality, anywhere, living or working in another country .  Healthcare insurance cover is offered for Europe, Rest of World or full worldwide including USA and Canada.

{mosimage}We asked Andrew just how easy is it to use their service and get a quote for medical insurance? He said the process is very easy to follow and begins with a high level application that can be completed on their website. You will need to provide all of the normal types of information including name, age, existing medical conditions and the type of cover you would like. They will then prepare a quote for you within 1 working day. If you need to discuss the level of cover then Andrew said they are more than happy to help. We asked if a medical check up would be required before taking out any policy? He said that in most cases all that would be required would be a check of past medical records held with your current doctor or last UK doctor.

So what levels of cover can you buy? You can opt for 3 levels of cover depending on your circumstances.

1. Standard – covering in-patient activities such as operations.

2. Comprehensive – Covering, in addition, to the above outpatient activities and prescription drugs.

3. Fully Comprehensive – including maternity, dental cover, chronic conditions and enhanced benefits

{mosimage}Most policies will allow you a free choice of hospital or doctor subject to them meeting minimum standards and that they are set up to deal with the insurance company. In many cases treatment would need to be pre-authorised.

For small claims you would be required to pay and claim back via the UK based claims handling centres. These are set up to accept faxed copies of invoices to speed up the process and reduce delays in getting the cash back to you.

So how much do medical insurance policies cost? The Medibroker website helpfully lists policy costs in 3 example age groups. For a European policy (includes Turkey) a couple aged 52 and 58 would pay from £2,000 to £7,400 per year depending on the level of cover required. Policy prices can vary though as some policies are priced in Euros or Dollars and converted to Sterling.  

So what things do you need to look out for? Andrew said that the most important thing is to be honest when you complete the application form and let them know of any pre existing conditions however trivial. It’s best to let the insurer know as much as possible to avoid any delays or refusal to pay out in the future if your condition was found to have already existed. He also said that you must read the small print on the proposal forms but part of the Medibroker service is to guide you through this if you need help.

Finally we asked Andrew why our readers should use a broker such as Medibroker to buy Medical Insurance. He said:

1. It’s a free service.

2. That their staff are salaried not commission paid so you can be assured that they will find the right policy for you rather than the one that pays the most commission.

3. They take all the work out of finding the right policy.

4. You get a good price.

So, we think this looks a pretty easy process to follow and, with the broker we consulted, they have the added benefit that they are UK based, speak English and are technology enabled.

If you would like to find out more visit the Medibroker website or email Andrew Wilson at andrew.wilson@medibroker.com

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