Medical Questionnaires: mandatory or not?

Medical questionnaires are filled out by a new applicant in order to determine whether or not they are medically suitable for the insurance health cover they seek. Typically, this is used by an insurance provider to ascertain the level of health risk of a new subscriber if under writable or not.

These questionnaires are typically required when underwriting an individual/family risk. It is used/analysed by a team of the insurance provider’s medical team. 

These questionnaires would reflect all pre-existing conditions and past hospitalisations or medical case history of the proposed insured persons

It is in the interest of the insured to ensure full disclosure of his/her health condition correctly. In the event of a pre-existing condition, such should be mentioned in the medical questionnaire and provide supporting documents (if any) as this would give clarity to the risk weight of the insured. An attempt to do otherwise would lead to the cancellation of the cover as this would be considered a fraud.

There are 3 possibilities that may arise from the examination of medical questionnaires. The Insuring company may be advised by its medical team to  

1.Rejects the request for cover (it does not have to justify its decision),

2.Proposes special conditions in which it can take such covers ie loaded premiums and/or exclusions of the threatening pre-existing medical condition,

3.Standard conditions apply 

 Please note:

The essence of an international health insurance is to cover a potential risk. Pre-existing conditions are no potential risk because they are already known, and the consequences are already known medically (even if several options are possible). For example, maternity medical covers are not available to an already pregnant woman.

Zone of coverage

The area of cover means the territorial limits of your cover under your health insurance plan. Each area of cover has clear rules on the countries that you’re covered in (and for how much), as well as the countries where you have no cover.

All our plans are based on 6 zones of coverage (Africa & Indian Subcontinents, Europe South America, Asia, Gulf, Rest of the World) and give our subscribers more dedicated and focused plans in these zones. You can find all our coverage zones here 

Out of Zone Coverage

It is advisable to ensure before taking on a plan coverage, you take time out to read and understand the Zone of coverage of such plans. The ThinkCare plans have majorly 3 zones (Africa & Indian Sub-continents including or excluding Europe or the Rest of the World excluding USA), however, your are covered outside your zone of cover for temporary stays of up to 6à days per trip, on the conditions that the expenses incurred are due to an accident, an unexpected illness or an emergency including repatriation basis.

One good point of our plans is that it is modulable and you can buy out of zone extensions.

Waiting periods

A waiting period is the amount of time an insured must wait before some or all their coverage comes into effect. Waiting periods may also be known as elimination periods and qualifying periods. During these waiting periods, some benefits are not covered, and these are applicable on different benefits such as maternity, Dental, Vision. The essence of the waiting period is to mitigate the incidence of a new subscriber buying a policy only for a risk in waiting and putting the cost of such to a new insurer. The ThinkCare plan’s waiting period can be viewed in the different plan’s Terms and Conditions

Key benefits to consider on international health insurance

Hospitalisation/private room or semi-private room 

Hospital benefits are insured benefits that provide coverage for expenses associated with visiting a hospital for health care. These expenses can include things like admission rooms, in-hospital medical treatments, medical supplies, etc. Our ThinkCare plans clearly ensure the provision of benefits under Inpatient/Outpatient care. 

Maternity Care

Maternity care refers to the sum of health services provided during a woman’s pregnancy - antenatal to postnatal phase. While taking an international health insurance cover, it advised that this should be done long before maternity as no insurance provider would cover maternity without a minimum waiting period of 10 months. 

Preventive Care  

Routine health care that includes screenings, check-ups, and patient counselling to prevent illnesses, disease, or other health problems.

Preventive care helps detect or prevent serious diseases and critical illnesses before becoming major. It is recommended that annual check-ups, immunizations, and flu shots, as well as certain tests and screenings, be taken as preventive measures to the occurrence of some of these ailments. It is also referred to as routine care in some other plan documentations.

You can refer to the various ThinkCare plans for further details on our Preventive care benefits.

International Health Insurance Documentation

At this point, you are advised to carefully read through all supporting brochures, terms and conditions of all proposed international and local medical insurance. Give attention to all conditions of the proposed cover, especially as it relates to your current/future situation. 

At this point, our skilled Think Insurtech advisors would be on hand to give you the best counsel you would require making an informed decision.