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Assistance Providers - A Key Spoke in any International Medical Insurance Wheel Says MediCare International

The assistance element of international healthcare is often misunderstood, but it is the engine room of any policy that determines whether clients are consistently well looked after and covered or not

2010-08-13
LONDON, ENGLAND, August 13, 2010 (Press-News.org) The assistance element of international healthcare is often misunderstood, but it is the engine room of any policy that determines whether clients are consistently well looked after and covered or not. It is the assistance services which all policyholders turn to as soon as they have any kind of medical problem, whether as simple as a child's ear infection or a more serious broken bone.

All insurers give their clients a phone contact number which gives 365 days cover, 24 hours a day, all over the world. The job of the skilled operators manning these lines can be as straightforward as recommending a specialist dental practitioner for emergency treatment or identifying a specialist maternity clinic. A detailed and up to date knowledge of both the quality of local healthcare and where centres of excellence are located is therefore essential to the smooth running of the treatment of patients.

The assistance centre is at the tip of a hugely complex worldwide administrative organisation for most insurers. Assistance services, because of their specialist nature, will often be subcontracted, so the experience of insurance providers such as MediCare International, becomes crucial in selecting the best provider. With over 20 years experience of rescuing and supporting sick clients around the world, MediCare International have a wealth of experience upon which to draw when looking at the various service providers.

One of the core functions of the assistance provider is to identify centres of excellence, to which patients can be sent quickly and efficiently. To achieve this, on the ground auditing of doctors and clinical facilities is carried out on a permanent basis, with many companies employing staff whose only role is to check the quality of a service. Detailed auditing of this nature achieves two objectives - it gives specialist healthcare providers such as MediCare International advance knowledge of new, high tech centres, such as exist in Thailand, but it also ensures that when patients are sent to a hospital, all parties can be confident the treatment and facilities available will be first class, and the patient will have the best chance of a fast, problem free recovery.

The assistance provider may also have access to a whole host of other services in-house which are essential to ensuring the smooth operation of health insurance in the field. Take the need for an air ambulance in the case of a patient who is judged to need evacuation, for example. Assistance providers, such as Cega, will have their own mini travel agency in house, so they can charter space on normal commercial airlines. But once again, the assistance provider will need to tailor that knowledge. If the patient is seriously ill, as is often the case with evacuations, the insurer needs to know practical details such as whether the patient can be loaded on to an aeroplane on a stretcher and if the seats can be removed to allow for the paraphernalia of medical equipment to be installed. Sometimes this level of detail will come down to knowing the width of an aeroplane's door to see if a stretcher can be loaded easily - a tiny detail but absolutely critical when lives are at stake and an evacuation is needed.

Assistance services must dovetail into an insurer's own resources for the rest of the process to work. Every time a claim is made, a complex trail starts which involves the insurer having to contact the supplier of medical services in the field, whether that was a GP or a hospital, and check exactly what treatment and drugs were given. Once a claim has been validated and it is known to be covered, the insurer will then arrange for payment to be sent. Generally, if the condition is likely to occur again, such as might be the case with a long course of physiotherapy or specialist drugs, the insurer will arrange for payment to be made directly.

With over 25 years experience in the expatriate healthcare insurance business, MediCare International understands the importance of an effective assistance and administrative infrastructure.

Newly installed customer systems, along with a reorganisation of claims processing, means that claims submitted to MediCare International are now settled within 10 days on average, and within one week in many cases. This gives MediCare clients one of the fastest settlement times in the market. MediCare International can now also offer direct settlement of in-patient hospital claim costs, so clients are not out of pocket while healthcare costs are refunded.

For details of MediCare's International health insurance plans visit http://www.medicare.co.uk, email medicare@medicare.co.uk or call +44 (0) 20 7204 3700.

For further information on MediCare International, please contact:

Guy Stephenson/Jenny Duffy
Nacelle Limited
Tel: +44 (0)20 8333 9125

Note to Editors
MediCare International has been speaking fluent healthcare for over 25 years ensuring simple, quick access to the best health facilities for expatriates of all nationalities living or working abroad and protection against the costs of inpatient and outpatient medical treatment. Currently, MediCare International has clients in 114 countries worldwide of 86 different nationalities.
MediCare specialises in designing flexible medical insurance cover backed up with the assurance of 24-hour emergency medical assistance for clients and their families. Help, advice and support are only a telephone call away where trained professionals can authorise treatment/settle bills direct with medical facilities, or arrange medical evacuation when necessary - wherever you are in the world. Most medical bills are refunded within 10 days, making this one of the fastest settlement times in the industry.
MediCare International were one of the first insurers to offer genuine chronic care costs cover, so clients with long term medication costs can rest assured knowing they will be covered.
Cover under group plans is also available to most local nationals. Discounted group rates start with just 3 lives and full medical history disregarded exemptions are available on groups of 10 and over, making Medicare one of the most competitive staff cover providers.


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[Press-News.org] Assistance Providers - A Key Spoke in any International Medical Insurance Wheel Says MediCare International
The assistance element of international healthcare is often misunderstood, but it is the engine room of any policy that determines whether clients are consistently well looked after and covered or not