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Six reasons why international health insurance could give you peace of mind – now and in the future

In times of crisis, certain truths become ever more apparent. The rapid spread of the coronavirus across the world is a stark example of how quickly things can change and the value of being prepared for the unexpected.

Six reasons why international health insurance could give you peace of mind – now and in the future
Photo by Timur Romanov on Unsplash

Nobody can separate themselves from the ups and downs of life. But individuals and families face important decisions about how best to secure some peace of mind. Such choices may loom even larger for expats, as international insurance broker ASN understands.

Here are six reasons why international health insurance could give you greater peace of mind today and in the years to come:

1.     Feeling prepared

All insurance is about protecting against risks. Perceptions of risk change over time and sometimes the unexpected hits you without warning. ASN works with a wide range of insurance partners, many of whom offer coverage for pandemics, including the current coronavirus outbreak.

Find out more about ASN and its international network of insurance providers

Anyone diagnosed with coronavirus who has such a policy will be covered under the normal terms and conditions of their plan. Depending on your level of cover, this could include a full refund for in-patient hospital charges while being treated for COVID-19 or a significant hospital cash benefit.

2.    Personalised plans

Nobody looks forward to a hospital stay. But a bespoke insurance policy could make it easier by enabling you to choose which hospital you are treated in – and whether you will have a private room.

Most people infected with coronavirus simply need to self-isolate at home. But even the fit and healthy face a small risk of complications that require hospital treatment. Many of ASN’s partners work directly with hospitals on a case-by-case basis, building relationships and helping to curb medical inflation.

Photo: Adobe Stock 

3.    Coverage beyond borders

The current crisis has led to unprecedented closures of international borders. Huge numbers of people have either been left stranded or facing difficult choices about whether to cancel travel plans.

Want quality health insurance coverage wherever you are? Find out more

Specialist international health insurance offers you more when you are abroad, whether as an emigrant or a frequent traveller. ASN can select insurance offering global coverage and access to a worldwide network of leading doctors and hospitals to choose from. You can also opt for a policy that offers medical evacuation and repatriation where necessary.

4.    Clear round-the-clock communication

Amid uncertainty and anxiety, clear communication from a trusted source that remains readily available can seem invaluable. Some insurance providers now offer member services 24/7 through contact options such as WhatsApp, phone hotlines and live chat. ASN support officers also remain available by email and phone during the pandemic. The company reminds everyone to follow safe practices outlined by the World Health Organization and to continue social distancing.

5.    Putting family first

Illness can be hugely disruptive to family life. If you suspect you have coronavirus, your first concern might be about the potential implications and impact for your family members. ASN has strong partnerships with providers that offer a wide choice of individual or family-based policies.

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

One has already extended the claim submission period from six to nine months for members with COVID-19, so they can focus on recovering fully with support from their family. It has also pledged faster turnaround times for pre-authorisations of treatment and claims relating to COVID-19.

6.    Facing the future

Healthcare in the 21st century is changing. From ageing populations to the potential of highly personalised ‘precision medicine’, the sector is being reshaped by a range of powerful factors.

Choosing the right insurance policy for you requires careful consideration of both the present and the future. When you establish health insurance with ASN, you are guaranteed lifetime renewability regardless of age or health conditions. True peace of mind depends on taking care of tomorrow as well as today.

Visit ASN's website now for more information on global health insurance solutions.

Conditions may apply.

This article was produced by The Local Creative Studio and sponsored by Advisory Services Network.

 

 

 

For members

HEALTH

Reader question: How can foreign doctors practise medicine in Austria?

If you are a doctor moving to Austria, there are a few legal requirements you need to follow before starting your medical practice. Here is what you should know.

Reader question: How can foreign doctors practise medicine in Austria?

Medical doctors are in high demand all over the world, especially as the coronavirus pandemic showed us how much we are short-staffed in the health sector.

In Austria, it’s no different, and the federal government has already announced several measures to attract people to its health sector in the future.

READ ALSO: More pay and longer holidays: How Austria hopes to attract 75,000 new nurses

Among the measures are changes to its Red-White-Red residence permits, those that, for example, allow workers, including in shortage occupations, to immigrate to Austria on a work visa.

Things will get easier for many IT employees, engineers, and tourist sector workers, but in some sectors, including the health one, there are a few more hurdles before starting working.

READ ALSO: How Austria is making it easier for non-EU workers to get residence permits

When it comes to medical activities, even European citizens who already have a right to live and work in Austria might need to go through a process to get their education certified and valid to start a medical practice in the country.

The process will depend primarily on where your training has taken place and what type of medical activity you intend on doing. All details can be found on the Austrian Medical Association (Österreische Ärztekammer).

General requirements for medical practice

In order to take up a medical practice in Austria, every physician (doctor, specialist, or general practitioner) needs to register with the Ärztekammer and meet the general legal requirements.

These include having full legal capacity concerning professional practice, good character and reputation required for fulfilling professional duties, fitness to practice needed for completing professional responsibilities, sufficient knowledge of the German language and legal residence giving access to the labour market.

READ ALSO: Everything foreigners need to know about the Austrian healthcare system

There are also specific requirements that need to be met depending on where your training took place.

Training took place within the EEA or in Switzerland

In this case, the process tends to be a bit easier, and you need to provide evidence of your basic medical training and any specific or specialist training you might have. For that, a diploma for medical study issued by an EEA member state of Switzerland will work.

You can check whether your documents are eligible for automatic recognition in Austria by emailing the Austrian Medical Association at [email protected].

Medical training outside the EEA (but recognised)

If you have had medical training outside of the EEA or Switzerland, but your training has been recognised by one of these states, the rules are also a bit different. You must show evidence of the medical activity and proof of its recognition.

Additionally, you must be authorised to independent medical practice in the country that recognised your education and has at least three years of actual and lawful professional experience in that country to have your training recognised through a non-automatic recognition of third country diplomas process.

You need to contact the International Affairs Team of the Austrian Medical Association ([email protected]) to get more information.

Medical training done in a third country

If you have completed your medical training in a third country and do not fulfil the requirements for a non-automatic recognition (above), you must first have your university degree recognised as equivalent by an Austrian university.

This process is known as Nostrifizierung.

In Austria, the Nostrifizierung procedure is done by the medical universities (Vienna, Graz or Innsbruck) with similar processes. In Vienna, you need to submit an application form, an education history for the comparison between the Curriculum taken and the one offered in Austria, and a possible “random test”.

Among the documents to be submitted in the application process is proof that you have a B2 level of German, a document from the Ärztekammer that you are required to go through the Nostrifizierung process and a confirmation that you paid the €150 fee. You can find a list of all documents you’ll need to submit here.

READ ALSO: Six things to know about visiting a doctor in Austria

The universities will then “investigate” if your education is equivalent to the one offered in Austria. The first step is a curriculum comparison (checking for both content and hours of classes), but they may also carry out a “random test” in some cases.

The test will be in German, but the participants selected will be allowed to use a language dictionary – the test results are only a part of the nostrification process and help the universities assess if the candidate’s training is equivalent to an Austrian one.

After you go through the recognition processes (Nostrifizierung), you can register with the Austrian Medical Chamber.

Registration with the Austrian Medical Association

Before starting medical practice in Austria, every person needs to register with the Austrian Medical Chamber. For this, they will need to send documents including proof of nationality, proof of lawful residence, a certificate of good standing from countries where they have practised medicine for more than six months within the last five years, a criminal record certificate, medical certificate (confirming physical and mental fitness to practice the medical profession) and more.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: How the Austrian healthcare system works

The application for registration has to be filed with the Austrian Medical Chamber.

The Medical Chamber of the respective province where you plan to exercise the medical profession is available to further assist with this. You can arrange a meeting with them to clarify general questions about the process.

Here you can find more information.

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