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We start this series of informational guidance blogs on the subject of 'co-insurance'. In this particular blog we explain what 'co-insurance' is and how it is often integrated into both travel insurance policies and also fully featured expat medical insurance plans.
First, it’s important to know that co-insurance is not a benefit like dental or hospital visits. It’s one type of out of pocket expense that you may have on an international health insurance plan.
What that means is if you utilize the insurance – you and your insurance company will share the financial cost. Co-insurance is the shared cost of medical treatment between the insured and the insurance company.
This shared cost is typically broken down by a certain percentage, like 80/20.
In the instance of an 80/20 co-insurance, the insurance company will pay 80 percent and the insured is responsible for the other 20 percent. It’s important to check out what percentage you will be expected to pay and equally important to check if there is a payment ceiling.
For example, perhaps you find a plan that has a 80/20 co-insurance up to $5,000.
This means that you are responsible for 20 percent of your expenses until you reach the $5,000 cap.
Then, typically the insurance will pay 100 percent up to the benefit or policy maximum.
Keep in mind that not all co-insurance will have a cap.
While this is fine for smaller items such as a doctor visit for a cold, it can quickly add up when it comes to larger emergency situations.
It’s good to ask the question "what is co-insurance?", but also, "what is the co-insurance percentage break down and cap?" on the plan under review.