Planning to get Health insurance in Greece? Read this first!
Written by Stavros Tsichlis, Ιnsurance Αdvisor at www.insurance-greece.com
Sometimes it can be tempting to go without health insurance coverage due to affordability concerns, but consider how you will fare should unforeseen circumstances arise. Few, if any, of us expect to have an accident or illness and this situation doesn’t wait for a more convenient time when we have health insurance plan to help pay the resulting medical bills.
This is even more appropriate when you reside in a foreign country with all the language barriers and the extremely bureaucratic and slow public health system (IKA – EOPYY – PEDI and now… EFKA).
So if you are planning to examine your options in Greece, below are 5 points you need to consider:
1) The insurance company
This is a very important decision you need to make. What is the company’s financial record? What is the agreed timeframe for a claim to be handled? What is the solvency margin of the firm you are about to sign up to? Your insurance advisor should be able to answer the above questions.
2) Emergency service
Is your advisor / company accessible at all times? Is there a 24-hour help line when your advisor is not able to pick up the phone or answer your emails? Do they offer global air ambulance and coordination in case of a serious health incident?
Make sure to note the help line number in your mobile phone as a contact!
3) Network or no network?
Some insurers offer a specific network of doctors and clinics that they use and you have to use this network should you need medical help.
Using a specific network has the advantage that the insurer has already checked the quality of the network for you! In addition they usually settle the medical bill directly with them so you will not need to withdraw large sums of money and then claim back. Truth be told, in most cases we are not able to evaluate the quality of a doctor or clinic and we base our decision solely on word of mouth.
On the other hand, the absence of a specific network has an obvious advantage that you can pick your own doctor or clinic.
4) Read the fine print (terms and conditions)
A health insurance policy has a number of clauses – what could be called the ”small print”. Reading them well is very important. And if you do not understand them, ask questions. For example: if you have a pre-existing condition (e.g. Thyroid), policies can be used only after a specific time period decided by the company.
5) Ask, ask ask!
A health insurance plan is an important financial and personal commitment. If you do not understand the process, ask questions! Insurance Advisors are obliged to answer all your queries truthfully and in a timely manner. You can distinguish a professional advisor by the amount of knowledge he / she has on the subject and the time he / she takes to respond to you.
Referrals by friends who had a good experience and service is a good first step to start talking about your health insurance needs.
Tip: Most health insurance policies contain waiting periods. Be sure to check them out!
Who we are:
Insurance-Greece.com is an online insurance advisory portal focused entirely on Expat insurance matters in Greece. We have no Call Centres and no automated email replies. An actual person deals with your insurance needs at all times. Whatever your insurance plan, an Insurance Advisor is there for personal advice!
We allocate an experienced insurance advisor to your specific plan so that you always have someone to talk to regarding your insurance needs. Find out why this is more important that automated online sellers and call centres here