Medical insurance: the gaping hole between jobs

by Marc Menard - Guest Contributor in Articles

DatePosted on November 14, 2011 at 10:05 AM
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Photo credit: Jenn Evelyn Ann 

Insurance expert Marc Menard highlights the major common pitfall for executive and senior level professionals to consider in their medical coverage when transitioning between jobs. 

Most executive managers and senior partners are usually covered by a corporate medical plan arranged by their employer or firm. These plans usually provide basic services and do not offer a free choice of doctors and hospitals. Moreover, in 95% of all the cases it is not possible to convert their corporate plan to an individual policy once they decide to change jobs or retire. This could be catastrophic where, during their employment, they had been diagnosed with a cancer or some other chronic condition.

As a result, all on-going (and substantial) medical expenses which were previously paid for immediately cease to be covered as their corporate medical plan will be terminated. Even where a conversion to another medical insurance policy is possible, the condition may well be excludedfrom coverage as it is deemed an pre-existing condition.

That is why, in our experience, one-third of senior professional managers and professional firm partners prefer to make their own arrangements by taking out a private health insurance policy.  And with more senior professionals having to travel or be relocated with their work, more senior professionals are looking at ways in which their policy can give them the flexibility and freedom to reflect their hectic lifestyles.

This is more the case if they are in good, healthy condition to ensure they will have a long-term medical plan for themselves and their family, with fewer exclusions and limitations. The upshot is that senior level professionals should raise this matter with their new employer or partnership as part of their negotiations of joining.  

Finding a policy that gives a complete worldwide coverage with freedom to choose any specialists or hospitals will give you the peace of mind that regular corporate policies may not give.  There are private health insurance policies available on the market that come with a guaranteed renewal for life (if no fraud application) meaning that it is not possible for the insurance company to cancel the policy due to the age or the state of health of the assured.  Very often, people look at what they currently pay for the policies but neglect to consider the actual coverage or what will happen when they get older.

About the Author

Marc Menard - Guest Contributor

Marc Menard is the Managing Director for the Henley & Partners Levant (eastern Mediterranean) Region. He was previously Managing Director of Swiss Insurance Partners in Hong Kong from 2010-2016. 

Note: the views and beliefs expressed by our independent contributors are of their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Star Anise.  All personal finance and insurance matters of an individual are unique to that individual, and such matters should be tailored to suit that individual's needs. 

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