There are three types of underwriting commonly used for International Business Health Insurance:
► Full Medical Underwriting (FMU)
This is where your employees will each need to complete a form which asks 12–15 medical questions.
This form will be reviewed by the underwriting team at your chosen International Private Medical Insurance provider and any pre-existing conditions will be excluded from cover.
Some insurers will allow exclusions to be reviewed each year, if you feel the exclusion is no longer relevant.
When assessing your form, the insurance provider may request further information or a doctor’s report, which you would have to provide at your expense.
► Moratorium Underwriting (Mori)
Not all International Health Insurance providers offer this type of underwriting as it doesn’t provide the upfront clarity which FMU underwriting does. However, moratorium underwriting can work better for some people and it also makes the upfront administration easier when setting up the scheme and adding employees during the year.
Moratorium Underwriting means signing an agreement to accept that that any conditions you have had treated or sought advice on in the last five years are not covered for the first two years of the plan, but are covered after that point, so long as you have not had any treatment or symptoms in those two years.
If you do have treatment or symptoms, then the two years starts again from that point. Some insurers offer variations on this, so it is worth confirming exactly what the requirements are with your insurer if you want to consider this type of underwriting. A further consideration is that when you do make a claim, underwriting is completed at that point to assess whether you have met the criteria, and it can sometimes take longer to get a claim agreed.
► Medical History Disregarded (MHD)
MHDs is the most generous underwriting available on a International Business Health Insurance scheme. It’s also the most administration-friendly as no forms are required and employees are taken on cover without any exclusions for pre-existing conditions.
All it requires to set up is a list of employees and their main details.
As you would imagine there is a loading to be paid to access this type of underwriting and all group International Health Insurance providers have a minimum group size before it becomes available. Most Insurers start offering MHD underwriting to group of 10+ employees while a few offer it from 5+ employees. Loadings generally start at 20% but goes down the larger the group is, normally to around 5%.