William Russell release data showing overseas healthcare bills can hit over $390,000

Costs of global medical treatment

Overseas International Health Insurance Claims 2019-2020

We have been given an insight into the stark reality of global healthcare costs as William Russell, a leading International Medical Insurance provider, shares their analysis of overseas international health insurance claims, made between 2019 and 2020.

The William Russell data reveals that the highest value healthcare claims paid during this period, generally relate to cancer treatment, with 25 claims hitting over $100,000 with five surpassing $300,000. The highest single claim landed in at over $390,000.

However, the data it also sheds a light on the high cost of treatments in different parts of the world which are equally as eyewatering. Several maternity claims topped $40,000, with Hong Kong coming out as the most expensive country to have a baby. The most expensive medical evacuation during this period was $31,125 – although in extreme cases, complex medical evacuations costs can reach into the hundreds of thousands.

Even routine treatments in some parts of the world can land you with a medical (healthcare) bill that could keep you awake at night. The highest claim for diabetes came in at $6,806 (Thailand) with the highest dental claim at $8,336. It isn’t just the older age ranges driving the higher costs of treatment either. In several cases expats and families living abroad were charged over $800 for childhood vaccinations.

This new data is based on claims now up to two years old. With the cost of healthcare globally rising year on year due to new, cutting edge drugs and treatments being available as well as standard inflationary pressures, it’s likely that these figures have already been surpassed in 2020-2021.

This is another timely reminder of the importance of having the right international health insurance in place for expatriate employees and a considered approach to international employee benefits for overseas staff.

Commenting on the analysis, Inez Cooper, Managing Director and Co-founder of William Russell, stated:

“The data shows the huge financial risk for families living and working abroad who seek medical care without cover from international health insurance.

“While we at William Russell were more than happy to cover these costs on behalf of our global health insurance clients, we dread to think of any expatriate families who may need to pay these fees out of their own pockets.

“Some of the sums revealed in our data could cause serious, long-term financial difficulty for families, which would add to the stress of illness.”

Financial Wellbeing

In addition to the practical considerations of protecting your family or employees at a time when they are ill. We know that Financial wellbeing is increasingly being recognised as a core pillar of mental health, as has been recently documented in the Mental Health Index released by leading Global Employee Assistance Programme provider, Lifeworks / Morneau Shepell, which you can read more about here.

William Russell are a leading provider of International Health Insurance, which provides comprehensive cover for healthcare treatment anywhere in the world. These products are commonly used by expatriates to protect themselves and their families, and by businesses who want to protect their expatriate employees, or to provide a consistent and harmonised level of health insurance benefit, across multiple international locations.

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