Expatriate medical insurance and pooling of the masses
By Robert Tillotson
Have you ever shopped for global medical insurance and thought, what are employer groups getting that my family and myself are missing out on? Well, the biggest benefit is the “guarantee of issue of coverage” and group “discounts.” While this may not happen for the smaller groups, like a restaurant, boutique hotel, or yoga studio with less than 10 employees, most of the larger groups are offered a guarantee of medical coverage without any waiting periods or denials due to pre-existing medical conditions. Discounts are then negotiated with the larger private hospitals from Mexico to Asia.
While visiting Playa del Carmen, Mexico, in January, I met a gentleman by the name of Tim Delhaes, who is a German living in town with his Mexican wife and two kids. Tim is in the tech industry and travels globally with his family. We talked for a while (over a couple of cold cervezas and thought: “what if a bunch of expats got together and created a pool to attract lower rates and higher levels of coverage with the eventual goal of a “guarantee of coverage?”
Soon after researching and reaching out to the local expatriate community for input, Tim formed the Facebook Group “One Hundred Expats” with these goals in mind. So the mission statement was defined: The objective would be to grow to a large number of expatriates (pool) and demand more benefits, concessions, higher level of services, hospital discounts (locally and globally) and yes, within time, a guarantee of coverage for all involved. We would leverage the power of the member pool to obtain the goals.
I could not hold back and had to get involved. So the conversation expanded to locate the one international medical insurer who would take a gamble from the start and work with one hundred expats. As the weeks went by and after many discussions as well as open forum suggestions from expatriates in the Yucatan and other parts of Mexico, a member-based organization was formed.
Only time will tell if the experiment will pay off, but so far, Tim says, “We have had over 130 people interested, and the goal is well on its way to meeting many of the stated goals.” The group has been formed, the insurance carrier has been chosen, discounts have been elected, plan options have been established and hospitals will be called.
From the way things sound, the masses will guide the process. This is long overdue.
For more information on the One Hundred Expat member group, contact Tim Delhaes at Tim.firstname.lastname@example.org or visit One Hundred Expats on Facebook. Memberships are being waived for the next 30 days.