Celia relocated to Hong Kong in 1991 for her husband’s career. They moved with their young daughter after a friend suggested they try expat life.
"I really hit the jackpot with you guys."
The couple thought they might move back home for their daughter’s education, but ended up staying and having more children out there.
Celia’s husband was always keen for them to have private insurance because his father passed away from cancer when he was 15.
The family had a private healthcare policy while still living in the United Kingdom, but it only provided them with local cover. They decided it would be a good idea to have an international healthcare plan when they moved to Hong Kong to protect their medical needs abroad.
Celia enlisted the help of an insurance broker to help find a suitable plan, with maternity cover being a priority. She recognised the benefits that private healthcare offered in Hong Kong, “we wanted to have both of us there at the birth of our children and we wanted our children to be protected in the private health system, as well as ourselves.” Public healthcare in Hong Kong did not allow for a father to be present at birth at that time.
In 2013, Celia was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, for which she will always need treatment. The ongoing support from APRIL International has made all the difference, “I really hit the jackpot with you guys. I’m ten years on with it now. I still work full-time. I consider myself very fit and active, but I also consider that APRIL has saved my life, so I’m incredibly grateful.”
With her international health insurance plan, Celia was given the choice to take medication for the cancer instead of undergoing a stem cell transplant. The team at APRIL International were there to help her throughout the journey, “I would like to point out that Tom has done a fantastic job. I appreciate that. I’ve got a name and someone I can phone if I’ve got any problems.”
Undergoing steroid treatment for cancer has left Celia with thin skin, meaning access to high-quality medical care quickly is vital. Speaking about her experiences with this, Celia said “I think our doctors are amazing in Hong Kong. I get incredibly good treatment.”
On one occasion, her skin ‘split’ after a small incident on public transport, but she was able to get in touch with her doctor urgently, “I sent a photo to my orthopaedic surgeon. He immediately phoned me back and said come straight to the hospital.” Celia arrived at hospital within two hours of the initial contact. This resulted in quick treatment - her leg was stitched instead of needing a skin graft.
Celia has found it particularly beneficial that the costs of her care are settled directly with the hospital following treatment, “every month payment is sent to the doctor at the clinic. This has saved us from being tremendously out of pocket.”
She also appreciates how efficient it is dealing with CEGA, our medical assistance partner, “I am able to phone them and they always answer the phone, 24 hours. They always give me a claim number.” Always having a human point of contact can remove some of the stress from difficult situations.
Celia enjoys travelling, so makes use of the portable benefits included in her policy when she does. This is important to her, as her medical treatment is ongoing.
When in her home country, it has enabled her to get access to care, “when I first got cancer, I had to be seen every week. I went to the London Clinic in Harley Street.” This means that Celia can travel safe in the knowledge that she has access to medical help if she needs it, so long as it is within her area of cover.
She also can count on the highly personal treatment from her doctors, who are easily reachable on WhatsApp, “even when he’s on holiday, my consultant would reply to me within one or two hours.” Celia really appreciates the quickness and level of care she receives, noting that she has had “wonderful treatment in Hong Kong.”
When asked if she would recommend APRIL International, Celia said, “oh yeah, absolutely. I’m really, really happy.”
"I also consider that APRIL has saved my life, so I'm incredibly grateful."
To find out more about how we can support you with an international health insurance plan, call us on +44 (0) 203 418 0470. Or click below to have a look at our international health insurance plans.Click here
There are many details to consider when moving abroad, one of which is international private medical insurance (IPMI). This is designed to cover you for medical treatment when you’re living, working, and studying overseas, but it can be hard to know which provider to go with.
Travel insurance and international health insurance are often confused, but they are very different in reality.
As an expat, when the question comes to what kind of medical coverage you want for yourself, your family, or even your company, one of the decisions you’ll need to make is whether you want to take out a local private health plan or an international health insurance plan.
If you’re planning to move abroad, there are many things to consider, from where you’re going to live, to possibly learning a language or finding a new job.
*The name of the member has been changed in this testimonial, as they prefer to stay anonymous due to their personal circumstances.