Yuriy Nikanyonok  

Health Insurance in Ukraine: Travel Policy – Bonus or Pitfall?

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Frequent are cases when employers include health care insurance into the benefits package they offer which sometimes creates problems for their employees. This happens in Ukraine if travel insurance is added as a bonus to the regular health insurance policy.

It’s safe to assume that “Bonus programs” section of the policy will please the majority of the insured if only because it often includes coverage of medical expenses abroad. Let’s look into this simple issue a bit deeper.

Legal nuances

Insuring travel in Ukraine is a compulsory visa requirement set by foreign embassies. A lot of people view purchasing travel insurance policies as a mere formality. Besides, it is not that expensive. An average policy costs about UAH 200. The coverage provided by it is therefore quite limited. As to the term of the policy insuring your travel Ukraine’s market has the standard term of 1 year with a corridor of 60 days stipulated by the agreement. The sum insured is standard € 30,000.

What is there to know on travel insurance policy being part of employee’s benefits package?

Legally a policy comes into effect only after the payment of insurance premium. The policy given to an employee as a present normally has not been paid; therefore it has not come into effect
Usually the policy is issued upon HR’s request and sent to the embassy of the country of interest. However if you do face an emergency abroad, there might appear some difficulties in claim settlement. The thing is that legally a policy comes into effect only after the payment of insurance premium. The policy given to an employee as a present normally has not been paid; therefore it has not come into effect. For insuring health and insuring travel Ukraine’s market offers two separate contracts having different terms and conditions.

How do you fix this situation?

Unfortunately, insuring travel in Ukraine does not imply major amendments to the policy wordings. They are mostly standard and insurers tend to keep them as they are. Luckily, there are some ways to avoid pitfalls legal wise.

Policy activation

  1. Make sure to ask your insurance company to split insurance premium into two parts, one being payment under your principal insurance agreement, and the other – insurance premium under your travel insurance policy.  
  2. Ideally - request two payment receipts accordingly. It is quite complicated in terms of accounting procedures, but possible after all.
  3. Have your insurer draft an addendum to the insurance policy or a clarification letter stating that the travel policy incorporated into health insurance agreement has been paid and come into effect. 
  4. Negotiate the price for such travel policy at symbolic UAH 1. This will turn travel policy into an actual bonus rather than standard-priced insurance. 

Nuances

Please be aware of one more nuance. As mentioned above, insuring travel in Ukraine is usually limited to the period of 1 year under a policy. However, its beginning date may significantly differ from the beginning date of your health insurance contract. An employee usually thinks of travel insurance only before leaving abroad. That is why its term shifts, and travel policy ends later than principal health insurance agreement. If you have two payment receipts at hand, then you’ll be fine. Otherwise you’ll need to clear the issue with your insurer.

Finally, always make sure to pay attention who the signing party to the contract is when insuring your travel in Ukraine. It can either be head of a company or an Insured himself. This way you’ll know for sure who is paying for the insurance.

We hope this information will prove to be useful for you.  


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