The common questions about crew health insurance. part 2
Are there individual and group based options?
Group or individual contracts are available. For group contracts there are various options mainly due to the new regulations such as the MLC (Marine Labour Convention):
- P&I with crew extension. Medical expenses, repatriation, death and disability after accident or temporary disability are covered in order to be MLC compliant (shipowner’s liability)
- Crew Welfare or Travel Insurance. These types of contract will provide benefits to seafarers during on-duty period, mainly outside country of domicile. These contracts are not a real healthcare plan and are useful for emergency treatments or events linked to the job. No benefits for dental treatments, vision care or other check-ups.
- Crew Insurance or Private Scheme: These benefits can be subscribed by the shipowner or the individual member. They can provide coverage for check- ups, dental cares, vision cares, family members, etc.
Does nationality make a difference?
Indeed, some insurance companies refuse to provide benefits for certain nationalities, i.e. US citizens, due to the cost of medical treatments or legal expenses. In that case, your insurance company will apply a specific rate for group contracts.
For individual contracts, the insurance company is obliged to provide benefits through a local entity in order to be compliant with the national legislation.
Examples: if you are resident in Dubai, you need to be covered by a local insurance carrier in order to be compliant with the law Other legislations need to be considered such as the flag state main area of location (work or country of residence).
If the crew are considered as French residents, due to the main area of location (more than 6 months) or residence, you need to inform eight social security branches as defined by the national law. In that case, if the crew are not affiliated to state social security (French system “ENIM”, Flag State, or country with bi or multilateral convention with France) you need to provide a private scheme but not only for medical care but also for benefits as follow; employment injury, invalidity, sickness benefits, survivor benefits, family benefits “allocations familiales”, maternity: medical expenses + maternity leave and old age benefits including reversionary pension. Your insurance advisor will bring you a solution adapted to your situation
Are pre-existing conditions covered?
Pre-existing conditions are usually not covered by insurance contracts. With WYCC Insurance, pre-existing conditions are automatically approved for group contracts. For individuals you need to contact your supplier to confirm any possible exclusions.
Source: ONBOARD Magazine Spring 2021 Interview WYCC