An analysis of overseas international health insurance claims made between 2019 and 2020 by global health insurance provider William Russell has uncovered five claims worth more than $300,000 (£215,000).
The eyewatering figures released today, reveal the highest claims paid for medical treatment overseas in the period 2019-20 were for cancer treatments, with 25 claims worth over $100k (£71,800) including five over $300k (£215,000).
Other treatments associated with huge sums included maternity care where the highest claim was $42,527.40 (£30,560.19), dental treatment with a highest claim of $8,336 (£5,990.25), and diabetes which topped out at $6,521.46 (£4,694.66).
The analysis also reveals several claims for maternity treatments amounting to more than $40,000 (£28,000) with Hong Kong the most expensive country for people giving birth abroad.
Many costs associated with long-term illnesses, such as diabetes and routine dental work, also amounted to several thousands of dollars.
Childhood vaccination could also cause significant costs for families living abroad with the data showing these escalating costs with some instances of vaccinations costing over $800 (£574).
Commenting on the findings, Inez Cooper, managing director and co-founder of William Russell, said: “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.”
Cooper added that while the figures covered the period 2019-20, at a time when the cost of global healthcare is increasing year-on-year, there was no telling what they may look like in 2020-21.
“This only serves to highlight how vital it is for families already living or planning to move abroad to urgently seek international health insurance from a trusted provider,” he continued.
“Families may also want to consider the addition of medical evacuation insurance, which will provide cover should they need to travel to another country for medical treatment.
“When even something as simple as a childhood vaccination can incur a considerable fee, it is all the more reason to search for international health insurance that will cover you and your family for any eventuality,” Cooper added.