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Beware of Getting Caught in the Crossfire, Warns MediCare International
Date:3/10/2010

LONDON, March 10, 2010 /PRNewswire/ --

- War and Reconstruction Zones now Popular Destinations for Specialist Expatriate Workers

- Effective International Healthcare Insurance Essential in Such Areas

- Medicare International one of the few Insurers to Offer This Cover

As troops return home from Iraq and Afghanistan, the full horror of war is often hidden from public view. Not only are soldiers killed whilst away on duty, but many suffer lost limbs or disfigurement when injured by bombs, explosives and other weapons. What will come as a surprise to most, though, is that according to the Los Angeles Times the number of US contractors living in Iraq, now exceeds the number of US combat troops. Foreign contractors, particularly UK nationals, are also to be found in large numbers living in Iraq and Afghanistan. They too face danger as they go about their working lives, as the battle is not restricted to professional soldiers, and ordinary civilians working in war zones can easily get caught in the crossfire.

Usually, contractors working in war zones are aware of the dangers that accompany their jobs, and it is for this reason that it is extremely advisable for individuals to take out health insurance which includes "passive war zone cover" if they plan to be in this situation. Healthcare insurance companies, such as MediCare International, offer policies which cover both individuals and groups of employees in countries where the risk of being caught in the crossfire is ever present, and importantly, premium discounts are usually available with three or more lives insured together as part of a group scheme. Although it is uncomfortable to face these facts, should someone be involved in a serious accident, their insurance policy will enable the individual to receive the best possible care, which could involve any kind of treatment from evacuation through to emergency surgery and in the longer term even the use of prosthetic limbs and plastic surgery.

Medical science has come a long way in its use of prosthetic limbs to help people return to their everyday lives. The use of prosthetic limbs can be traced as far back as Ancient Egypt, but advancements in recent years, sometimes with the use of robotic technology, have enabled those with prosthetic limbs to function just as well as their able-bodied counterparts.

Medical advancements have also taken place in plastic surgery, although this is more commonly associated with cosmetic procedures focusing on beauty rather than physical reconstruction after burns or other disfigurements. Non-cosmetic plastic surgery tends to focus on burns, scarring and disfigurement of the face or body. The benefits of plastic surgery to someone who has been disfigured by accident or injury can be tremendous, not only physically but psychologically too.

Many major healthcare insurers do not offer 'passive war' cover as part of their healthcare policies, as the majority have a full war risk exclusion, with the result that procedures such as the use of artificial limbs and plastic surgery would not be available to a claimant. MediCare International stands out in this respect, offering its full suite of normal policy benefits such as evacuation and medical care, but also including rehabilitation cover of up to GBP100,000 for injuries suffered in a war zone, including terrorist attack. In a market so often characterized by policies which seem to offer many similar benefits, 'passive war cover' can really makes a difference to those expatriates living and working in world hotspots. 'Passive war cover' is likely to be of particular interest to aid agencies and rebuilding contractors working in the Gulf area, especially in Iraq, as well as Afghanistan and parts of Africa. Policyholders will benefit from the full range of MediCare International services, including rehabilitation, hospital benefits and evacuation, in the event of injury by terrorists, or as part of a broader war conflict.

David Pryor, Senior Executive Director, MediCare International comments, "In an age where localised conflicts seem to be ever present, whether in the form of a full scale encounter such as that in Afghanistan or on a more localised basis in other world hotspots, the reconstruction and rebuilding of economies is of vital importance. As a contractor or voluntary worker attached to an NGO, preparing yourself for the reality of entering such areas is a must, as the type of medical care which will be needed is quite different from standard healthcare practice. For those companies involved in reconstruction and aid, attracting the necessary highly-skilled specialists can be helped if they know they can at least have full medical cover."

With over 25 years experience of supporting the international business community worldwide and clients from 86 nationalities in 114 countries, MediCare International - website http://www.medicare.co.uk - is a major provider of health insurance for expats of all nationalities across the world.

Note to Editors

MediCare International has been speaking fluent healthcare for over 25 years ensuring simple, quick access to the best health facilities for expatriates of all nationalities living or working abroad and protection against the costs of inpatient and outpatient medical treatment. Currently, MediCare International has clients in 114 countries worldwide of 86 different nationalities.

MediCare specialises in designing flexible medical insurance cover backed up with the assurance of 24-hour emergency medical assistance for clients and their families. Help, advice and support are only a telephone call away where trained professionals can authorise treatment/settle bills direct with medical facilities, or arrange medical evacuation when necessary - wherever you are in the world. Most medical bills are refunded within 10 days, making this one of the fastest settlement times in the industry.

MediCare International were one of the first insurers to offer genuine chronic care costs cover, so clients with long term medication costs can rest assured knowing they will be covered.

Cover under group plans is also available to most local nationals. Discounted group rates start with just 3 lives and full medical history disregarded exemptions are available on groups of 10 and over, making Medicare one of the most competitive staff cover providers.

For details of MediCare's International health insurance plans visit http://www.medicare.co.uk, email medicare@medicare.co.uk or call +44(0)20-7204-3700.

For further information on MediCare International, please contact:

Guy Stephenson/Jenny Duffy, Nacelle Limited, Tel: +44(0)20-8333-9125

SOURCE MediCare International

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