An insurance dedicated strictly to medical tourists is the new product that is entering the medical tourism market in 2020. Till now, people travelling abroad for medical reasons could not get such an insurance that would cover both their travel and medical treatment, but thanks to the new product developed by AXA Partners and Clinic Hunter within the AccelUp acceleration program realized by Accelpoint, the comfort and safety of medical travels will be greatly improved.
The bloom of medical tourism
Since joining the European Union in 2004, medical tourism in Poland has been developing very fast. Touristic and medical travels have been practised for years, but recently they have become a real trend mainly thanks to the low travel costs, country accessibility, competitive prices for medical services, clinics openness to foreign patients and the promotion of medical tourism. The latest factor advancing the idea of medical tourism is insurance dedicated to this group of travellers.
In 2019, the value of the medical tourism market was about 40-60 billion dollars and the number of medical tourists exceeded 20 millions. The medical tourism in Poland, as statistics show, is also on the rise and year by year there is a growing number of medical travelers there.
How has coronavirus influenced the medical tourism market?
The beginning of 2020 was marked as a powerful blow to both recreational tourism and medical tourism. The Covid-19 pandemic had been growing strong over months. In autumn 2020, Poland, as well as other European countries, has faced the second, much more dramatic, wave of Covid-19. No wonder the tourist traffic has been restricted and limited to only the essential travels. Tourism is definitely the most stricken branch of economy mainly because of international and domestic lockdowns, obligatory quarantine for tourists and border closing. Thus, the realistic goal of tourist agents, travel agencies, clinics and airlines is to survive this time.
If all the restrictions and regulations set by the Polish government bring the effects, Poland will shortly start to restore domestic and international tourism, including medical tourism. Preserving all the safety and precaution measures, all the medical tourism agencies, hospitals, clinics, and hotels will revive medical tourism in the world. Nonetheless, the world situation has not been settled yet, so it is impossible to say when tourism will get a groove back.
Medical travel insurance as an additional security measure
Covid-19 pandemic has brought out an important overlook on the medical tourism market, which is a lack of insurance dedicated to medical tourists. Of course, there are travel insurances, but they are insufficient for medical travellers. Two companies take the initiative here – ClinicHunter.com, which is a platform connecting patients with clinics abroad and AXA Partners – one of the biggest insurance companies in the world which provides their services to over 100 millions of people worldwide, the main strategy of which is creating such products which are currently needed. The insurance for medical tourists created by AXA Partners and Clinic Hunter protects them against:
- the loss of deposit in case they cancel the treatment and travel for unforeseen personal reasons (e.g. a death of a family member, hospitalization, any legal case)
- bearing the costs connected with an unforeseen extension of the stay (e.g. when their health condition gets worse)
- bearing the costs of a return travel when there is a need for revision treatment in the future.
Apart from the benefits listed above, such insurance includes the standard travel protection, which is baggage loss or damage, accidents, civil responsibility and sport equipment.
- In the modern world, when digitalization is growing fast, there is a need to change attitudes, which is also a response to the change of people’s needs. To meet them, we need to adapt new technologies. We are happy to cooperate with Clinic Hunter within the AccelUp project, we can share our experiences and create new trends. The strategy of AXA Partners involves stimulating a gradual self-development. So, getting with the times, we are trying to find niches on the market and it is one of the factors that have pushed us to the participation in an accelerating program realised by Accelpoint. The niche that we want to fill by cooperating with ClinicHunter is the secure of travelling patients, whose number is constantly growing. The insurance that we have implemented guarantees complex protection, and it’s purchase is very simple – says Łukasz Hajkowski, The Sales Director in Poland, the board Member of AXA Partners.
- It is a pioneering product in the medical tourism market and it has been created as a response to the needs of our patients travelling for the treatment abroad. We had started cooperation with AXA Partners before the outbreak of Covid-19, and the period of a worldwide pandemic has reassured us that medical tourists need a product that would give them comfort, safety and protection during the medical travel – says Marek Hołówko, CEO and Cofounder of Clinic Hunter.
Who is covered by insurance?
This insurance is available to Europeans and can be applied in all countries in the world (all continents). The distribution of this product is double-track. Namely, Clinic Hunter and AXA Partners have prepared an offer to individual medical tourists who can buy such insurance before the travel https://clinichunter.com/insurance/. Additionally, Clinic Hunter will cooperate directly with clinics, which will be enabled to offer this product to their patients. Clinics may join the insurance program by registering on the website: https://clinichunter.com/clinic-insurance/.
The possibility of getting an insurance for medical tourists will definitely increase their safety, including financial security, so naturally, it will be both a protecting factor and a driving factor for medical tourism in the world, which is particularly important now, when the Covid-19 pandemic has left its mark on the global tourism.
Author: Klaudia Grabowska