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Expat health insurance helps coordinate woman’s hip replacement in Australia

Linda had travelled halfway around the world with a nonprofit organisation to help improve the planet. But when she faced the prospect of having surgery away from home, she realised she would need some help herself. 

A raw turn of events

While working in Melbourne, Australia, on a variety of conservation and reforestation projects, the Canadian native fell and fractured her hip. She was dismayed to hear that she would need to undergo a hip replacement — a major endeavor that would require significant recovery time and assistance with getting around in her first post-op days.

On her own

Knowing her support network of friends and family were far across the sea was even more distressing. And once the surgeon completed his consultation with Linda, he surprised her by handing over her medical records.

Linda had become accustomed to doctors and specialists coordinating her care and handling insurance processes on her behalf. When she discovered those efforts would all fall on her own shoulders — a common situation in some parts of the world but a foreign concept elsewhere — she felt overwhelmed and turned to our Member Services team. As a member, Linda has 24/7 access to member support, including help from our Care and Response Excellence (CARE) team, who handle everything from care management and treatment authorisations to emergency medical evacuations and response.

Caring from CARE

Recognising she needed more comprehensive support, the Member Services representative referred her to Doris Liu, a clinical case manager with our CARE team.

Doris quickly stepped in to let Linda know she was in good hands. She first guided her on how to send in the required documents to start the approval process. Once everything was submitted, she got to work reviewing clinical documents, requesting additional details, approving the procedure and communicating information to the providers.

One-to-one assistance

Linda says she appreciated having a single point of contact to answer her many questions about the surgery, hospitalisation, costs and plan of care.

She was especially grateful that Doris stayed on top of her case throughout the surgery and beyond, when a minor complication required her hospital stay to be extended. Doris worked with the hospital to confirm the proper authorisations and then followed up with Linda after her discharge to ensure her recovery was going smoothly.

Reassurance 24/7

In a letter to Doris’s manager, Linda expressed her heartfelt gratitude.

“I would like you to know how helpful, efficient and kind Ms. Liu has been in facilitating my hip replacement,” she wrote. “She expertly advised me of the steps I needed to take as a patient and guided [my company’s] dealings with the hospital, surgeon and other doctors. It has been very reassuring to have her on my side!”

Our CARE team’s support can make all the difference when you’re faced with a medical crisis away from home. Find out more by getting in touch with one of our expert consultants.

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