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VanCare: Analysis of the new health insurance available in Vanuatu

The advantages of the Vancare policy:

- The policy can be taken out by any person residing in Vanuatu, regardless of nationality;
- 4 coverage plans;
- Coverage available outside Vanuatu.

Limitations of the Vancare policy:

To study the limits of this contract we will focus on the two top-of-the-range plans, Gold and Gold Plus, the only ones that can allow care in Australia, New Caledonia or New Zealand.

Coverage limits:

- Annual limit of 2M and 2.5M VT for expenses in Vanuatu;
- A per illness limit of 15M and 25M VT for expenses incurred abroad.

This maximum limit for expenses abroad presents two important risks:
- The limit will be quickly exceeded in case of intensive care related to a serious accident. It will only pay for a maximum of 10 to 20 days of hospitalization.
- The limit will not allow the treatment of a long term pathology, such as cancer, heart or kidney failure.

This cap is calculated per illness. It is therefore not renewed from one year to the next. Once the limit is reached, no reimbursement is possible even the following year. This is dangerous for long term illnesses.

To which country is the medical evacuation made?

The contractual text is clear. It is the insurer who chooses which hospital the insured will be evacuated to. This could be in NZ, Australia, NC but also in Fiji, India, Malaysia or the Philippines. If you choose another option in NZ, AU or NC, you will only be reimbursed on the basis of the tariff negotiated with the hospital chosen by the insurer. You can therefore receive a reimbursement equal to the price of the hospitalization in India for a hospitalization done in Australia or Noumea.
For more security, the insurer should list in writing the pathologies and the destinations of evacuation, as CAFAT does (burns, PET scan, etc).
According to the text of the contract, we cannot understand if the price of evacuation is included in the limit per pathology. If it is, it is very penalizing considering the cost of a medical evacuation. The per condition amount could be completely consumed by the evacuation.

List of exclusions:

In addition to the classic exclusions such as riots, nuclear risk, etc., we have noted some particularly worrying exclusions:
- All care and diagnostic procedures outside Vanuatu, if performed outside of hospital. This includes scans, MRIs, biology, specialist consultations, etc.
- Treatments for chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, asthma.
- All pre-existing medical conditions.

The insurer can cancel the contract at any time:

This insurer goes even further than QBE for this part of the policy. It can kick the insured out as it pleases, as soon as it sees that it could cost it money:
- The insurer has the right to terminate the contract at any time within 30 days. The insurer has no commitment on the duration.
- The coverage stops as soon as the insured has reached the limit of the guarantees.
- In any case, the contract ends at age 65.

Comparison of rates:
We were able to make a dozen comparisons between the Gold and Gold Plus plans and expatriate health insurance.
The Gold plan is generally in the same price range (+/- 15%) as the Hospitalization + Physician + Evacuation plans. Hospitalization + Evacuation plans from expatriate insurers are cheaper, whereas outside Vanuatu, only hospitalization costs are covered by VanCare.
The Gold Plus plan is much more expensive than higher plans offered by expatriate insurers; about 50% more expensive.
In addition, expatriate health insurance companies do not exclude chronic illnesses, cover without age limit, and cannot exclude policyholders indiv idually once the contract is activated.


This contract works in fact like temporary international guarantees (ASFE Start Expat, April Magellan, etc), it can be suitable for an accident of average severity but it is insufficient for serious accidents (heavy orthopedic or visceral surgeries) and serious illnesses (heart surgeries, cancers, diabetes, renal insufficiency...).
This is all the more criticizable since it is offered at a price corresponding to high-end expatriate health insurance with no duration limit.

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