The following notes were written by John Sydes, who has expressed his willingness to accept any queries and do his best to answer them.

October 31, 2006


MELTA decided that it might be unwise to endorse or promote a particular
scheme, but we have continued to look into health insurance schemes that
provide good cover at reasonable rates and I would recommend ELTA (English Language Teachers Associations - Germany) members to look at:

This scheme has been put together for expat teachers and offers three
different levels of cover - bronze, silver and gold.

Another very good scheme that might interest teachers is the Prima Plan
offered by a company called A La Carte Healthcare. The scheme is
underwritten by Allianz and is available to both expat teachers and German
nationals. It is also one of the most flexible schemes I have seen.

There are two reasons why we have decided not to recommend a specific health

1)       the choice of cover varies widely (even within these two schemes)
from fairly basic emergency cover to comprehensive in and outpatient
treatment and there are also three different areas of cover; Europe, the
world excluding the USA and Canada and global cover.

If we had decided for one particular scheme and specific cover, there would
inevitably have been teachers who would have said they needed this, but not
that. or that they needed global cover and not just European cover.

2)       It is also important that teachers think very carefully about what
kind of cover they think they will need.

If you are young, fit and healthy and only planning on staying in Germany
for a few years, it probably doesn't make much sense (financially) to
include all the bells and whistles (and gongs) some schemes offer.

MELTA held a health and pension insurance talk to inform interested members
about these schemes on Friday. The speaker, Mike Woodiwiss of Spectrum
International, has agreed to inform any interested ELTA members about these
schemes and provide support and help if they wish to change schemes or with
their claims later.

I am sure Mike would be more than happy to hold talks about health insurance
and pensions should your ELTA be interested in organising one. If not, then
I would still highly recommend you recommend him as an independent insurance
advisor who understands the sort of problems EFL teachers have. Btw, I don't
get a commission for writing that ;-) I am just as sceptical as you probably
are when it comes to insurance.

It seems to make a lot of sense for us to have an independent insurance
advisor who is interested in looking into and offering schemes that suit our
needs or are tailor-made for (expat) EFL teachers, i.e. the InterGlobal
Schools scheme.

Mike's contact details are:

Mike Woodiwiss

e-mail:  This URL will be replaced shortly by:  under

Finally, recommending an independent broker does not involve any extra work
or hassle for an ELTA - as an Inter-ELTA group scheme probably would, but it
does help ensure that our needs are heard and if enough ELTA members are
working through a specific broker, the better the chances of being able to
negotiate discounts with insurers.