If you are living outside your home country, you will be advised to invest in a credible and reliable expat health insurance plan. This can protect you and your family from the high cost of healthcare services abroad. For an additional layer of protection consider a quality life insurance plan.
In this article, we will be discussing in detail the best insurance to consider and the frequently asked questions on how to apply for cover. Once you have a general understanding of the coverage and benefits, follow the links below to request more information along with a quote.
If you live outside your home country, investing in a credible and reliable expat insurance plan is wise. This can protect you and your family from the high cost of healthcare services abroad. You may also want to consider life insurance to provide additional security for your family. Finally, if you travel abroad from your new home country, we recommend some travel insurance plans to consider.
In this article, we will discuss in detail the best insurance to consider and the frequently asked questions on how to apply for coverage.
An Overview of Expat Health Insurance
Your home country health insurance plan or health system probably won't cover you when you're living overseas. In most countries, you also won't be able to enroll in the local health care system. To protect your health and your finances, you'll need an international medical insurance plan designed to cover foreign nationals.
There are many great plans, but which one is the best for you depends on your circumstance. See below for an overview of expat insurance plans.
The Best Health Insurance for Expatriates
Many international workers are not covered by a corporate or group insurance plan. If you are an expatriate, regardless if you are living alone or with your family abroad, purchasing an international health insurance policy is a must.
International health insurance policies provide either worldwide or regional medical coverage. They can also include components of trip cancellation, evacuation services, and repatriation benefits should the need for any of these arise.
The best insurers have a global network of healthcare providers that you can get in touch with during emergencies. They also have agents who can help you take care of hospital bills and payment for caregivers covered under the given policy.
Our Review: Best International Health Insurance Companies
GeoBlue Xplorer Worldwide Medical Plan
GeoBlue Xplorer is a premier policy designed for US expats abroad and international citizens living in the USA. It grants access to the Blue Cross / Blue Shield network of doctors and hospitals in the USA and an exclusive list of providers worldwide.
Suppose you are a US citizen living abroad. In that case, the GeoBlue Xplorer option will provide you with up to 9 months of expatriate coverage in the USA, which is the best offer available among international medical policies.
Integra Global PremierLife / PremierFamily
Integra Global has service offices strategically placed worldwide in Europe, North America, and Asia. It specializes in providing health plans to organizations and individuals with unique protection needs, such as international employees, marine professionals, and specialized risks.
The goal of IntegraGlobal is to develop unique international health plans that offer outstanding protection, excellent value, and hands-on unbeatable personal service.
Frequently Asked Questions
Expatriate health insurance plans are portable – you can bring them wherever you go and have the confidence that you are covered for medical care and emergencies worldwide. It will cover you in your country of residence as well as any country that you travel to, for business or pleasure. A global policy provides continuous coverage regardless of where you get sick and need medical attention.
Additional benefits include faster access to care, the option to visit any medical provider of your choice, and direct payment to providers. Additionally, you will have a health helpline that you can call for advice one where to go to find doctors and care providers who speak your language.
When you leave your home country, you usually will not be eligible for coverage with your existing health plan. This means you have to find an international medical insurance plan to stay covered for emergencies.
Expat health insurance policies, also called International Private Medical Insurance (IPMI), provide healthcare for this group of people.
The best expatriate health insurance plan is the one that can provide cover wherever you are, including your current country of residence and your home country. If you are living in France and you want to go to Spain, you do not need to apply for new coverage since you have an international healthcare policy that you can take with you anywhere you go.
A reliable global medical insurance plan will provide a cash payout should you pass away while covered. Other possible add-ons include auto and dental coverage.
If you are interested in getting comprehensive expatriate medical insurance, request a free quote from us today.
The coverage and benefits for international expat insurance include:
- Wellness and basic medical benefits
- Inpatient and day care cover
- Emergency treatment and evacuation
- Includes cancer treatment, oncology, MRI and CTI
- Prescription benefits
- Outpatient care and treatment
- Outpatient pathology, x-rays, prescribed drugs and dressings
Optional Additional Coverage
- Evacuation and repatriation
- Maternity benefits, which include pre and postnatal checkups
- Dental benefits, including routine checkups, cleaning, and simple non-surgical extractions
- Vision coverage
- For certain plans, the ability to access a direct settlement network globally
- Mental health services
Group International Medical Plans offer similar benefits to cover your employees or group members.
The cost of expatriate medical insurance can range from as little as $50 per month for a basic plan with in-patient hospital benefits only to more than $1,000 a month for a comprehensive medical policy covering most, if not all, of your medical expenses.
Below are a few sample costs for one of our more popular international medical insurance policies. The prices below can be adjusted by changing deductibles or by adding or removing benefits. Feel free to ask us for advice on pricing and benefits.
Start by Requesting a Quote for Coverage
Premium and cost calculations will typically be based on your country of origin, age, medical history, and country of coverage. Expat medical insurance policies will usually offer two areas of cover: worldwide excluding the USA and worldwide coverage including the USA.
Some insurance companies have separate pricing per region and may exclude high risk nations. In determining the price of expat insurance, insurers look at both the risks associated with living in certain countries and the costs of healthcare in those areas. Most insurance providers will rank countries by the cost of medical care in those areas and will adjust premiums accordingly.
Premiums: How Much Does Expat Health Insurance Cost
Who: A 25-year-old from Canada teaching English language in Colombia.
Cost: $158.51 per month
Who: UK couple in their 30's and their 2-year-old son living and working in UAE
Cost: $1,488.22 per month
Who: A retired couple from the U.S., both 65, residing in Costa Rica.
Cost: $1,755.70 per month
An expatriate health insurance plan from a global provider with a large network of international hospitals and healthcare facilities will provide the best coverage. For example, Cigna Global Plan has over one million hospitals, doctors, and healthcare facilities within its global network.
When it comes to customer service, make sure the provider offers 24/7 access to an emergency hotline that you can call for assistance and medical advice. All of the leading expatriate medical insurance plans will have this benefit.
Always look for a plan that gives you the option to choose which benefits you need. If you feel like you do not need a comprehensive package, you should have the option to purchase a more affordable plan with limited benefits.
Whether you are willing to pay to get the highest quality of service and benefits or you have a limited budget that allows you to choose only the basics and most needed benefits, you must have the power to mix and match benefits and cost to get the right fit for your needs.
We have a great tool to review and compare international medical plans.
An Overview of the Application and Underwriting Processes
Underwriting is the process through which your expat insurance application is reviewed. The insurer decides whether to grant approval or deny your application. When approved, your premium will also be determined through this process.
Typically, it is during the medical underwriting process wherein the insurer asks a series of questions to determine the medical history of an applicant. The insurer also discloses here what they can cover based on your qualifications.
You will be required to get documentation from doctors as well as other healthcare providers. If you do not have any symptoms upon approval or have not undergone treatment for any medical issue for a specified period, you may be offered coverage on the understanding that you will go through the underwriting process again every time you claim against the policy.
Request Your Quote for Global Medical Care
Cigna Global offers affordable options with a modular plan design. The modularity of their coverage allows you to choose the coverage you want and leave off what you do not need, so you only pay for the selected benefits.
Request a quote from us for free to get a price. We can also provide you with quotes from other providers so you can compare various options.
Exclusions in Expatriate Medical Coverage
Review every detail of any insurance plan before purchasing it. Read the policy certificate and rules before finalizing your decision. These documents contain everything you need to know about the policy, including what is and what is not covered by the plan.
Although many providers do not specifically list pre-existing conditions as an exclusion, certain conditions may be excluded from the plan during the underwriting process. Make sure you read them through so you will not be surprised or caught off-guard when filing a claim.
Recommended Plans Based on Where You Are Moving From
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Life Insurance for Expatriates
International life insurance coverage provides additional peace of mind because it takes care of your family’s financial needs should something happen to you while living overseas. The policy you have in your home country probably won't pay out if you pass away while living in another country, so an international life insurance plan fills that gap. Learn more in this guide for choosing the best life insurance for international citizens.
Do your research to figure out how much coverage you need based on your current and projected expenses. Then pick a plan based on your needs and your budget. Click to get a free quote and we will help you decide which plan is better suited for your needs.
How Much Does an Expat Life Insurance Plan Cost?
An expatriate life plan will cost as little as $50 per month to as much as $5,000 per month, depending on your age, health, and the term of coverage as well as the amount of coverage you purchase. Deciding how much coverage you need is a smart investment decision to protect you and your loved ones from expenses should one or the other pass away.
Typically, international life insurance policies will pay a designated beneficiary upon your death to cover medical bills, living expenses, education costs, and other expenses. The amount paid by the insurance can offset the loss of your income for your loved ones.
- Fairly priced and supported by first-class service.
- Coverage is guaranteed for the entire policy term.
- Insure your life up to $6.5m.
Travel Insurance for Foreigners Traveling Abroad
There are many good expat travel insurance plans that provide coverage when leaving your home country. When applying for this type of insurance, you would need to supply both your residence and destination country.
WorldTrips Atlas Travel Insurance
The Atlas Travel Insurance plan is a great international travel plan for expats and is available to most all travelers worldwide. The service is very good and the cost is affordable.
Travel Insurance for U.S. Citizens Traveling Back to the U.S.
The Patriot Travel plan provides coverage for people traveling outside their residence country whose destination includes the U.S. or its territories. Meaning, a U.S. citizen residing in a foreign country can purchase a Patriot America plan to visit the U.S.
More to Read:
- How Does International Health Insurance Work?
- ACA, Obamacare, and US Citizens Abroad
- What is an Expatriate - A Definition of Expat Life
- China Health Care for Foreigners
- Visitors Insurance for Travelers
- Overseas Health Plans
Written by Joe Cronin. Joe Cronin is the Founder and President of International Citizens Insurance. He is an authority in the areas of global health and international insurance, with specific expertise in advising individuals and groups on international health insurance plans. Follow him @Joe_Cronin_Jr