Expat Health Insurance Explained
When you’re traveling outside of your home country for work (or leisure), you’ll want to be protected in the event of a medical emergency. Medical insurance is one of the last things most people think about when planning their next big trip, but it’s worth considering.
Health insurance isn’t always the easiest subject to grasp, but we at Insured Nomads are here to ensure you understand your options. We have many affordable healthcare plans and offer great perks that many insurance providers do not implement, but foremost is service as that is what you are purchasing. You are our focus and priority.
Whether you’re going to be in this lifestyle for about a year, three to four years, or the rest of your life then we are with you with a renewal health plan year after year. Here’s everything you need to know about obtaining health insurance as an expat.
First Off — What Is an Expat?
An expat, also known as an expatriate, lives or works in a country that is not the one they reside in. It’s an old school name that these days is as slang as ‘passport bro’ or ‘nomad’ or ‘location independent’. However, an expat can also be someone who has given up citizenship in one country to move somewhere else – permanently.
In light of the global pandemic, this lifestyle is becoming more common among workers, particularly independent contractors. Working from anywhere and setting your schedule provides people with the breathing room they need to perform even better at their duties.
The Types of Medical Insurance
Having coverage for potential medical expenses is a smart idea, particularly if you have any pre-existing conditions that require ongoing medical treatment.
The last thing you want is to end up paying thousands of dollars out-of-pocket for something you could have purchased coverage for at an affordable rate.
At Insured Nomads, we have a variety of health benefits for travelers who decide to purchase coverage through us.
Health Insurance Plans
We offer a couple of global health options for this lifestyle, and you can apply for our worldwide coverage any day of the year — no waiting period for open enrollment like with traditional health plans. It can be purchased after you have been on this journey or before you go.
Each plan comes standard with these perks:
- Inpatient treatment. Inpatient care is any type of treatment requiring a patient’s hospital admission for a minimum of one night, but it could be more. Things like surgery and chemotherapy both fall under the inpatient care category.
- Outpatient treatment. Outpatient care is any type of treatment that doesn’t require hospital admission. This means the patient can go home within the same day they were brought in for treatment. Examples of outpatient care include consultations with your doctor or diagnostic tests.
- Mental health treatment. If you’re mentally struggling while traveling alone, you’re not the only one. We offer access to quality professionals you can request to speak to during inpatient or outpatient visits. We also provide substance abuse counseling as travel can be stressful and cause survivors to relapse. Mental health and wellness are more prevalent than ever in 2022, and they are no less relevant in foreign countries while you travel.
- Other types of assistance. Additional assistance includes emergency ambulance transportation to your nearest ER or urgent care, vaccinations, medical evacuations, preventative screenings, prescription drugs, vision care, and maternity care.
The options are plentiful so let us chat with you to customize it for your needs and budget. It’s too big of a decision to just take a pre-set plan configuration and say you need one of two or three options. You can click the chat button to send us a message, and schedule a time for a consult. We can about helping you through more than just a purchase online, it’s about a relationship along the way so you get what you need.
Does your country have a government program (NHS in the UK, SUS in Brazil, Medicare in Canada, +) then you may want the World Explorer int’l travel medical instead to cover you outside your home country for emergency illness and injury and if you get a major illness you can allow the government scheme to care for you.
What About Travel Insurance?
Travel plans protect your things, but they also provide emergency protection for you. So, if you only have travel insurance, you’ll receive medical treatment if your situation is life-threatening. Beyond life-threatening emergencies and emergencies relating to pre-existing conditions or an emergency dental procedure, travel insurance is not enough to cover your medical expenses. You’ll have to come out of pocket for most costs without proper health insurance.
Here’s everything you get with a travel insurance plan:
- Medical care. Travel plans include coverage for COVID-19, 24/7 emergency care, emergency dental care, and treatment for ailments related to pre-existing conditions you might have.
- Transportation assistance. Those covered under a travel plan will also receive emergency ambulance transportation, accommodations in the event of a natural disaster, and emergency evacuation and repatriation. Repatriation is the relocation back to your home country.
- Extra coverage. You can also file a claim for missing or damaged luggage or carry-on items, purchases made during a flight delay, stolen property, and more. You’ll be eligible for reimbursement in covered cases.
Suppose you’d like to have extra protection and peace of mind for your big trip. In that case, the World Explorer plan (single trip, up to a year, outside of your home country).
Other Types of Travel Insurance
Other types of travel coverage include trip delay insurance, trip cancellation insurance, and trip interruption insurance.
- Trip cancellation coverage. Trip cancellation coverage comes into effect before you even make it to the airport. If you have to cancel your trip for a covered reason, you’ll be eligible for the reimbursement of any upfront costs, such as hotel accommodations or a rental car. This is great coverage if your trip is expensive and requires you to put a lot of money down, or you have a pre-existing medical condition and often must go to the hospital.
- Trip delay coverage. Trip delay coverage occurs once you’re at the airport en route to your destination. If your trip is delayed for a covered reason like bad weather, or mechanical failure with the plane, you are eligible for the reimbursement of certain costs. If you had to spend money on food or other supplies during your delay or missed out on pre-paid portions of your trip like hotel nights, you could have those things paid back to you.
- Trip interruption coverage. Trip interruption coverage comes into effect when you’ve already made it to your destination, but a covered event puts your plans on hold. Suppose you must be evacuated due to a natural disaster or repatriated due to a medical emergency. In that case, you can file a claim for any unused pre-paid portion of your trip, such as any remaining hotel nights.
These extra layers of protection can benefit those spending a lot of money on their trip or have pre-existing conditions that could end the trip early or prevent it from happening altogether.
Additionally, those planning to travel to an area with unpredictable weather conditions will find the extra protection valuable. It’s always a good idea to plan, and Insured Nomads is here to help.
Factors that Affect Your Global Health Insurance Cost
- Your city of residence
- Your age
- Who is the insurance for?
- Do you smoke tobacco?
The amount you spend on health insurance policies depends on factors like age, state of residence, and tobacco use. Insurance companies legally cannot factor in your health, medical history, or gender when determining your rate.
They are only allowed to factor in where you reside, your age, who’s covered under your plan, if you smoke tobacco, and how much coverage you’re looking to buy.
Your City of Residence
If you live in a large city like Los Angeles, and there are many health insurance companies to choose from, you’ll likely pay less for medical insurance.
When consumers have many healthcare options available to them, insurance companies are pitted against each other while trying to be the ones to offer the most competitive rates.
However, in areas with limited healthcare options, insurance companies will often charge a higher than average premium because people have fewer insurance options.
Did you know older people can pay up to three times more on their premiums than their younger counterparts? This is because they typically need more medical care and are more susceptible to the acute onset of pre-existing conditions.
Who Is the Insurance for?
Single-person healthcare plans will save you more money than plans that also cover a significant other or dependents. If you are married and have children with your spouse, you’ll save more money by purchasing a family plan.
Do You Smoke Tobacco?
People who smoke tobacco even semi-regularly spend more on health insurance than those who don’t smoke. According to The Kaiser Family Foundation data, smokers’ premiums can be up to 50% higher than the average individual seeking coverage.
All Levels of Healthcare Coverage
According to the Affordable Care Act, there are four categories that a health insurance plan can be classified under — bronze, silver, gold, and platinum. The coverage you choose will determine how much you spend each month.
A bronze plan is great for people with no pre-existing conditions that would require frequent treatment and for those who rarely visit their physician outside of occasional check-ups. This is a great option if you’re looking to save money and don’t anticipate needing much medical care over time.
Those who benefit most from this plan see their doctor for things like sore throats or congestion on their regular check-ups. You’ll pay more monthly, but your out-of-pocket medical expenses will be lower.
The gold plan will save you even more on your out-of-pocket medical costs. If you have a pre-existing condition or another condition that requires you to visit your doctor regularly, this choice will give you the most value for your money.
For those with high medical expenses due to pre-existing conditions, a platinum plan would be the way to go. You’ll pay the most monthly, but your deductible will be lower than any other plan. The platinum coverage will also often cover most, if not all, of your medical care.
Did You Know
Every traveler who purchases a health plan or a travel plan through Insured Nomads receives an INC Membership at no extra cost. With this membership, you don’t just get access to a luxury airport travel experience. You also access resources that protect you against life’s unexpected moments.
Some perks include access to luxury airport lounges, fine dining, a secure VPN for remote workers to protect their data, and a mobile app with a panic button that you can activate anytime you feel unsafe.
Why Pick Insured Nomads?
We are on a mission to make travel safe and stress-free for everyone. So whether you’re traveling for work or leisure, you’ll have access to the resources you need the most.
Did your luggage get damaged or misplaced? No worries, you can file a claim for reimbursement. Do you need to talk to someone? We all sometimes do. You’ll have access to our highly-skilled specialists who can connect you to a counselor that suits your needs.
Don’t speak English very well? No problem — our team is multilingual, and you can communicate your concerns in the language you feel most comfortable speaking.
We want to make your travel experience easy and your quality of life better. So the next time you’re ready to plan a trip to a new country, shoot us a message — we’d love to be a part of your journey.
Learn more about what Insured Nomads offers and apply for a quote today.
About Insured Nomads
Insured Nomads is the first to take an integrated traveltech, fintech and insurtech solution to the world for remote workers, globally distributed teams, expats, and travelers. Their purpose is to make travel as safe and smart as staying at home. They do this by providing health insurance with exceptional medical benefits in tandem with wellbeing, safety, security, and advanced tech-enabled solutions for ease of payment for healthcare, emergency response and evacuation. Insured Nomads is available through affinity relationships, direct, embedded and through select brokers and partners for groups and individuals.