Understanding Short-Term International Health Insurance Options

Understanding Short-Term International Health Insurance Options

Are you a US citizen planning a trip abroad? If so, you might be wondering about international medical insurance.

When traveling out of the country, you’ll want to make sure you’re protected in the event of an emergency. The health insurance plan you currently have will likely not offer coverage of your medical bills outside of your home country.

Short-term international travel medical insurance is the solution for those who travel out of the country. It’s also a great option for those who want to go on a fun vacation abroad by themselves or with their family.

Here are some FAQs explaining everything you need to know about short-term international health insurance from travel insurance companies like Insured Nomads.

What Does a Short-Term International Travel Medical Insurance Policy Provide?

Short-term international travel medical policies are meant to protect you temporarily during periods of time when you don’t have access to your traditional medical coverage.

What Is Covered Under Your Plan?

The coverage you receive depends on the company you purchase your policy from, as every company is different. When shopping around for a travel medical insurance plan, make sure you do plenty of research so you know exactly what you’re getting into.

You won’t find a short-term international travel medical plan with as much protection as a traditional medical insurance policy but you also don’t pay much for these plans as they have low utilization and are focussed on a new illness or emergency while on the go.

Who Needs International Travel Medical Insurance?

There are a number of reasons why someone might need short-term international health insurance. It might not cover all of the health services you’re used to, but it does offer valuable flexibility for your travel plans. Unlike with traditional medical insurance plans, you can purchase short-term coverage any day of the year, and with us you can even purchase after you have left home.

You could benefit from short-term international health insurance if:

  • You are planning a trip abroad. If you’re planning on traveling outside of your home country as an international student, tourist, or short-term expat, it’s a good idea to seek out the proper coverage beforehand. If you aren’t properly prepared, you might find yourself in another country with no way to cover a medical emergency. Short-term international health insurance is a great safety precaution for most people’s educational or recreational trips.
  • Business travel is a big part of your life. If your job often requires you to travel out of the country, you should look into international health plans. Even if your employer pays for your healthcare plan, that standard plan will likely not protect you outside of your country of residence. (If you work from home and just like to travel for a change of scenery, this plan is a good option for you as well.)
  • You travel a lot for leisure. If you like to see the world and wake up in a new place every few weeks, short-term health insurance could work for you as well. Your plan is good for up to a year, at which point it can be renewed. So, no matter where you are, how long you’re there, or how often you’re moving around, you’ll be protected with a Global Health Insurance plan through Insured Nomads.

Beyond its short-term international health insurance options, Insured Nomads offers travel medical insurance policies for both the individual and group client. If you’re looking to live in a foreign country for longer than a year, you can get a health insurance plan that covers your medical expenses and other associated risk, learn more about our Connect (individual/couple/family) health insurance and Juvo (employee benefits/group) solutions for organizations.

The Cost of Short-Term International Insurance

Every company works a bit differently, but the costs associated with most short-term international insurance plans will fall under the following categories:

Overall Premium

Your premium is the amount you pay up front — before you ever set foot in a doctor’s office or receive any services — to receive health insurance. The cost of your short-term international insurance premium depends on factors such as if you’re traveling as an individual or with a family member, the length of your trip, or the deductible amount you select.

If you want your premium to be lower, you can pay a higher deductible or take a shorter trip to cut down on costs.


Unlike your premium, you’ll only be charged a deductible once you actually receive medical care. The deductible is the amount you have to pay out-of-pocket for a covered medical expense before your insurance kicks in to help you.

So, for example, if you incur $1200 in medical bills for an overnight hospital stay and you haven’t yet contributed to your $1000 deductible, you will have to pay $1000 out of pocket, and your insurance will only cover the remaining $200. On the other hand, if you have the same $1200 hospital bill and $1000 deductible, but you’ve already paid $700 towards your deductible during a prior medical visit, you’d only have to cover $300 before your insurance kicks in to cover the remaining $900 in hospital fees.

Usually, the higher your deductible, the less you will pay each month on your premium — and vice versa. For instance, if you opt for the lowest deductible amount (usually $500), your monthly bill will be higher.


Coinsurance is the amount you have to pay for covered events after paying your full deductible. Any portion of a medical claim that isn’t fully covered under your health plan post-deductible will fall into this category.

Using the same example of the $1200 hospital bill where your insurance only kicks in the last $200, you might think that the $200 will be fully covered by them. However, if the bill was for services that weren’t fully covered under your health plan, you will end up paying a certain percentage (e.g. 30%, 50%, etc.) of that remaining $200 in coinsurance.

Pros and Cons of Short-Term Health Coverage

There are pros and cons to short-term international health insurance, so you’ll need to be aware of both before you make any final decisions.

The Positives of Short-Term Health Coverage

  • Purchase anytime. With short-term health plans, you can purchase a policy anytime you need one.  Traditional health plans only have an enrollment period once per year, and if you miss your window, you’ll have to wait until the next year to apply for healthcare coverage or update your existing plan.
  • INC membership. Every Global Health Insurance plan also comes with an INC membership. This membership provides travelers with a variety of additional protections beyond standard health coverage, including emergency evacuation and relocation support, 24/7 security assistance, telemedicine, access to luxurious airport lounges, and more.

The Negatives of Short-Term Health Coverage

  • Not a long-term solution. Short-term insurance, while renewable, is designed to be temporary. If you’re using it for longer stretches, you might find that your coverage is lacking in some areas. You might have to pay more out-of-pocket for certain claims than you would with traditional coverage. You might also have to pay for coinsurance, depending on where in the world you’re traveling to.
  • No consistent medical provider. While traveling abroad and changing locations frequently, you’ll have to see different physicians at different hospitals. This might cause you to have varying degrees of medical care, both good and bad, and you’ll be unable to develop a connection with any one doctor.

Ultimately, if you’re planning a trip or have to travel for work, the World Explorer series of international travel medical insurance could be a great option for you. You’ll want to make sure you have access to health coverage no matter where you are in the world, and Insured Nomads can help with that.

Want to know how much you might pay for an insurance policy before applying? Chat with us or set up a call with us. We’ll be happy to walk you through everything and address all of your questions and concerns.

No matter where in the world you’re looking to go, Insured Nomads has you and those you travel with are covered.

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.

When researching destinations and travel, Try Peanut - a free google chrome extension. It automatically displays travel requirements, visa rules and more on booking.com, expedia & google flights.


What Is Inpatient vs. Outpatient Care? | Cigna

Travel and Substance Use | International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers

Your Health Abroad | US Department of State


  • Insured Nomads

    Insured Nomads provides global health and safety protection for the remote worker, traveller & expat. Insurance paired with advanced tech-enabled features and solutions for health, safety, security, well-being and support.

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