Understanding Your International Health Insurance Options
Health insurance is an essential item you cannot afford to leave unpacked. Where ever you are in your journey of life it is worth understanding the value of a health insurance plan that will cover your needs whether you take on the persona of a passport bro, expat, nomad, retiree, international assignee, remote worker, adventurer, global thrill-seeker, or a vacationing addict, leaving home without the protections made possible by these insurance plans is a risk that is simply not worth taking.
We are the first to admit that insurance is not the simplest of products, and insurance policy contracts may not always seem very straightforward. We founded Insured Nomads with that understanding and have built insurance plans that tear down those barriers and make insurance much simpler with coverages that are straightforward and clear. We are upfront about what is covered and what is excluded.
Travel insurance and international health insurance are two different types of plans that you can purchase for transferring the financial risk of illness and injury in this lifestyle. Travel insurance, our World Explorer plans as have designed them, is for those who plan to travel abroad for less than a year but more than seven days on one or several different trips.
This type of insurance covers you for health and medical emergencies abroad, personal property coverage, and personal liability protection. World Explorer plans are comprehensive packaged policies that provide you with peace of mind that your health and financial assets will be protected in the event of covered losses.
Your options with us for comprehensive health/medical insurance are built for the long-term lifestyle as Connect (for individuals, couples and families) or Juvo (employee benefits, groups). These differ from travel insurance in that Connect and Juvo plans provides a comprehensive health and medical insurance similar to those plans you may have at home from your government, employer, or regional private health insurance companies. The Connect insurance plan is best for those who plan to live or work abroad away from their home country for a year or more, and Juvo can cover the remote workers in their home country, or a distributed team with members located in their home country and cross-border.
If you are planning a short-term trip, like a 10-day trip to Fiji for your honeymoon and then return to your home country, you need a World Explorer plan. If your company is assigning you to do research in the jungles of Brazil for two years on your own then a Connect health insurance plan is the solution you need, but if it’s a solution for a few of you then it’s a custom built plan design in the Juvo series for your group employee benefits needs.
Understanding the difference here is key when you are deciding what type of plan to protect your journey with. While both provide comprehensive protection and share many coverage similarities, they are designed for two unique types of travel plans.
Speaking of choosing the right plan, planning an extended stay abroad comes with a lot of preparation, from transportation and lodging to making arrangements for your home to be maintained while you are gone. It is imperative to be diligent in your preparations so that your extended stay away goes smoothly and efficiently.
All good plans come with preparation for the unexpected. Whether you are a novice or an expert traveler, you know that life can be unpredictable, and it is important to be ready for mayhem when it comes. The one thing that can always be expected in life is that the unexpected will always happen.
If International Health Insurance is not part of your planning process, we want to illustrate in this blog why it should be. We know traveling can be expensive, so we want to help you understand why you cannot afford to leave home without Global Health Insurance.
As a company, our core competencies are motivated by our why — our why influences our what. Protecting you and your ability to continue to pursue your passion for living, working, and playing abroad is why we exist. Our affordable, comprehensive plans are the what behind our why.
What Is International Health Insurance?
Health Insurance from Insured Nomads is for those who work or live abroad for extended periods away from their home country. Global Health Insurance provides the traditional health coverages you are accustomed to from your health insurance at home for prescription drugs, emergency medical evacuation, as well as mental health, and COVID-19 infections. In other words, it is a comprehensive health insurance plan.
However, the list of medical coverages above is not all-inclusive, and there are many perils to your health that our health insurance plans cover. Perhaps the most significant benefit, though, cannot be found in the words of the policy but in the peace of mind that comes along with having financial protection from medical emergencies and healthcare needs.
Many have this peace of mind while at home, and because we are so close to it, we often do not realize how significant it is. We do not want you to be living abroad and lose the comfort this peace of mind provides you. It can be easy to lose appreciation for something until we lose it, and the same is true of our various insurance protections at home.
Our team at Insured Nomads shares your passion, love, and excitement for travel, especially international trips. That passion drives our resolve to provide insurance built from a foundation of shared experience, understanding, and compassion with outstanding benefits, design and execution at the best hospitals in the world, with the top response team available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
While the similarities between international health insurance and domestic health insurance are numerous, there are some unique differences. For example, citizens of the United States have certain federal and Constitutional guarantees for access to health insurance known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Because of this legislation, American citizens are given the opportunity to purchase health insurance from a government-maintained digital marketplace where some individuals and families can buy plans with subsidized premiums based on income needs. The Affordable Care Act also requires insurance companies to provide coverage for pre-existing conditions without a waiting period.
Coverage without waiting periods for pre-existing conditions is perhaps one of the most unique elements of ACA health insurance plans. It is an excellent example of how domestic health insurance plans can differ from international health insurance plans and health insurance plans available for purchase in foreign countries. However, it is essential to note that ACA plans do not provide coverages for expats living abroad. Neither do Medicare and Medicaid, nor most private health insurance plans purchased at home.
Many nations around the world offer government-funded health insurance, sometimes referred to as universal health care. It’s important to note that the old adage nothing is free is very accurate, including the myth of free healthcare. In other words, nothing is free, especially healthcare.
And just like with the ACA in the United States, the health plans offered in most nations are only in force while within the borders of those nations. Regardless of how great or affordable the plans may be, this is their biggest flaw when it comes to the needs of Expats and Nomads.
Can I Buy Health Insurance in a Foreign Country?
Unfortunately, although you may have great health insurance coverage at home, that plan most likely does not follow you on your international lifestyle. The cost of healthcare continues to be a high cost for families worldwide, and there are many with no access to medicine or health insurance.
Plans administered by state and federal governments, such as Medicare for some U.S. citizens, do not provide coverages or benefits internationally. Therefore, you cannot count on the protections afforded by these policies when you set out on your extended stay in another nation.
Additionally, many healthcare plans offered locally in different nations come with waiting periods, pre-existing condition exclusions, or citizenship exclusions. Therefore, it would not be wise to wait until you arrive in a foreign country without having already established a comprehensive international health insurance plan before your embarkation. These waiting periods are the single most important reason why purchasing your own private international health insurance is so important, especially if your assignment may require you to change nations without much notice.
Although many nations and governments offer what is often referred to as universal healthcare or government-funded health insurance, they come with little control over costs because funding is accomplished through taxation or compensation deductions. Canada and England are two nations that offer these types of health insurance plans, as well as Japan and Germany.
While you have the option to purchase health insurance locally in the nation you are assigned to, this option comes with unique risks and may not be compatible with your travel plans. For instance, if your employer sent you to work in Tokyo and you purchase a local health insurance plan, it will most likely come with waiting periods for certain coverages.
Should your company then need to relocate you to another country, such as Germany, you would have to cancel the plan in Tokyo and buy a new plan in Germany. Guess what? The waiting period just started over. This is not practical and can be detrimental to your financial and medical wellbeing, especially if you know you have pre-existing conditions that will require you to go through waiting periods.
Sounds Great. How Much Does It Cost?
The cost of traditional health insurance domestically is one of the highest expenses on most family budgets, especially in nations where there is no access to government-provided or subsidized plans. The cost of health insurance for a family in the United States, for instance, averages more than $21,000 a year!
Employer contributions or government subsidies sometimes offset the cost of these premiums, but what remains after these contributions and subsidies often comes with a hefty price tag.
For those without health insurance, medical expenses from receiving medical treatments can be much more expensive. A visit to an emergency room as an inpatient with an overnight stay can easily cost as much as the average annual rent for a two-bedroom apartment.
Add specialized services, surgeries, and multi-day treatments, and the cost for a single health emergency can exceed $100,000 rather quickly. Should you be in a medical emergency and need a medevac via helicopter or airplane and you would see a bill that averages over $30,000 just for the ride. That single piece of your emergency is at least 10 times more costly than what your international health insurance premiums would have been.
We mention this because it is important to understand that the cost of not having health insurance is far greater than the cost of having it. When it comes to international health insurance, the cost-benefit analysis rises even higher. That’s because health insurance from Insured Nomads has been designed to be both comprehensive and affordable. Our plans offer the same or stronger benefits as your domestic health insurance plans but at times at a lower cost.
For less than $200 a month, you can purchase an individual plan that provides you with the peace of mind of having a comprehensive health insurance plan can provide while you live and work abroad. The cost is under $800 a month for the typical family of four. Compare that to some other plans, and you will quickly see the value of our health insurance options.
Germany is one of the most beautiful places on Earth and offers its citizens and visitors some of the most beautiful landscapes to explore and admire. Castles here have inspired some of our world’s most fantastic fairy tales.
For example, Walt Disney modeled Cinderella’s infamous castle after the Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany. The Dutch have much to offer the traveling Nomad, adventurer, and expat, from food and beer to world-famous Christmas festivals and what is considered one of the best universal health insurance in all of Europe.
The national government mandates health insurance in Germany, and all citizens and permanent residents must purchase either private coverage or public coverage. Government subsidies offset coinsurance requirements depending on income. Employers and their employees must pay up to 14.6% of their gross income into the social security public health insurance plan to help fund universal healthcare.
As we said, Germany’s public health plans are considered some of the best in Europe. However, they come with one major pitfall that we discussed earlier. When you move away from the country, you lose the benefits offered by these plans, and you must either purchase a new plan locally in your new location or participate in the government-provided programs there. Once again, you’ll be subjected to new waiting periods for certain services and pre-existing conditions.
This can be costly and dangerous for you and your future financial security and health, especially if you live with a chronic disorder or illness such as diabetes or cancer or are a woman and are pregnant.
By purchasing a private international health insurance plan, such as Global Health Coverage from Insured Nomads, you can establish a plan that protects you regardless of which country you live or work in that is covered by your policy. This gives you the opportunity to satisfy any waiting periods for certain services or pre-existing conditions once without having to endure those waiting periods again.
When you leave your home country to live and work in another country, you become what is known as an Expat. You have probably seen that word when researching your international medical insurance plan options, and just in case the word gives off a negative vibe, we wanted to take a moment to explain what this means.
An Expat is simply someone who has become a permanent resident of a country they are not a citizen. It does not mean that you have abandoned your citizenship with your home country or that you have become nationless. Essentially, you are going on a very long trip and you won’t be back home for a while.
Secondly, being an Expat is incredible. It is incredible that you get to live and work in different countries. If you haven’t taken a moment to appreciate how extraordinary an opportunity it is to travel our world and get paid to do so, please take that moment now. Very few will ever get to experience what you get to do for a living. If it sounds like we may be a little envious, then you are right; we are!
By experiencing various cultures around the world, you have an understanding and perspective of our planet’s beauty that can only be attained from authentic experience and interaction with it. We believe what you already know to be true, that it is our many differences that when combined together make us better.
If you are like us, you love to experience other cultures through their food, arts, and local customs. You can learn a lot about a culture’s history and passions at the dinner table. Who doesn’t like to eat good food and learn new recipes?
With all of that said, the point we want to make is that being an Expat is a calling and a privilege. And like all privileges, it can be lost to a series of unfortunate events related to your health, medical conditions, or medical emergencies.
COVID-19 and Your International Health Insurance Options
The coronavirus disease has fundamentally reshaped the way our world operates, especially for those of us who travel for work and play. Before COVID, many nations required travelers and Expats to possess travel health insurance or international health insurance before being given admittance across their borders. Since the beginning of the pandemic, that list has grown significantly. Almost every nation on the planet now requires travelers to have health plans that cover COVID infections, complications, and treatments.
Global Health Insurance from Insured Nomads provides these medical coverages as well as many other perils to your health. Since the start of the pandemic, there have been over 500 Million reported infections of COVID-19 worldwide and over six million deaths. In other words, 1/14 of the planet’s population has been infected by the virus. Although the number of positive cases has slowed tremendously, infections continue to occur, and the virus continues to mutate to overcome vaccine protections and natural immunity.
With COVID-19 continuing to be a threat to our health, it is essential to travel with the peace of mind international health insurance provides to ensure you receive adequate treatment for any severe complications that may occur from being infected with the virus.
While most people infected with the virus report having mild symptoms, many have moderate or severe symptoms that require hospitalization and medical care. Those with unique health concerns such as diabetes or obesity are more prone to severe symptoms. If this is you, then the importance of international health insurance cannot be understated.
Our international health insurance plans cover you for COVID-19-related treatments in nations that have not been indicated as level-four classified nations by the U.S. State Department. Level-three countries and below are included in our comprehensive plans. A list of these nations can be found by visiting the U.S. State Department website.
Read our blog below for more in-depth information about our coverages for COVID-19:
Insured Nomads Difference
Part of understanding your international health insurance options comes with an understanding that there are countless insurance companies that provide different types of travel insurance and international health insurance for Nomads, expats, and travelers. However, none of them are quite as unique or better positioned for your needs than we are.
Insured Nomads was founded by citizens from every continent on Earth who have lived the nomad and expat life. We live, eat, and sleep traveling and the insurance and solutions to make your life secure and peaceful. We were born to be more than citizens of a nation but instead world citizens.
Our company only provides travel and health insurance, and this is not by accident. Travel is our passion. Experiencing the world on location is our passion. Experiencing the beauty of diverse cultures from around the globe is our passion. Protecting our members whether remote worker, distributed team, nomad, expat, or world explorer with affordable travel and health insurance is our passion.
In other words, your lifestyle is our passion. We know that you have many choices when it comes to who your travel medical insurance is with, and we also understand how important choosing the right partner for your adventures is. We have built an insurance platform simplified to make the complexities of insurance more straightforward. Our policy language is designed the same way.
There are no hidden fees, surprise deductibles, print so small you can’t read it, or tricks up our sleeves. We simply want to provide those who live, work, and play abroad for both short and extended amounts of time with the very best protection that insurance can provide.
The core purpose of insurance is the redistribution of risks, and the core competency of Insured Nomads is protecting you and your family’s financial well-being despite what mayhem may come your way. We will be there with the coverage you count on with empathy when you need us.
You simply cannot afford to pack your bags and leave international health insurance out of the bag. To do so would be to put yourself in a precarious situation where everything you have built could fall apart. While you may have traveled for years or decades without incident and don’t see the benefit of having travel health insurance, it can only take one serious event to cause financial ruin.
If it seems like we are beating a dead horse, you may be correct, but as we have said, protecting you is our passion. We want to ensure that we have made every effort to convince you how important having international healthcare and travel insurance is to preserving your way of life while you live and travel abroad. We want to make sure you have access to international healthcare providers and assistance services in case of unexpected emergencies.
We are available to answer any of your questions about our plans, levels of coverage, and the many different options that you have for insuring your journey abroad. We are happy to help you before, during, and after your adventure. To us, you are more than just a client, and our insurance is more than just a product. You are our partner, and our insurance is the peace of mind you deserve.
If you are curious about what a health insurance plan with Insured Nomads will cost and/or cover for you and your family, visit our page and see why we are the right fit to put in your carry-on luggage!
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.