I’d like to tell you this is THE source, the ABSOLUTE complete guide to digital nomad insurance…but I have to be honest…
The more I research digital nomad health insurance — the more I get confused.
After ditching my ridiculously expensive US health insurance plan — I naturally had to research every other possible option. I’ve created this guide after painfully browsing through many different providers to help you chose your best options for nomad insurance.
Nomad Insurance: Travel vs. Health Insurance
First things first — don’t think you can just get digital nomad travel insurance and call it a day. There are very big differences between HEALTH insurance and TRAVEL insurance. To keep it simple, just think of them both for their respective names. One insurance should be for your general health, and the other should account for your travels.
Travel insurance is great for emergencies abroad, stolen gear, lost baggage etc.
But you’re pushing your luck if you’re thinking you can count on your travel insurance to cover any medical expenses. It’s usually a supplement to your health insurance, so I wouldn’t trust any potential long-term illness or injury on travel insurance.
My Top 5 Choices for Digital Nomad Insurance
What’s great about IMG Global is that they have plans specifically for expats and global citizens. This is ideal when we’re talking about digital nomad health insurance. While their plans can get really specific for maritime crew or missionaries — the plan you want to select is the Global Medical Insurance.
This plan covers long-term (1+ year) worldwide medical insurance for both individuals and families. You have the option to select insurance including the United States and a few other countries or excluding which will have a big impact on the price.
There are also some other standard features you can play with like…
- Annually renewable medical coverage
- Deductible options from $100 to $25,000
- Maximum limit options from $1,000,000 to $8,000,000
The biggest downside to the IMG Global plan is you have to have a physical address in your country of residence when applying. If you’re looking for nomad insurance like me that can be a bit tough as I regularly don’t know where I’m going to be every few months.
Also, if you select coverage to include the US you’ll only get 6 months — which isn’t necessarily an issue as I plan to be out of the country for that long.
Honestly, as a web designer and developer, I was a bit skeptical immediately upon visiting Integra Global website. I had to give their nomad insurance a look though because they seemed to come up on every blog or forum I read about.
I do love their simplicity with their digital nomad health insurance plans. There’s only 2 choices: yourLife and PremierLife. And if you have a family: yourFamily and PremierFamily.
One of the things I like with Integra Globals nomad insurance plan is that they have direct settlement for international hospitals. This can be such a headache should you be caught in a situation where, as fucked up as it sounds, hospitals and doctors won’t treat you until they’re paid (yes even in emergencies).
Cigna may be one of the most chosen options for digital nomad insurance and rightfully so. Their rates are competitive, online presence is strong, and options pretty much unlimited.
You’ll have a choice between 3 standard plans (Bronze | Silver | Gold) and then can add things such as outpatient, dental, vision, medical evacuation, health and well-being, as well as if you need coverage for the US and Canada.
Of all the plans, I found Cigna to be the most organized to find what would/would not be covered and they seemed to be readily available for any questions.
When you think of Allianz as a company, you probably think of travel insurance. Well at least I do. And I think that’s where they are strongest. But as one of the leaders in travel insurance naturally they decided to go into digital nomad health insurance.
Their plans in general are rather expensive — more so than a standard health insurance plan in the United States.
I think you can expect top quality coverage with Allianz and feel comfortable with such a reputable company. However, I’m not sure if they’re the best company for digital nomad insurance in particular.
Clements also has an expat specific healthcare plan with a lot of benefits…
- Maximum benefit of $5 million per lifetime
- Ability to visit any provider or clinic — no need to worry whether your provider is in-network
- Emergency medical evacuation at no additional cost
- Free coverage for first two children under age 10 if both parents are insured
- Hospitalization, physician, surgeon, specialist fees, and prescription drugs
- Multiple Payment Options: annual, semi-annual, quarterly, and a 9 installment plan*
- Online or mobile claims submission — no need to mail forms, meaning faster turnaround.
- Guarantee of Payment to more than 6,000 providers worldwide, meaning providers are paid directly rather than paying and waiting for reimbursement.
- Preventative care including routine physicals, colonoscopies, mammograms, gynecological visits, and prostate exams
- Vision included; dental and orthodontia benefits available
- Optional coverage for accidental death & dismemberment and war & terrorism — related injuries
Their plans can include US and Canadian coverage if chosen as well.
Below is a chart of prices I found for each company…
*Some plans call levels different names (i.e. Bronze/Catastrophic)
*Some plans also offer paying Quarterly/Semi-Annual/Annual to save money
*Searches were done for a 29 year old male with $500 deductible
*Plans INCLUDE USA coverage (plans not including US/Canada coverage cost a fair bit less)
*IMG covers US for up to 6 months in a year
*Quotes can obviously change with adding services like vision, dental, expatriation etc.
Let me know in the comments below if you’ve chosen any of these plans and how they’ve worked out for you!
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If you want to learn how to become a digital nomad and escape the rat race, check out my free guide called: “Digital Nomad Guide to Working Anywhere in the World” (2017 Edition)
Originally published at www.traveldeveloper.com.