Travelling the world as a digital nomad is an exciting and liberating lifestyle choice, but getting health insurance when you’re continually moving from one country to the next isn’t always straightforward. In fact, it’s one of the hidden costs of going remote.
The thing is, normal travel insurance isn’t suitable for long-term travellers who frequently move country, and nor is getting an annual health insurance in each individual country, as you won’t be there long enough to use it. Luckily, there are plenty of options designed for us digital nomads, and here are a few of the best.
1. World Nomads
Designed by digital nomads for digital nomads, offers specialist travel insurance for people who work remotely while they travel.
- Covers trip cancellation, emergency medical expenses and transportation, tech such as laptops and iPads, and more
- 24/7 emergency line
- Recommended by Lonely Planet, Rough Guides and others
- Only cheaper laptops are covered. More expensive models need to be listed separately as a high-value item, as does camera equipment
- Depending on your country of residence, your tech may not be covered in certain situations – see the table here
- Online reports of being slow to settle claims
2. Integra Global
Integra Global offers an international health plan designed for people who lead “unusual lives”, in particular expats, and it’s fully portable within the region you’ve chosen (including or excluding the USA and Canada).
- Two simple plans
- The basic yourLife plan covers you for all your routine health checks, vaccinations, eye care and prescriptions
- Includes mental health appointments and preventative care
- Upgrade to PremierLife to include hospital accommodation in a private room, dental plan and other extras
- 24/7 emergency medical assistance and evacuation hotline
- Go to any doctor or hospital you choose
- The cost doubles if you want to include the USA
- Doesn’t include maternity cover, over-the-counter medicines available without a prescription and a number of other exclusions
IMG offers a Global Medical Insurance plan for people who are living or working outside their home country for a year or more.
- Several different levels of cover depending on your budget
- Choose from Worldwide or Worldwide Excluding the USA, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Singapore and Taiwan
- Cash incentive and 50% deductible reduction if you get treatment from certain medical facilities outside the USA
- Complex offering is hard to understand, with inclusions and exclusions dependent on the package you choose – see side by side comparison
- Basic plans don’t include preventative or mental health care
4. International Health Insurance by Allianz Care
Allianz offers expat health insurance for people who are living and working abroad.
- Simple, easy-to-understand plan
- Submit claims, find hospitals, manage your account and more via a handy app
- Includes private hospital room, in-patient/day care, emergency outpatient treatment, medical evacuation, oncology and more
- Outpatient, dental and repatriation plans are optional extras
5. International Medical Coverage by Cigna
Cigna offers flexible international medical insurance for expats who’ll be living and working overseas for a year or longer.
- Three simple levels of cover: silver, gold and platinum ranging from $1,000,000 to unlimited cover
- Basic package includes hospital accommodation and treatment charges, intensive care, surgeons’ and consultants’ fees, transplants, diagnostic tests, local and air ambulance services, cancer care and more
- Covers you for up to 90 days back home when you want to visit friends and family
- You’ll need to go to a hospital on their approved list
Finally, it’s worth delving into the small print of your credit or debit card agreement, as some – such as American Express – may include health insurance for travelling, which might just be enough for your needs.
Some health insurance plans also cover you for some travels, so it’s worth calling your normal insurer to see if you’re already covered for your trip.