How To Find The Best Expat Health Insurance

It’s crucial to organize your expat insurance after you make the decision to move to another country. It is important to ensure that your family has access to healthcare abroad. There is no way to predict when an emergency or other health problem might occur.

It is dangerous to assume that every country is the most healthy. If you wait to get sick, the process of arranging expatriate health insurance could take longer or cost more. For expats with pre-existing medical conditions, it is especially important to arrange good expat healthcare insurance.

Organizing healthcare in a foreign country involves several steps. These include finding and registering with your doctor, finding the nearest hospital, emergency number, and ambulance services, as well as checking which medical insurance allows you to access healthcare services.

No matter where you are located, good expat insurance is essential. However, there are some things that can change as you move abroad. Is local or private insurance sufficient for you? Or do you need an expat insurance plan?

These tips will help expats choose the right expat medical insurance policy.


What is an Expat?

An expatriate is a person who lives in another country than their home country. This term is used to describe professionals, skilled workers, artists, and others who travel abroad either on their own or through their employers. The term “Expatriate” is used to refer to both retirees as well as others who choose to live in another country.

What is Expat Insurance?

Expat insurance and Expatriate Insurance are two types of international insurance that cover individuals and families who live or work abroad for extended periods (12+months). Global health insurance covers global citizens who have dual residences.

Your domestic health insurance plans won’t cover you for vision, medical, or dental expenses when you travel and live abroad.

Do I Need Health Insurance If I Live Abroad?

All U.S. citizens living abroad must have international health insurance, as domestic insurance plans don’t offer coverage beyond the U.S.

You should consider expatriate insurance if you plan on moving abroad on a long-term or permanent basis. The expatriate insurance plan offers a wide range of protection and is valid for a longer time. You can get travel insurance if you’re only going to be abroad temporarily or for vacation.

What Type Of Health Insurance Can American Expats Get?

Depending on where they’re moving, U.S. citizens can choose from three types of health insurance:

  • National (public) insurance: Some countries offer state-run health insurance programs. You will usually be automatically enrolled if you work in a country that has a good public health insurance program. This is similar to paying taxes. You will then have access to affordable or free health care at public clinics or hospitals.
  • International (private) insurance: Many Americans depend on private insurance offered by private companies in countries that lack a strong public healthcare system. This is because expats in these countries prefer to seek out medical care in private clinics and hospitals, which are often more expensive but better equipped.
  • A combination of private and public health insurance: There are times when waiting times can be lengthy, and clinics can get crowded. Many expats opt for an additional private insurance plan that will complement their state insurance and give them access to private clinics and hospitals.

Expat Health Insurance: Who Is It Best For?

  • Expats living, working, or moving abroad need to be covered for their health care.
  • Contract workers living and working in another country as contract employees
  • Seniors (Ages 65+). With dual residencies for six months or more outside the U.S. to care for their health and well-being.
  • Immigrants and Visitors who travel outside of their home country.
  • Long-term business travel from their home country.
  • Expats in foreign countries need travel insurance.
  • U.S. citizens who live or work abroad.
  • Students studying abroad or interning abroad for longer than one year are eligible.

What Do Expatriate Insurance Plans Offer?

The majority of expatriate health insurance plans include:

  • Flexible expat insurance plans
  • Choose from Worldwide Medical Insurance Area
  • Freedom to choose your healthcare provider or medical facility
  • Travel Intelligence Services
  • Assistance Services
  • Options for deductibles starting at $100 and ending at $25,000
  • Maximum limit options available from $1,000,000 to $800,000

Medical Treatments

The following medical issues and emergency coverages are covered by expat medical insurance:

  • The United States offers medical treatment both inside and outside the country.
  • Outpatient
  • Mental Health and Nervous Care
  • Hospital Emergency Room Injury
  • Hospital Emergency Room Illness
  • Hospitalization/Room & Board
  • Intensive Care Unit
  • CAT Scans
  • Echocardiography and MRI
  • Endoscopy
  • Gastroscopy
  • Cystoscopy
  • Surgery
  • Assistant Surgeon
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation Therapy
  • Maternity Insurance
  • Podiatry Care
  • Physical Therapy
  • Transplants
  • Preventive Prescription Drug Insurance
  • Health Travel Preventative Insurance
  • Vision coverage
  • Emergency Local Ambulance
  • Medical Evacuation
  • Emergency Medical Evacuation
  • Reunion in an Emergency
  • Interfacility Ambulance Transport
  • Political Evacuation and Repatriation
  • International Transport Insurance
  • Return of Mortal Remains
  • Complementary Medicine
  • Traumatic dental injury
  • Treatment for Unexpected Pain to Natural Teeth
  • An Accident requires non-emergency treatment at the Dental Provider.
  • Non-Emergency Dental
  • Hospital Indemnity
  • Supplemental Accident
  • Preventative Care for Adults
  • Preventive Care for Children
  • Pre-Existing Health Condition Limitations
  • Optional global medical coverage
  • Global Term Insurance
  • Accidental Death & Dismemberment
  • Terrorism
  • Sports
  • Dental Benefits
  • Vision Benefits

What Is The Cost Of Expat Health Insurance?

The cost of expatriate medical insurance varies. Our goal is to offer the best travel insurance. Coverage can be purchased starting at $39.42 per person per month (paid annually on the low end). Cost depends on:

  • Trip Length
  • Travelers Age
  • Trip Cost
  • Individual Deductible Amount
  • Sum of Medical Care Coverage

What Is The Best Health Insurance For Expats?

Global health insurance plans, which provide coverage around the globe, are the best form of medical insurance for expats. These plans provide coverage for expatriates as well as their families.

  • Individual and family long-term, comprehensive global medical insurance
  • You can access a complete health insurance plan anywhere in the world.
  • Freedom to choose your healthcare provider
  • Travel Intelligence Services

Most Frequently Asked Questions

Do Expats need health insurance?

Expats who want to be protected medically and feel secure must obtain international insurance. Otherwise, all medical expenses will be out of pocket.

What is the cost of Expat insurance?

An insurance broker can sell international Expat Health insurance starting at $40 per month for a person who buys annually. Global health plans are cheaper to buy on an annual basis than they are monthly, quarterly, or semi-annually.

Can my health insurance work in another country?

In most cases, no. Most private health insurance plans cover only medical conditions in your country.

What is the definition of a qualified expatriate?

An “expatriate-only” health plan is one that requires all primary enrollees to be qualified expatriates.

Qualified expatriates from the U.S.

  • The employer has assigned the individual to the U.S. to perform a temporary job or assignment related to employment because of his skills, qualifications, job duties, and expertise.
  • The plan sponsor will determine that the individual requires access to health insurance in multiple countries. In this case, the plan sponsor offers multi-national benefits regularly (e.g., tax equalization benefits and cross-border moving expenses, compensation for the expatriate’s return to his country).

Qualified expatriates from outside the U.S.

  • The individual is employed outside the U.S. during a 12-month consecutive period of 180 days that overlap with the plan years. The 50 U.S. states, D.C. and Puerto Rico, are included in the definition.
  • Special provisions are available for members of 501(c), (3), and 501 (c)(4) organizations who travel or relocate internationally for the organization. This includes students and religious missionaries.

Expatriate health plans provide minimum essential coverage.

  • Expat insurance plans are considered minimum essential coverage. This means that the international medical insurance plan will meet both the employer mandate as well as the individual mandate of the enrollee.

Employers remain subject to SS6056/SS6056 reporting and Cadillac Tax on certain expatriates.  

  •  The new ACA reporting requirements do not exempt the exemption. However, information statements (primarily the forms 1094-C and 1095-Cfor employers) can be sent electronically to expatriate patients even if they have not consented to electronic distribution.
  • Expatriate plans for health will be exempted from the SS4980I tax on high-cost employer-sponsored health coverage (generally referred to as the “Cadillac Tax”), which is scheduled to go into effect in 2018. This exemption applies only to expatriates who are assigned work in the U.S.

Effective Date

  • These provisions regarding expatriate healthcare plans apply to expatriate plans that were issued or renewed after July 1, 2015.


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