Does international health insurance for digital nomads exist?

#34

Thanks Denis for your input.
$2500 a year! That’s expensive!
You could easily pay less than half of that!
Look at the few insurances I pointed to in my answer on http://travel.stackexchange.com/questions/776/long-term-travel-what-insurances-can-should-i-get/46751#46751

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#35

Thanks Adrien, I’ll take a look. I’ve had it for a few years now. In comparison to what I was quoted by Bermuda based companies it seemed a lot more reasonable. It was also what one of the Bermuda companies used to underwrite its global (ex-Bermuda) coverage which gave me a bit more confidence to go with them as Bermuda can tend to be an obscure case to deal with.

Of note, I forgot to mention that I originally used Brokerfish.com as an excellent comparison site which gave a great overview of pricing, benefits and options of various plans. Price varies alot based upon what you’re keen on (basics with high deductable or more comprehensive, dental and no deductable)

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#36

Denis, Adrien, and everyone else, I appreciate this discussion! I know a lot more about travel insurance now thanks to you guys.

I’m Venezuelan and I’ll be working from Berlin for 6 months as my first official nomad experience. I’ve checked out several travel health insurance companies and I thought you might find my quotes helpful for reference. The prices are in USD. The plans listed below offer global coverage excluding the USA, and all of them have a $250 deductible and $50,000 coverage to make the comparison easier.

IMG Global: $275 for 6 months.
Allianz Worldwide Care: $1,450 for 1 year.
Seven Corners - Liaison Majestic: $190 for 6 months.
HCC Atlas: $160 for 6 months.

After Denis’s comments, I’m a bit hesitant as to which company to choose. None of them really asked me if I have primary coverage in my home country (which I don’t), so what could be justifying an order of magnitude increase for the Allianz coverage? Are the other providers’ prices too good to be true? What could the catch be?

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#37

Hi Alemacgo,

It is important to read through the policy information and confirm what kind of coverage it is.

Travel coverage works well enough to take care of anything major. It works on the premise that they stabilize you enough to send you back home, and then it’s your home insurance’s problem to manage your full recovery. If you’re willing to risk it, the premiums are a lot lower. Though also weigh that against what your risks likely are as you’ll be the one footing the bill in the end if you need year round coverage.

Proper health care coverage you could find but you have to be diligent in reading through the actual policy details. Don’t rely on the broker to clarify things for you.

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#38

Sounds rather like Ponzi scheme.

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#39

@alemacgo : make sure you read the whole “terms and conditions” of the policies offered, as this is what will be used for/against you when you file a claim. I assume that the price differences do come with significant differences in services.

Did you look at TrueTraveller.com or Clements.com too ?

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#40

@AdrienBe, thanks for the pointers!
Apparently, TrueTraveller.com requires me to be a permanent resident of an EU/EEA country, which makes me think I’d need to be insured by a local social security system belonging to one of those countries. At the moment, I’m not a permanent resident in Europe (although I could become one).

Clements.com did give me a quote, but it’s around the $750 ballpark for a $250 deductible and similar coverage as the ones I mentioned earlier, so I keep wondering: what’s the catch with Seven Corners and HCC Atlas? Why are they able to charge less than $200?

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#41

A good trick is to get your dive master with Padi. With your annual fee you get a great insurance coverage for about 200USD a year and you don’t need to work as a DM.

SSI does it too for freediving.

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#42

@seel but this insurance is for diving, or is it for some other activities too? Source/link appreciated

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#43

Would also love to know more about HCC Atlas. I’ve been using them for years as my go to travel insurance but have never made a claim. I have no idea if it’ll hold up :open_mouth: Any experiences?

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#44

How do you like IMG Global? How did your claim go?

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#45

Still waiting. So not impressed with their speed.

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#46

After having done a fair share of research I’ve gone with Clements world coverage (health insurance, not travel insurance); seemed like they have reasonable pricing / relatively low amount of horror stories. Also includes US coverage, which is a must for me.

Costs about $2k a year, but should cover almost anything.

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#47

Did you experience this first hand or read about it?

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#49

I just read T&C carefully.

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#50

So many options, so if I take a cheap insurance like HCC Atlas, the cost will be lower and the coverage too.
I really suck at this :stuck_out_tongue: .
200k for coverage is that good? I mean if I go for a 1M coverage, I think they can give me a robotic arm for that price no?
Does anybody already had a bad experience with an insurance?
I feel like I’m getting influenced by the limiting belief that cheap equals low quality . Except that here I’m not buying toilet paper :s.

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#51

Bumping this given we’re in open enrollment. I’m back in US until February so am looking at getting a low deductible ppo to knock out some doctor’s visits/test whatever and then hopefully transition to Cigna while overseas the rest of the year.

Has anyone just let their US-based plan lapse without paying? That’s basically what the Anthem rep recommend I do once I was no longer in the country if I didn’t want the policy anymore (you cant’ outright “cancel” but they will drop you if you don’t pay obviously.)

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#52

I’m curious too. I just purchased a plan. Their coverage and pricing is really good. Please let us know.

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#53

Hmm that is interesting. But what means for work ? If we work abroad or a mission in the country that was not planned at the begining ?

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#54

Here’s what I’ve found when it comes to health insurance abroad:

  • The sales reps have no idea what they are talking about.

I specifically asked one of them if motorcycle accidents would be covered if the driver didn’t have a license (I don’t intend on driving them, but maybe I would hop on with a friend).

He said yes, even after I said “are you completely sure?”

I asked another rep to confirm this and she said “no, that’s illegal, we wouldn’t cover it”.

  • A lot of insurance programs based in the States seem to have a reputation for screwing people over. Looking on a travel insurance review site that also reviews medical insurance abroad, pretty much every insurance company had a “3 star” rating for “claim was filed”.

And a lot of them are horror stories.

So, I chose to go with a UK company, called April Co

They have a pretty comprehensive (and affordable, like 130 a month for the 2nd tier plan) coverage that seems good for emergencies.

The other one I was considering was IntegraGlobal, based on The Worldly Blend endorsing them.

In the end, I chose April Co because they do direct pay for ANY hospital you go into, whereas IntegraGlobal has a preferred network that lets you do direct pay through them, but requires you to pay the hospital upfront and submit a claim later for out of network.

If you do go with April CO, I highly recommend getting the International Plus Plan instead of the International, because some of the wording in the International Plan. The basic plan defines a hospital stay as “being in a hospital for longer than 24 hours” and doesn’t cover outpatient stuff… so it seems like they could screw you and not cover a surgery that didn’t require an overnight stay.

**The moral of the story in my mind:
Don’t listen to anything the sales reps say. Instead, read the plan policy guide (NOT the statement of benefits) as closely as humanly possible. Because it seems like, in the end, the policy guide is what the company is legally required to insure you for, given all the legalese in the document.

And while you can’t prevent a company from outright screwing you and not paying the claim they are supposed to, you can make sure you don’t get caught in any loopholes (like not pre-authorizing hospital stays, which they can then charge you for).

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