Does international health insurance for digital nomads exist?

#38

Sounds rather like Ponzi scheme.

#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 ?

#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?

#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.

#42

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

#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?

#44

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

#45

Still waiting. So not impressed with their speed.

#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.

#47

Did you experience this first hand or read about it?

#49

I just read T&C carefully.

#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.

#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.)

#52

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

#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 ?

#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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#55

Just been through the gauntlet with all of this and wrote it up in an article here

For ref:

[Disclaimer: I’m not a professional and have no clue what I’m talking about so don’t blame me if you fuck this up]

Spoiler alert / TL;DR: I went with Basic Global Health Insurance cover, with a £2000 deductible and 30% Cost share (1330 max OOP). I got this from Cigna Global for £33 a month. I’m in my mid-twenties and have a clean record. Woo.

For insurance illiterate people, this means that you’re essentially only covered for serious stuff (surgery + ongoing care), and you have to pay the first £2000 of costs accrued + 30% up to a limit of £1330.

So with these types of plans you’re only going to be taken care of when you’ve done something very stupid and / or gotten very unlucky and are shuffling off your mortal coil after paying the first £3330 in bills. As a fairly young person with access to cheap (read: non-American) healthcare, and at worst — a decent national healthcare system, I don’t see cover being crucial for anything non-life threatening. I use travel insurance (Digital Nomads) to take care of anything less serious while I’m away from my base-country and don’t think the added frustration of claiming on small things makes it worth it when you can shell out and walk away.

If you want to go full blast, all encompassing (Prestige, Gold, whatever) cover (or add-ons in some cases) with a £0 deductible and £0 cost share will mean that the insurance company will pay for everything from your check ups to Chinese medicine, but will probably set you back upwards of £200 a month, which would — in many cases — end up being a net loss if you don’t use medical services often. If ,on the other hand, you get a lot of consultations and want to err on the safe side, it might be worth it. And of course there’s always a middle ground.

Also, note that global insurance is not the same as standard health insurance (or travel insurance — more on that later), and thus is more expensive.

What to look at / Important notes

So you’ve figured your general cover and your deductible, now prepare to start looking through enormous lists with tick boxes on them and reading words like ‘action sport rider’ and ‘dental’. Here’s what I found important, and what turned the tables for me. It’ll take less time to just call up an advisor and ask them about the policies directly when making comparisons.

Your ‘country of residence’ — Speaking to the reps, they said they don’t give a shit where you’re legally resident, but it affects where they administrate the policy from (which can create a large variance in cost because of taxes). You can actually fiddle around with these, because the tax involved in putting your residence as somewhere like the UK means the prices are a lot higher, and these policies usually only cover you for a limited period of time in your ‘resident’ country, which is not where you want to be anyway.

Whether they’ll pay direct — IMG Global were one of the most competitively priced, but all bills had to be paid up front by yours truly and then claimed back afterwards, which I’ve heard takes months. When you’re drooling on the floor and don’t have one hundred thou’ in your savings, there’s not much point there. With most good policies, you give the hospital your insurance forms, and they pick up the cheque.

Whether sports are included — I don’t do many sports, but when I do, I’m very likely to be critically injured. A lot of basic policies don’t include injuries sustained doing things that involve fun, so check that out.

‘Mental health’ — Again, varies wildly as to whether this is included in ‘basic’. Cigna includes something like £5,500 cover in case you lose it.

Systems + Support — You want somewhere that’ll get you through to a human quickly when needed, and a company that’ll start your policy immediately. The one I’ve recommended had everything sewn up in less than 10 minutes.

Evacuation, Outpatient, Dental: This will all be extra. Want to ride in a cool helicopter? You’ll be paying for it.

Travel Insurance vs Health Insurance
This is an important distinction that often gets muddled up. To put it clearly, travel insurance will only cover you until they can push you onto the local healthcare system, or your normal insurance. Once you’re out of the clinic for a while or back home, you’re on your own.

The companies I looked at
AXA — well known, reliable, but expensive because of it. My family have used them for 40 years and never had problems.
BUPA — ditto
Cigna — Included sports cover, direct payment and mental health on the basic plans, well priced, easy sign up, good support so far. I’ll holla-back when I have to make a claim.
IMG — Best price by far, but no direct pay and the website is horrific. Indianapolese sales rep couldn’t tell me what the differences in the plans were and I’m pretty sure is voting for Trump.

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#56

Has anyone yet have any experience with claims with April International?
I am considering switching from Integra Global since April seems to provide direct payment to hospital and better coverage.
In addition the policy is clearly defined in terms of what exactly is covered. Integra Globals terms are really not 100% clear.

#57

@Melanie - your link is for Cigna’s corporate plans. Here is a link to get a quote for Cigna Global individual or family plans: Cigna Global Quote

#58

I’m using GeoBlue Expat Health Insurance. My broker is Andrew Blomberg, [email protected] com
I had Cigna, but ran into a problem and cancelled. GeoBlue is expensive, but I’m older with usual health issues for my age.