International health insurance without having a permanent residence?

@fippu82 Yeah, same here. I’m also fine paying for those things out of my pocket. That’s awesome, yes, in Thailand hospitals and doctors are very good, indeed. :wink:

Hey @Claudi, yes, I understand completely. It caused me a real headache. :wink: And yes, it’s indeed true that the digital nomad lifestyle does not (yet) fit into the boxes of insurances, governments & Co. However, there are solutions somehow, it’s just a bit difficult and time consuming to find them. It’s interesting to hear your knowledge and experiences, thanks for sharing. And yes, I totally understand that insurances need to have a country of residence in case of repatriation.

The issue with the cover duration I haven’t thought about yet and it’s definitely an important point which I’ll have to go into as well. As of today, unfortunately I don’t have any knowledge or experience about this topic but maybe other nomads from this forum?

Hi @fabyliechti, sounds awesome!
I am a Marketing & Business strategist and starting to consult & help others with their strategy (:

As a Swiss digital nomad who’s currently in the exact same boat as you find yourself I can honestly say that the information in this thread has been extremely valuable. Thanks so much for this.

I am curious about one more thing! I currently hold a “Krankentaggeldversicherung” which would pay me CHF 5’750 every month after the first 90 days after becoming permanently/temporarily invalid for a total of two years. My father has actually suggested to do this, since he made a good case for it being useful given that I am self-employed and I’d want some extra cash in case shit hits the fan.

Do you happen to know if it is possible to have a KTG contract with an insurer in Switzerland without a permanent residency? Furthermore, is something like that possible outside of Switzerland through a Nomad insurer?

Curious about that one.

@fabyliechti Thx for asking that question. I’m in the exact same situation: Swiss citizen without residency.

As of yet I’m using Cigna Global, as my residency I just gave them the address of a friend in Switzerland, but I am quite worried that once I actually need them they’ll use that as an excuse to not pay anything.

Due to CRS (Common Reporting Standard) being introduced in Switzerland in 2018 I’m planning to get a residency in an “easy” country with territorial income tax like Paraguay and file taxes there. I don’t know how Swiss banks will handle clients that have no tax residency once CRS is active, but I prefer not to find out. That will also allow me to put the health insurance on that address without giving them excuses to not pay, because I’ll be able to proof that this is my official residency.

As as side node, I’d never trust anything an insurance tells you on the phone. I’ve had cases (with another insurance) where they’ve promised me anything I asked for, but once it came down to paying the reply was “there’s a clause XYZ in the contract”. My conclusion is: read the contract and rely on nothing else than what’s written there :wink:

Regarding your second question:
As far as I know it’s not illegal to not have a tax residency (I’ve been doing it for years). I have a confirmation from the Swiss tax authorities telling me I do not need to pay taxes as long as I’m not a resident, which is kind of exceptional because many other countries would require you to pay taxes to the country of your citizenship if you don’t file them somewhere else, but you can run into trouble when doing stuff like opening bank accounts / companies or trying to get a driving license. As mentioned above, starting from 2018 Switzerland will start implementing CRS which might change things, so I think it’s better to get all the residency stuff sorted before that:

What is illegal in most countries is to work on a tourist visa (which I assume you do).
Furthermore, if you stay in any of the Schengen countries for more than 3 Months you are required to register as a resident, in some countries you can be fined for not doing so. And I’ve “heard” from unreliable sources that if you stay within the Schengen area for more than half of a year you’re technically required to register as a resident in any one of the Schengen countries, that’s to prevent you from going forth and back between a bunch of them to avoid getting taxed, but I’ve never heard of this being enforced.

Hi, I’m in a similar situation now.

I also spend around 3 months per country, and now I’m looking to get an international health insurance that will cover all medical treatments, instead of just a travel insurance for emergencies. I’m from Venezuela, and the idea that the travel insurance will just ship me back to my home country to get treated for something major is horrific at the moment.

So, I would like to know if anyone here had used and made claims with: Integra Global, IMG, or Cigna Global. I need some honest reviews, the ok, the good, the ugly.

I was leaning towards Integra Global but I couldn’t find 1 single costumer review about the company claim process, which I think is really weird and fishy for a company that has 10 years in the market.

IMG has a couple of really bad reviews online that make me doubt, and Cigna (the only one that seems to have good reviews online regarding the claiming process) only offers “inpatient” care in their core plan, and adding the Outpatient option doubles the prices and makes it super expensive. So, I’m torn.

Please help :slight_smile: Thanks in advance!

Hi Mari,

I used IMG and had a terrible experience. They ignored my claims and never even acknowledged them even though I wrote to them over and over again to confirm receipt. I would not recommend them.

Now I’m with GeoBlue, who I love. I don’t know if you have looked into them, but they’ve been great to me. I pay about $160 per month (so a bit more than IMG), but they have helped me set up two appointments so far (in six months of having the insurance), both with competent English-speaking doctors, and both times they set up direct billing and paid the full bill. I didn’t owe anything. They’re great.

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From my experience, if you are young, have a healthy lifestyle (have habit of working out weekly etc), and you travel often…you are better off with pay per use than insurance.

Personally, I’m from US, with my income, the health insurance I have to pay is very unfair. So what I do is I stop by Singapore or Taiwan for my annual check up etc. You get better health service and lower cost if opt-out insurance.

@gigigriffis I’ve just finished 3 full (I mean, 8 hour days) of research for medical insurance and I’ve also decided on GeoBlue. The only con of thier coverage is they don’t provide complimentary 30 days emergency only cover in the US so I’ll have to get another insurance while I’m in the US, but that’s not a big deal. I evaluated 7 insurers based on recommendations from research related to digital nomad medical insurers and if anyone wants to see my spreadsheet, just send me an email [email protected] or ping me here.

hi, I would actually love to see that spreadsheet if you don’t mind! I went with World Nomads in the past but would like to see what other options are out there.

I didn’t read all the above comments, but Cigna Insurance offers a very comprehensive build your own plan option and they seemed to be affordable. They also never asked me for a permanent residence, just my country of citizenship. Plus their span of worldwide coverage is great!