About Author: Hi, I’m Jessica Suess, an Aussie who moved to the UK for studies and ended up on a global journey as a freelancing digital nomad. I’m recently settled in Brazil, navigating finances and sharing what I have learned. See My Full Bio.
Standard travel health insurance covers you in case of an emergency. You can use it if you break a leg while exploring Istanbul or catch Chikungunya from a mosquito in Brazil. It will also cover you for emergency medical transport if you can’t be treated where you are.
Digital nomads need to be covered for emergencies, but they also need coverage for routine medical treatment. This includes medical checkups, routine exams like mammograms, prescription medications, eye tests, vaccinations, and dental care. Basically, digital nomads need the same coverage as national insurance schemes, but with international validity.
While there are combined travel and health insurance packages for digital nomads, most long-term travelers need enhanced coverage of dedicated international health insurance.
In this article, I’ll take a deep dive into international health insurance for digital nomads. I’ll start with what you should look for in a policy, and then share what to expect from five of the best health insurance providers for digital nomads.
What International Health Insurance Needs to Cover
International health insurance packages should cover you for all the same things that you would expect from national health insurance coverage. This means services such as:
- Emergency Services
- General Practitioner Services
- Prescription Medications
- Tests and Laboratory Services
- Screening and Vaccines
- Rehabilitative and Habilitative Care and Devices
- Pregnancy, Maternity, and Newborn Care
This is broadly a minimum coverage list, but there are always details in the fine print. For example, care for pre-existing conditions. These are often excluded, or you can choose to include them and pay a higher premium. Other important health services such as vision, dental, and mental health care are often available as added extras.
Any good international health insurance should cover all these services, but there are extra terms and conditions to consider.
These are all the things to look for when determining if a health insurance policy is right for you, but where are you likely to find good health insurance policies for digital nomads?
5 Best International Health Insurance Providers for Digital Nomads
|Monthly premium (starts from for healthy under 40)
|Maximum coverage limit (per policy year)
|US$60-170 (excluding US and Canada)
|No annual limits
|Includes dental health, mental health, and some activities and sports
|Outpatient, screenings & vaccines, maternity, and others
|Hospital stays, vaccinations, organ transplants, physician consultations, and others
|Dental, transplants, prescriptions, and others
|Transplant services, medical imaging, rehabilitation, home nursing, mental health care, and others.
I hadn’t heard of Genki until I started looking for a new international health insurance provider after the pandemic. I was immediately impressed and switched. Although I didn’t know the name Genki, they are underwritten by Allianz, which is a trusted name in insurance.
Genki covers you everywhere in the world and there is no upper claim limit. Most extras, including dental, eye health, mental health care, and sporting activities, are included in the Genki Resident I availed. Nevertheless, it is still affordable, starting from US$60-170 per month for under 40s.
The other things I really like are that you can visit any hospital or medical professional (no networks), and you are covered in your home country for 180 days each year, with no restrictions such as 30/90 days.
2. Safety Wing
Safety Wing is one of the best-known names in digital nomad health insurance, and their reputation is well-deserved. They provide excellent and easy-to-access cover starting from around US$125 per month for under 40s. You are covered everywhere abroad, and also in your home country for 30/90 days.
This service lets you visit any hospital or health care provider where you are, without network restrictions. The coverage is generous, up to US$1.5 million per year, but some things, like dental and vision, are only available with the premium plan. Nevertheless, overall I would call the standard plan comprehensive, including things like cancer treatments, organ transplants, and at-home nurse care for up to 60 days if needed.
3. Insured Nomads
I like that Insured Nomads offers a variety of levels of coverage. Travelers don’t have to pay for extras they don’t need. They also offer good family plan options.
The basic Connect plan starts from US$173 per month with up to US$500,000 in coverage. But the most popular Connect ONE plan starts from US$211 per month with up to US$1 million in annual coverage.
One thing I don’t love is that you must specify the region you will travel in when you register. While that is sometimes fine, it can be a problem if your plans are more fluid.
4. IMG Global
IMG Global is more of a standard health insurance plan adapted for global residents. That means that you build your own based on the coverage you need and your premiums are determined by your age and health questionnaire. But you can sign up from anywhere in the world and you are also covered worldwide. They also offer combined life insurance options.
There are bronze, silver, gold, and platinum options, with the maximum benefit limit ranging from US$1-8 million. This gives different types of travelers to choose something that meets their needs. However, in most cases, you do need to use network hospitals and medical providers.
5. Cigna Global
Cigna Global is another big insurer that is now offering comprehensive international health insurance for digital nomads and expats. You can choose from two types of coverage. One is called Close Care for expats or travelers taking advantage of a digital nomad visa which covers you both in the country where you are living and your home country. The second option is Cigna Global Health Options, a bit more expensive but covers continuous travelers.
As a big insurer, they have a big network of over 1.5 million hospitals and healthcare professionals, but in most cases, you must use network services.
Choose Your Insurance
It is never a good idea for digital nomads to travel without health insurance. While you might be traveling in a part of the world where healthcare is more affordable and you think you can pay out of pocket, when the unexpected happens, medical bills can be much higher than you imagine. Some places might not even want to treat you without proof of insurance.
As well as providing a safety net and peace of mind, valid health insurance is often a requirement to qualify for a digital nomad visa. Discover the most affordable destinations with digital nomad visas.