When it comes to insurance, exploring the different options out there can be confusing and time-consuming. For digital nomads and remote workers who don't spend their time in one place, finding the right insurance option can be even more challenging.
Luckily a handful of companies, such as SafetyWing and World Nomads, have created products to serve the unique insurance needs of location independent workers around the globe. We've rounded up a list of the different long term travel insurance and health insurance options available for digital nomads today.
What’s the Difference Between Health Insurance and Travel Insurance?
First, it's important to understand that travel insurance and health insurance offer two different types of products.
Travel Insurance typically insures you for:
- Unforeseen circumstances such as trip cancellations and delays
- Loss of luggage or valuables
- Emergency medical treatment
Note: Most travel insurance plans tend to place a limit on the amount of time that you can remain out of the country whilst still being covered, so it’s not typically suited for long term travelers.
Health insurance is designed to provide digital nomads with accessible treatment options for both minor and major healthcare needs. It typically includes coverage for:
- Preventive & Primary Care
- Inpatient/Outpatient care
- Vision & Dental
- Emergency medical care & transportation
What's included in travel and health insurance?
Both generally include coverage for emergency medical care and repatriation to your home country should you need specialized medical treatment.
Travel And Health Insurance Options For Digital Nomads
Remote Health, SafetyWing
Cost: $40 per month
Who’s it for: Citizens from any country, aside from those whose home country is Iran, North Korea, or Cuba.
What's included: Intensive care, hospitalization, urgent charges, physical therapy and chiropractic care, emergency dental. Also includes trip interruption and delay, lost luggage, and medical, political, or natural disaster evacuation expenses. Up to $250,000 coverage with a $250 deductible.
For a full list of benefits, visit SafetyWing’s website.
Reviews: People love that it rolls both health and travel insurance into one policy and that it's affordable, universal, and great for long term travel. However, some people have been disappointed in the process of filing claims.
Explorer Plan, World Nomads
Cost: Varies by country (they use different insurance providers with different policy options & pricing depending on your country of residence).
Who's it for: Citizens from 140 different countries.
What's included: Trip cancellation, interruption, or delay. Emergency medical expenses, evacuation, repatriation, and 24-hour assistance services. Baggage delay and loss. Non-medical emergency transport. Rental car damage. Loss of passport/travel documents, legal expenses, and adventure sports/activities. This plan offers more than $600,000 in annual coverage.
For a full list of benefits, visit World Nomads’ website.
Reviews: People love their inclusion of coverage for more than 200 adventure sports/activities, but dislike their lack of coverage for pre-existing conditions and limited plan options.
Gold Plan, Cigna Global
Cost: $149/month or more (without US coverage)
Who’s it for: All nationalities are eligible, except for citizens or residents of Iran, Sudan, Syria, Cuba, North Korea, local nationals in the US Virgin Islands, and Libya.
What’s included: The standard gold plan offers inpatient and day-patient treatment, full cancer care, and annual benefits up to $2,000,000. Add-ons include outpatient care, evacuation and crisis assistance, routine check-ups, vision and dental, and coverage in the U.S.
For a full list of benefits, visit Cigna's website.
Reviews: People rave about Cigna's customer service and their enormous network of doctors, hospitals, and physicians throughout the world. However, many dislike how expensive it is and its lack of coverage for pre-existing conditions. Generally, it's recommended for Americans and Europeans who want a plan that allows them to travel extensively while maintaining up to 3 months worth of coverage in their home country per year.
Xplorer Essential, GeoBlue
Cost: $125 per month or more (without US coverage)
Who’s it for: Citizens or permanent residents of the US who plan to be out of the US for a long-term period. Employees of US companies are also eligible if the company pays for the insurance premium.
What's included: Preventative and primary care, inpatient care, ambulance, and therapeutic services, rehabilitation and mental health services, emergency medical expenses, evacuation, repatriation, and 24-hour assistance services, and optional US add-on benefits. Pre-existing conditions are covered with creditable coverage.
For a full list of benefits, visit GeoBlue's website.
Reviews: People like that they have no deductibles on standard services, include maintenance medical care coverage, and have access to Blue Shield's wide network of healthcare providers. However, they dislike how expensive their plans are.
YourLife, Integra Global
Cost: $2,000 - $5,000 annually
(*depending on the level of coverage + deductible amount)
Who's it for: Citizens from any country. Primarily geared towards long-term expats living abroad, as they don't provide coverage for local nationals and offer maximum coverage of 180 days/year in the US & Canada.
What's included: Routine checkups, mental health appointments, and prescription costs. Preventative care, hospitalization, vision, security, and natural disaster, and treatment for chronic conditions. Optional dental coverage is available. No travel insurance benefits included.
For a full list of benefits, visit Integra Global’s website.
Reviews: People like that they offer personalized medical coverage plans beyond emergency care, but don't like that you have to commit to an annual plan and pay for it in bulk.
What To Consider When Comparing International Insurance Plans
Before applying for an insurance plan, there are a few factors you'll want to consider to choose the one that's right for you:
- Where you need coverage
Insurance plans and coverage options vary based on where you're from and where you're going. Explore what options offer plans in the countries you plan to visit.
- How long you'll need coverage
Will you be traveling long term? And will some of that time be spent in your home country? The length of your travels will have an impact on the type of coverage you need.
- Compare health plan networks
Where and how will you access healthcare? Are there many in-network providers within the areas you'll be traveling to, or just a few?
- Compare benefits
What exactly is covered, and what is not? Take a careful look at the details of policies.
- Compare costs
Consider the costs of coverage, copays, hidden fees, and what's not included. At the end of the day, finding an option that safeguards your well-being at an affordable rate will be an important differentiator between providers.
This article is written by Jordyn Kerr, Outsite Member and freelance writer. Find more of Jordyn's work here.