Medical Insurance Living Abroad

medical insurance living abroad

FAQs on Medical Insurance Living Abroad

From real life medical insurance clients

Welcome back friends!

Look, I totally get it. Understanding the intricacies of medical insurance when living abroad is vital, particularly for international nomads. If you don’t know this stuff, realistically, you’re going to be at a disadvantage. 

So what have I done for you? We’ve collected the most frequently asked questions we get from potential customers, existing customers and old customers to provide you with everything you need to know about medical insurance whilst living abroad. 

My blog is here to address frequently asked questions about medical insurance for those residing in foreign countries as expats, nomads, international travellers and others. You can come back to this article and I will regularly update it. 

So, if you are looking for a personalised understanding of potential costs, you can get a free quotation on our website at any time. 

Right! Let’s proceed to move forward in the blog on all you need to know about medical insurance when living abroad.

Types of Medical Insurance Policies for Expats and Nomad Professionals

Well, this is the most exciting part right? Maybe for us it is 😆. 

Anyway I’ve put together 4 different types of policies that might suit expats and nomad professionals. You can read through these in more detail below. 

Major Medical

This is a cost-effective plan focused on major health incidents. Without going into too much detail, it offers a maximum annual plan limit of US $1,000,000.

Covering most inpatient services such as room, board, and intensive care. Now, this package does not cover outpatient benefits and well-being coverage. This means it is ideal for those expats prioritising essential care and looking for an affordable option. 


This plan provides more broad coverage with a US $1,000,000 maximum annual plan limit. 

Now, this one does cover inpatient benefits and also provides outpatient coverage up to US $25,000 and includes provisions for GP and specialist consultations. 

This plan is more rounded than Major Medical but still affordable. Good for those who are more serious about their health but not looking for premium. 


One of the most popular plans. The comprehensive plan offers a balanced approach with a US $1,000,000 annual limit. 

It includes full inpatient benefits and substantial outpatient coverage. Actually some of the noteworthy features include 30-day pre- and post-hospitalisation benefits and a chronic conditions benefit up to US $1,000.

That’s definitely important for professionals who care about their health and are in a foreign country where healthcare is expensive. 

Fully Comprehensive

The premium choice with a US $2,000,000 annual limit, offering full coverage for both inpatient and outpatient care

It also includes enhanced well-being benefits, such as annual medical check-ups and vaccinations. This is the go-to plan for those seeking extensive coverage without limitations.

different types of medical insurance packages living abroad

Some Factors Might Affect the Cost of Your Medical Insurance Abroad

Now, the not so fun part. Of course there are always going to be factors that increase or decrease your medical insurance quotation, especially living abroad. 

So, understanding the cost of medical insurance living abroad is crucial for expats, digital nomads, and internationals. Luckily, you can usually control some of these factors or cost, and get them working in your favour.  

Ok, so what are they? Various factors, like your age and things like the level of coverage you choose, can significantly impact the premiums you’ll pay. Here’s the most important ones:

Age: Older individuals generally pay higher premiums.
Coverage Level: Comprehensive plans are more expensive than basic ones.
Geographic Scope: Global coverage costs more than single-country plans.
Pre-existing Conditions: Certain medical histories may raise premiums or limit coverage.
Duration of Stay: Longer stays may require more expensive, long-term plans.
Deductibles and Co-pays: Higher deductibles usually mean lower premiums but more out-of-pocket costs.
Additional Benefits: Extras like dental, vision, or maternity coverage increase cost.
Country of Residence: Medical costs vary by location, affecting premiums.

Knowing these factors will help you choose the right plan, keep down your costs and finally get the plan that is best suited for you at the best price. 

PS. We actually have a much more in-depth breakdown of the cost of medical insurance here. Give this blog a read as well.

Why Traditional Health/Travel Insurance May Not Suffice For Professionals Living Abroad

Now, this is an important area I love to cover. So many people think that travel insurance is going to be good enough for them to live abroad in another country and be covered. 

Well, that’s not actually the case. Medical insurance for those living abroad differs from travel insurance in several key ways. Medical insurance provides comprehensive health coverage, whereas travel insurance may only offer limited health coverage.

Usually medical insurance is actually more affordable and comes with more perks like paying hospitals directly and offering 24/7 support. 

Travel insurance, on the other hand, is generally more expensive and offers limited medical coverage. Instead they focus on areas like delayed flight or lost luggage coverage. 

Medical insurance is managed by experts in healthcare, while travel insurance is not always specialised in this field. Medical insurance covers long-term and serious conditions, such as cancer and you usually find that travel insurance usually does not.

So, medical insurance is more built around expats who are living in another country and travel insurance (it’s in the name, is more for people who are on the move).

upset lady finding out travel insurance wasnt enough to cover her abroad

Medical Insurance Is So Important For Emergency Medical Services

Another area that I seem to find medical insurance saves people thousands is emergency medical services. Not only are these costs super high, they are also not covered by a lot of travel insurances. 

Medical insurance is crucial for emergency medical services because it covers the high costs of emergency care. Without insurance, you risk paying out-of-pocket for costly treatments like surgery if anything happens. Not only that, but also things like ambulance rides which are usually never covered by insurance. 

It essentially means you can get immediate medical attention without being out of pocket, which not only speeds up the treatment process but also doesn’t leave you out of pocket. 

Another point to quickly make is that it also grants access to a wider network of healthcare providers trained in emergency care. Lack of medical insurance can result in delayed or inadequate treatment. No one wants that. 

So yes, medical insurance is super important for emergency services for those living abroad. If you are living in an area that has high emergency care costs, it’s seriously worth considering medical insurance. 

Some Cost-Saving Tips for Medical Insurance Abroad

Here’s some super awesome cost saving tips you can use for getting the best deal on your medical insurance when living abroad. 

High Vs. Low Deductible Plans

Ok, high-deductible plans have lower premiums but require you to pay more upfront before insurance coverage kicks in. This is awesome for those who are extremely confident that they won’t have an accident or emergency. They are usually more affordable as well.

Low-deductible plans have higher premiums but cover costs sooner. However, they are going to be more expensive due to the insurance covering more emergency and accident costs. Oversee which plan is going to be better for you and save costs where you can. 

We have another article explaining the definition of ‘deductible’.

Utilising Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)

Health Savings Accounts allow you to set aside pre-tax money for medical expenses. These funds can be used to pay for deductibles, co-payments, and other out-of-pocket costs. HSAs are usually compatible with high-deductible plans.

Bundling Insurance Policies for Better Rates

Combining different types of insurance policies from the same provider can result in discounted premiums. Check if your medical insurance provider offers other policies like travel or life insurance and inquire about bundling options. Also, payments for yearly or longer you may get a discount.

cost saving tips for medical insurance living abroad

FAQs on Medical Insurance Living Abroad

What is medical insurance living abroad?

Medical insurance living abroad provides coverage for healthcare expenses while you are residing in a foreign country. It’s as simple as that.

Is it different from travel insurance?

Yes. Travel insurance usually covers short trips and may not offer comprehensive medical benefits. Medical insurance for living abroad is designed for extended stays and includes broader healthcare services. This tends to suit expats or digital nomads.

What does it typically cover?

It usually covers hospital stays, surgeries, outpatient treatment, and emergency services. Coverage can differ between policies and countries. You can actually find out more in our coverage packages here.

Can I use it in multiple countries?

Yes, our international plans cover multiple countries but it really depends on what package you decide to go for. You should either contact us or check on our coverage page. With us, yes you can. 

How do deductibles work?

A deductible is an amount you pay before the insurance starts covering costs. High deductible plans often have lower premiums. We’ve actually got a separate blog on deductibles here.

What is direct billing?

Well this is when we pay the healthcare provider directly, so you don’t have to pay upfront and seek reimbursement later. This gives you peace of mind and saves so much time when getting surgery or any medical attention.


Ok so there we have it! All the FAQs and everything you need to know about medical insurance whilst you are living abroad. 

So, in summary, getting medical insurance is a critical step for safeguarding your health if you are living abroad. This type of insurance provides comprehensive medical coverage, including hospitalisation, surgeries, and emergency services. 

It is definitely different from travel insurance which is much more suited towards short-term trips and often lacking in adequate medical coverage. Those residing abroad for extended periods, such as international expats, frequent travellers, and digital nomads, should prioritise securing a suitable medical insurance living abroad policy. 

The investment ensures that quality healthcare is accessible worldwide, giving you peace of mind whilst you are living overseas. It’s not something to look past, you should always put your health first.

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With a decade of experience in medical insurance, Damon crafts solutions for nomads and global entrepreneurs. Often seen at global seminars or featured in industry publications, he’s dedicated to simplifying medical insurance for all.

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