How digital nomads get health insurance overseas? – that will be the topic of today’s article.
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The term digital nomad can be found everywhere today and is arguably one of the fastest-growing lifestyles of the past decade. In any case, many of us can still be confused with the term digital nomad, long-term traveler, or online worker. What is a digital nomad? What are nomads and how do they live? If you are as confused and curious as they are, read on!
Before you get an answer to the question “what is a digital nomad?” question, let’s first get acquainted with the term “nomad”. In a more simplified form, a digital nomad means a person who does not have a permanent place of residence, but rather moves from one place to another. There is no clear definition of how long you need to be “on the road,” or how fast you need to move, or where you need to go in order to be considered a nomad and not just a traveler-traveler.
However, with the exception of travelers, digital nomads usually travel for a very long time, sometimes it can be their entire life. During this time, they need to make money along the way. They take a local job, such as a farm or hotel job, to buy goods and move elsewhere. Some people prefer to stay in certain places for longer, so-called “slow travelers”, some people move to the next place faster.
Nomads who do not work locally to live stable and travel, but work on the Internet, are called digital nomads. They use their laptops, smartphones and tablets for location-independent work and thus make money. Thanks to their technology and the Internet, they can simply take their work with them wherever they go and work from hotel rooms, libraries, cafes or coworking spaces. While all digital nomads work on the Internet, their work can vary greatly and can be divided into three categories:
- Corporate remote worker – At the moment, many companies offer their employees to work remotely. It doesn’t matter if the employee is at home doing their job or traveling. Such teleworking basically provides a stable and reliable income with a choice of workplace.
- Freelancer – A digital nomad freelancer doing online work for one or more clients. These jobs are often related to web design, social media management, or content writing. A freelancer can work from anywhere in the world if his clients agree that he is physically unavailable in their company. He often finds his clients on certain freelance platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, or Freelancer.
- Entrepreneur – Some digital nomads have startups and can run their entire business online. Others make money trading online services. And very few people manage to make a living by the nomadic way of life themselves, such as travel bloggers or photographers.
Later in this article, we will talk about how digital nomads get their health insurance when they are working overseas.
Why digital nomads need health insurance?
Many travelers believe that they can only get by with insurance during the trip. Most of them can. Travel insurance is intended for people who can use several weeks or months at a time.
However, digital nomads and other long-time travelers are in a different boat. Especially the Americans.
Health insurance for American digital nomads is necessary because many travel insurance providers, including travel favorite World Nomads, do not cover travelers unless they are insured in their home country. Even if this is not the case, in a serious emergency, travel insurance companies generally seek to cover you long enough to put you back on home soil so they can throw you into home health care.
An evacuation to your home country is a potential disaster for us Americans, who enjoy one of the most broken and expensive healthcare systems in the world.
It’s tempting to hope for the best and pray that nothing happens on the road, but seasoned travelers know that something will always go wrong on the road.
Travel insurance can protect your non-refundable bookings and reimburse you for any unforeseen emergency medical expenses you incur while traveling. However, the needs for travel health insurance for those taking a few short vacations a year will be different from the needs of digital nomads, who may spend much of the year living and working abroad.
Digital nomads may also be less likely to return home, travel with equipment (such as a laptop, camera, etc.), participate in adventure activities, and have access to health insurance, especially if they do not have such insurance at home.
With the prevalence of teleworking and more and more opportunities to live and work from abroad, here are some of the most popular travel health insurance options for digital nomads.
Best Digital Nomad Health & Travel Insurance Plans
Below we have prepared a list of the best insurance companies. We will give you a quick overview of each company, in order to make it easy for beginning digital nomads orientate and make a decision.
World Nomads Overview
This is a travel insurance provider that offers coverage for residents of many countries and also allows you to extend your coverage mid-trip. It is underwritten by Nationwide Insurance. No matter which plan you decide to pick, the health insurance limits are not that bad.
Usually, the provider does not have any pandemic-related exclusion, so COVID claims are covered. Anyways, World Nomads specifically states that being afraid of traveling is not a valid reason for trip cancellation. So if you’d like an option to cancel a trip whenever you need, you’ll have to consider insurance packages that offer ‘Cancel For Any Reason’ coverage.
There are two type of travel insurance policies available with World Nomads:
- Standard – has lower coverage limits and includes more than 200 sports (including some adventure sports)
- Explorer – adds on 60 other activities and sports, including more dangerous ones such as shark cage diving, skydiving and paragliding.
The inclusion of sport activities in both World Nomads plans is unique, while many other traditional travel insurance plans don’t include them.
Here’s a list of features included in World of Nomads coverage:
- Trip cancellation, interruption and delay.
- Emergency healthcare coverage, evacuation, repatriation and 24-hour assistance services.
- Accidental death and dismemberment.
- Non-medical emergency transportation.
- Baggage delay and loss.
- Rental car damage (Explorer Plan only).
- Adventure sports and activities.
And here is a list of a few features of note that are excluded from the insurance package:
- Pre-existing conditions.
- Self-harm or accidents occurring while intoxicated.
- If you live in the United States, the World Nomads Travel Protection Plan offers you certain benefits when you test positive for COVID-19. You can get coverage for emergency medical care, medical evacuation, travel delays, trip interruptions, and coverage if you become infected with COVID-19 while traveling.
- While you can only get an estimate for 180 days of coverage online, you can simply renew your coverage indefinitely.
- If you need to file a grievance, you can do so online.
- Claims are processed quickly.
- They have great coverage for the price.
- Their Explorer coverage helps adventurers know they are covered when they want to play.
- This is the company that many major travel companies turn to.
- Since they work with many local insurance companies, their cost and coverage can vary greatly depending on the region. Please read the policy carefully.
- You must have health insurance in your country to get additional health insurance.
- Chances are, you won’t be able to get scooter insurance.
- Under the policy, you are only allowed one trip home.
SafetyWing is another popular travel digital nomad health insurance option that also offers COVID coverage. You can purchase the policy while abroad, which will make it easier for those who are already traveling and decide to get insurance coverage in the middle of the trip. If you are not a resident of North Korea, Cuba or Iran, you can purchase a SafetyWing policy. The default duration of coverage is 28 days and the policy will continue to renew unless canceled (maximum policy duration is 364 days).
SafetyWing also provides US citizens with casualty insurance coverage in the US for up to 15 days out of every 90 days. Despite coverage in the US, SafetyWing provides health and travel insurance while you are abroad; he does not qualify for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
- Interruption and delay of the trip.
- Urgent medical and dental expenses.
- Emergency medical evacuation, repatriation of remains and accidental death.
- Lost checked baggage and lost visas / travel documents.
- Return of minor children and pets.
- Political evacuation and border protection.
Excluded (incomplete list):
- Pre-existing conditions.
- Mental health disorders.
- Intentional acts or damage caused by drugs or alcohol.
The cost of the SafetyWing policy depends on your age and whether you want health insurance while you are in the United States. The United States will cost $ 40. If you want to get coverage while in the United States, the cost of the policy will go up to $ 73.
Overall, being able to purchase a plan in the middle of your trip and get health coverage while in the United States is one of the main benefits of a SafetyWing policy.
- To get insurance, you do not need to have a permanent residence in any country.
- For those under the age of 39, SafetyWing will be quite affordable.
- In addition to health insurance, you will receive non-medical evacuation insurance, travel interruptions and cancellations, and baggage claims.
- You can pay monthly instead of straight away.
- If you visit your home country for up to 30 days, you are still protected unless you are a US citizen.
- You can choose private doctors and hospitals.
- 1 child per adult and 2 children under 10 years old per family can also be included free of charge.
- Some activities that the average nomad considers not very risky are not covered, such as high-altitude mountain climbing, scuba diving, and ice hockey.
- The total coverage is $ 250,000.
- You must have an international scooter license to get insurance if you are involved in a scooter or motorcycle accident. Accidents like this are very common when traveling in Southeast Asia.
CoverAmerica Gold Overview
CoverAmerica-Gold insurance is the ideal policy for international travelers to the United States, especially senior travelers such as parents traveling from the Indian subcontinent or Asia. CoverAmerica – Gold not only provides coverage for the loss of a passport or travel documents, the plan can also provide coverage if an insured is denied entry at the border, making travel to the United States easier and more worry-free than ever. This plan also offers comprehensive benefits to cover COVID-19. CoverAmerica-Gold can provide coverage for the acute onset of pre-existing conditions. Given the prohibitive health care costs in the United States, this policy allows foreign travelers to travel safely to America.
CoverAmerica-Gold provides coverage for non-US residents and US citizens when traveling to the US, Canada, Mexico, Latin America, the Bahamas and South America. The one-of-a-kind plan, CoverAmerica-Gold, is a comprehensive plan that offers a wide range of unique coverage options, from border entry protection to additional coverage for the acute onset of pre-existing diseases and dangerous sports.
Features of the plan
- Insurance against COVID-19, like against any other new disease.
- Insurance benefit for policyholders forced to quarantine at the destination
- An emergency medical examination aid that covers testing for diseases, including COVID-19
- The plan pays 100% online after the deductible is satisfied
- Coverage for the United States and travel to Mexico, Canada, Latin America, Bahamas, and South America
- No cancellation fees
- Extra charge for access to emergency medical care $ 15 Coverage if you are denied entry to the United States
- CoverAmerica-Gold is part of the PPO United Healthcare network, which offers a large network of healthcare providers and healthcare providers across the United States who can directly bill an insurance company. This means you don’t have to worry about running out of cash.
- In addition to travel insurance, CoverAmerica-Gold offers emergency medical services.
- Covers the acute onset of pre-existing conditions for those under 70.
- Your annual flu shot is included
- A fast emergency room visit is included with a small co-pay of just $ 15.
- No cancellation or renewal fees
- COVID-19 related costs are included when purchased for at least 30 days.
- It’s affordable. A 30-year-old who visits the United States on Christmas Day 2021 will only need to pay $ 96.72 for a 30-day visit.
- It can only be purchased by non-US residents.
- Travel to other countries in South and North America can be very limited.
Travelex Travel Overview
TIS was founded in Omaha, Nebraska and is currently its home. The company was born when it was part of the insurance giant Mutual of Omaha Companies and was later bought by the renowned currency exchange company Travelex. Although the company still carries the name, Travelex Insurance Services is no longer affiliated with Travelex Currency Services, Inc.
TIS is currently owned by the Australian Cover-More Group, which promotes the worldwide distribution of TIS insurance products.
Now that we have established TIS’s reputation, we can move on to finding out if TIS offers travel insurance that adequately covers your specific travel loss concerns at an affordable price.
Travelex travel insurance offers protection for digital nomads and telecommuters on a variety of travel needs, including weekend trips, long stays, and luxury vacations.
The basic plan gives you everything you need. The Travel Select plan allows travelers to customize their needs. And flight insurance is intended for those whose needs are more related to flight protection.
- Covers COVID-19: If you test positive for COVID-19, you may be eligible for trip cancellation, interruption, or emergency medical or medical evacuation.
- Trip Cancellations and Interruptions: Regardless of the covered reason your trip is canceled or interrupted, you will receive a refund for your money spent. These include injuries, flight cancellations and others. This benefit also applies to the basic plan.
- Emergency medical assistance and evacuation: If you are involved in an accident while traveling, the company will provide you with an emergency evacuation to a medical facility. In the event of the death of you or your fellow traveler, insurance will cover the cost of transportation home.
- 24/7 support: this is our favorite service! Who doesn’t love a tour concierge? Well, in case you are looking for a hidden paradise, or get sick and don’t know where to go, or even have legal questions, Travelex Travel Assistance will assist you as a concierge. And this is included in all plans!
- 98% of claims are paid: Filing an insurance claim is relatively easy and seems to be faster than the industry average.
- COVID-19 coverage can be quite limited.
- There is an additional charge for basic services, otherwise they are not included.
Allianz Global Assistance Overview
Allianz Global Assistance is the world leader in travel insurance and assistance because we truly help people – anytime, anywhere.
As a premier provider of travel insurance, corporate assistance, and concierge services, we can help our clients find a solution to any travel-related problem. The company has about a thousand partners, included travel agencies, airlines, resorts, websites, event ticket brokers, corporations, universities, and even credit card companies.
Allianz Global Assistance is owned by Allianz SE, the world’s largest diversified insurance company. Thanks to the scale of our parent company, we are able to provide innovative products with global reach at competitive prices. Look for the Allianz Global Assistance logo every time you book a trip, buy tickets for a show, or register for an event.
More than 21 million travelers rely on their protection when away from home, and they take this role very seriously. That is why they are committed to providing their clients with the help they need and the benefits they deserve.
- Allianz Travel Easy – Oversea Annual offers up to $ 1 million in emergency evacuation coverage, $ 5,000 in baggage loss or damage, $ 2,000 in travel delay coverage, and coverage for pre-existing medical conditions.
- You cannot purchase travel cancellation coverage for any reason.
- Their packages are fixed in their offerings, but there is a wide variety of packages.
- Their plans are more expensive.
- Their customer service could be better.
- To get coverage, you need to purchase it before you travel.
- Does not apply to COVID-19 emergency medical care.
To sum up
Expats and digital nomads have different travel health insurance needs than the average traveler, so it is recommended that you choose a policy that suits your travel style. If you’re looking for adventure sports reporting, the World Nomads policy is your best bet.
However, if these benefits are not relevant to you and you would rather have health insurance coverage when you are abroad (and to a certain extent when you are in the US), consider SafetyWing, which offer this feature. It’s important to note that all of these plans cover COVID-related medical claims, which is an important consideration if you’re already abroad or planning a trip in the near future.
We hope our guide and list of best health and travel insurance companies can help and simplify your research process. We included the best insurance companies, which are very popular among digital nomads and they totally trust them.