For three decades, William Russell has specialised in providing international family health insurance around the globe.
Starting a new life as an expat is a thrilling adventure for the whole family. Whether you’re going to be relaxing in a tropical paradise or moving to a cosmopolitan city, there has never been a better time to join the world’s 50 million+ expats living overseas, as a digital nomad, retiree or to begin a new job.
But before you go, make sure you have considered the most important thing for yours and your family’s peace of mind – international health insurance. International family health insurance provides flexible, comprehensive level of cover for you and your whole family, covering you for a wide range of conditions – including maternity care.
With various levels of cover, international family health insurance offers flexible, tailor-made plans designed for expat families relocating overseas. We provide international family health insurance to expat families in 140 countries. No need to worry if you’re a frequent traveller or have children in school overseas – your policy works in multiple countries.
Knowing your healthcare needs are taken care of can help you and your family enjoy time overseas to the full. Here are the main benefits that our plans give you:
What are the advantages of having international family health insurance?
There are also advantages you can enjoy as an expatriate with international family health insurance that you wouldn’t otherwise get. These include:
No need to navigate a public healthcare system
Every country has a different healthcare system, and some can be especially tricky to figure out. You and your family may find yourselves entitled to some costs through public healthcare, while others need to be paid out-of-pocket. Worse still, you may receive healthcare thinking it’s funded, only to be slapped with a huge bill at the end.
With international family health insurance, you won’t need to worry about any of this, as you and your family can be sure you’re covered for the things you need. You have the flexibility to choose a level of cover that suits you, and even things like dentistry and maternity care can be included.
Benefit from private healthcare
As an international family health insurance customer, you will be entitled to healthcare at private facilities. These often promise shorter waiting lists, higher-quality treatment and more comfortable hospital stays.
Find treatment in your native language
The thought of falling sick in a foreign country where you haven’t mastered the language can be daunting. What if you needed to communicate symptoms, or receive a diagnosis in a language you couldn’t understand?
With international family health insurance, you won’t need to worry, because there is a much better chance you will be matched with healthcare professionals who speak your language.
Take your healthcare with you wherever you go
As an expat, you’ll probably find yourself doing a lot of travelling – that’s part the expat lifestyle. So, you’ll be glad to know that when you take out international family health insurance, you’ll be covered not only in the country you become a resident, but in all countries included within your ‘area of cover’.
If you’re moving to a country where the quality of public healthcare is not as high as you’re used to, you will undoubtedly prefer the quality and convenience of private healthcare. At William Russell, we have a network of over 40,000 hospitals and clinics worldwide, which we will connect you and your family to in order to help you receive the highest-quality private healthcare treatment.
At William Russell, we offer five areas of cover, including one worldwide (excluding USA) option. This gives you and your family the freedom to choose any hospital, anywhere in the world, should you need one while on the road.
Can’t receive local treatment? Medical evacuation (Medevac) will help
Depending on where you are in the world, if you have a life or limb-threatening condition, you may not be able to get the right treatment locally. This is where a medical evacuation (Medevac) can help. A Medevac transports you to another country within your area of cover for treatment that you could not receive in your country of residence.
Medevacs are included in your international family health insurance policy as standard. Read more about medical evacuations.
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What do you cover with your international family health insurance?
Our plans are flexible and personalised, so coverage is bespoke to you and your needs. The range of illnesses covered is extensive and, depending on your level of cover, you could access a variety of treatments for conditions including transplants, kidney dialysis and more:
- Full cover for cancer care and treatment on all of our plans – with additional options available on some plans
- Hospital accommodation and cover for in-patient or day-patient treatments carried out by a medical doctor in a registered hospital
- Dental cover and maternity care
- Emergency medical evacuation if treatment isn’t available locally
In general, you can expect to be covered for being admitted to hospital and serious issues such as cancer and mental health. Most plans don’t cover pre-existing health conditions, so check before you decide on a plan.
Certain benefits in this table of benefits specify a waiting period. You must be covered by the same plan for the full duration of the specified waiting period before you can claim for that benefit. No benefit is payable for any treatment costs incurred during the waiting period.
*Cover is limited to post-hospital care.
How much does international family health insurance cost
The cost of an international family cover depends on several factors, including the type of policy you buy, its provisions and the part of the world you’ll be moving to with your family.
Example monthly premium based on a mature family with kids (4 and 14 years old) from the United Kingdom living in Indonesia, with a US$250 per annum excess and Zone 2 cover. These examples do not include the current New Member 15% discount.
What if I want to start a family abroad?
Moving abroad as an expat shouldn’t stop you from starting or growing your family. However, you may be wondering whether you will have access to maternity healthcare services in your new home.
With international family health insurance, you needn’t worry. William Russell’s Gold plan gives access to maternity cover featuring a wide range of maternity services and medical treatments – so if you have a new child overseas, you can expect to benefit from the highest quality support. Our maternity cover includes:
- Routine maternity care including pre-natal and post-natal examinations
- Treatment for natural childbirth or caesarean section, whether in a hospital or at home with a midwife present
- Hospital accommodation for the newborn
We also cover emergency surgical procedures as a result of childbirth, including emergency C-sections and complications as a result of pregnancy.
Better still, international family health insurance will also extend to your new arrivals. If you give birth overseas, maternity cover as part of your international family health insurance plan will cover your child or children’s’ basic healthcare after birth, including:
- Treatment for congenital or hereditary conditions for newborn babies
- Basic newborn healthcare, which includes a physical examination, vitamin K, hepatitis B immunisation, BCG vaccine, tests for hearing, blood tests, hypothyroidism and G6PD
All these benefits are accessible so long as the mother of the child(ren) is included on your international family health insurance plan. Check your policy wording for full details.
Where are the best countries for families to move to?
In 2022, the Scandinavian countries dominate William Russell’s Top 7 countries for expat families to move to. For more on why these countries top our list, see the best countries for relocating with kids.
Childcare costs (/10)
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How to choose the right international family health insurance
Here are some of our top tips:
- Make sure the plan covers the country where you live. Insurance companies sometimes limit your cover in certain countries. Make sure you’ll be fully covered where you and your family live and work and in any other countries you might need cover in.
- Pick the right plan. Health insurance gives you access to private healthcare. Your health plan sets the rules and limits of your access. That’s why it’s important to find a health plan with the benefits you need.
- Personalise your plan. Most insurance companies allow you to personalise your health plan. You’ll have options to increase your cover for certain benefits, such as dental cover and doctor visits. William Russell also gives you options to save money on your premium.
- Pick an excess. After choosing your plan, the excess you select is the most important factor affecting your premium. Most of our members choose a US$250 per annum excess, but larger excesses give a bigger discount on your premium. For new members, we offer excesses up to $10,000 per annum.
Our plans are divided into 5 zones:
Worldwide cover, with restricted cover in the USA.
Provides cover in most countries. But in countries where the cost of private health insurance is high, this is subject to certain limits. There is no cover in the USA.
Special area of cover for residents in Indonesia, with restricted cover where private healthcare is expensive but no cover in the USA.
Full cover in Africa & Indian Subcontinent, with restricted cover elsewhere but no cover in the USA.
Full cover in Africa (except South Africa) & Indian Subcontinent, with restricted cover elsewhere but no cover in the USA.
The Gold plan is a popular choice amongst our members with families or who are planning to have a family in the near future. You’ll have:
- cover for hospital treatment
- everyday medical costs such as doctor visits and specialist consultations
- cover for mental health, wellness and vaccinations
- dental cover
- maternity cover and well-child benefits
We have a range of tools and options so you can tailor your plan to suit the needs of your family.
All William Russell plans come with some cover for for emergency dental treatment following an accident, and you may be able to add more depending on what plan you choose.
Yes, it can do. Healthcare plans from William Russell are international, so your cover doesn’t need to stop if you travel abroad or return home temporarily, provided this is within your cover zone.
If you return home permanently, we can offer cover in your home country. Please note the cover is not available to you if the USA, Iran, Libya, North Korea, South Sudan, Syria or Yemen is or becomes your country of residence, irrespective of your nationality.
If you want to keep your international family health insurance, you must renew your plan each year. Renewing your plan is straightforward, and it usually happens automatically.
Once your plan has started, we won’t ask you to answer medical questions each year—even if your health deteriorates.
While you must be age 75 or under when your plan starts, you can renew your plan for as long as you need it. Once your plan has started, we won’t ask you to answer medical questions each year—even if your health deteriorates.