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health insurance in tanzania

How To Get Health Insurance In Tanzania As An Expat (Or Local)

avatar - Megan Lewis

Megan Lewis

Commercial Lead

From the peaks of Kilimanjaro to the beaches of Zanzibar, it’s easy to see why Tanzania is a destination that appeals to expats and locals seeking adventure. If you want to enjoy the country with peace of mind, signing up for health insurance in Tanzania is a popular choice. Private health insurance gives you the certainty of receiving the right assistance in the best healthcare facilities.

However, navigating the terrain of health insurance options can be confusing. There’s insurance jargon to understand, lots of insurance providers to choose from, and a lack of awareness of insurance products, all of which makes it difficult to know which insurance plan is best for you. William Russell aims to streamline that process and we’ll show you how.

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How to get health insurance in Tanzania

There are generally two routes you can take to get health insurance in Tanzania.

The first is to work with an insurance broker. Brokers have a broad understanding of the market and can help you compare insurance providers and their offerings. They’re skilled in breaking down the often complex insurance language into understandable terms, helping you decide what’s best for your circumstances.

The second option is to go directly to an insurance provider, such as William Russell. This approach allows you to gain detailed insights into specific insurance products. Direct communication with the medical insurance provider also gives you a chance to get answers to your questions about the specifics of your insurance quote. This straight-line interaction means you can be confident that you’re choosing the policy that’s right for you.

How to get health insurance with William Russell

The journey to becoming a member of William Russell is a smooth one. You can receive an online quote within just two minutes and have your plan ready in a few days.

Here’s how simple it is to get international health insurance with William Russell:

  1. Get a quote tailored to Tanzania by providing a few personal details.
  2. We’ll present you with a pricing range for our four insurance plans: Bronze, SilverLite, Silver, and Gold. You’ll be able to include any add-ons here, such as personal accident cover, increased cover (i.e., repatriation) for emergency medical evacuation, and routine dental care.
  3. You can then select your area of cover, your excess (a higher excess means a lower premium), and the payment frequency. You can pay monthly, quarterly, half-yearly, and annually.
  4. A team member will then contact you to ensure you understand every detail of your global health insurance policy.
  5. We’ll then forward the policy for approval. Once we receive your initial payment, you’ll officially become a valued member of William Russell.

How William Russell works 

Our private health insurance plans come in four tiers: Bronze, SilverLite, Silver, and Gold. Take a quick look at what each plan includes:

  • Hospital treatment
  • Local ambulances (including air ambulance)
  • Advanced diagnostic tests
  • Cancer treatment (including genome testing of cancerous cells)
  • Transplants
  • Emergency medical evacuation
  • Access to a 24hr emergency helpline
Only covered in some plans:
Doctor visits and other out-patient care (SilverLite, Silver & Gold)
Routine pregnancy & maternity care (Gold plan only*)
Dental care (different options on SilverLite, Silver & Gold**)
Mental health treatment (Bronze, Silver & Gold)

*Bronze and Silver plans cover complications of pregnancy
**All plans cover emergency restorative dental treatment

We understand the importance of travel for our members, and that’s why we provide coverage in four different areas if you’re residing in Tanzania. You can choose between our areas of coverage, or “zones” 1, 2, 4, or 5:

Zone 1 Zone 2 Zone 4 Zone 5
Worldwide cover, with restricted cover in the USA Full cover in most countries, 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

So if you want worldwide cover, zone 1 or 2 is a good option. If you want limited cover in the USA (up to $50,000 for accident and emergency treatment), opt for zone 1.

If you won’t make use of worldwide cover, we also offer local cover in Africa for expats and Tanzanian locals. You can choose zone 4 or zone 5 (which includes cover in South Africa – one of the African countries with the best medical care).

Whatever your needs, William Russell aims to provide a straightforward and stress-free insurance experience. Our plans are jargon-free and written in plain English, ensuring you’re clear on what you’re signing up for.

What’s the difference between in-patient and out-patient care?
Find out in this short guide

Here’s a snapshot of our claims processes to help you understand how we work:

Filing a claim

Submitting a claim with us is hassle-free. For out-patient claims (i.e., any medical visit or exam that doesn’t require an overnight stay in hospital), you cover the medical expenses and we reimburse you. If your claim goes over US$500, we’ll require a doctor’s note.

For in-patient claims (an overnight stay at a hospital), we’ll handle your medical expenses directly with the medical centre. During emergencies, we step in to manage logistics, allowing you to concentrate on your health instead of paperwork or payments.

Requesting emergency medical evacuation

Call our emergency helpline in life or limb-threatening situations where local assistance is unavailable. Our team will evaluate the need for evacuation, and if necessary, we’ll organise transportation, including air ambulance service.

Learn more about our
medical evacuation process

Why choose William Russell?

Choosing the right global health insurance provider is an important decision. Here’s why we think William Russell stands out as a top choice:

Specialisation in international health insurance

With over 30 years of experience, our specialisation lies exclusively in providing international health insurance, income protection, and life insurance

As a boutique-style insurance provider, we understand the unique healthcare needs and challenges you face when living abroad. This is why we’ve crafted specialised plans tailored to an international lifestyle that are easy to understand and quick to finalise. 

Personalised claim handling

At William Russell, we believe in giving our customers a personalised experience. Our individualised customer service model ensures you’ll have a policy manager who will handle your claims within 10 days, providing a streamlined process that caters to your needs. 

Our members appreciate our customer experience
Take a look at our reviews and 4.4/5 rating on Feefo

Trusted expertise 

Our three decades of experience, strong customer relationships, and high satisfaction ratings already make us a trusted choice. 

However, our health plans are also insured by an insurance company within the Allianz Group. This gives you the assurance of a large corporation coupled with the warmth of our personalised customer service, the availability of our team members who know you by name, and the nuances of our specially designed international plans.

Coverage that comes with you

Whether you are in Tanzania or travelling abroad, our plans offer customisable areas of coverage to fit your geographical needs. This means we can give you comprehensive health insurance coverage to access private healthcare providers wherever you are.

You can also extend your plan to cover your dependents if you start a family or as your family grows. 

Hassle-free claiming process

Our plans and claiming process are jargon-free and straightforward. We believe in total transparency and assign you a policy manager to ensure you understand every aspect of your plan with William Russell.

Tailored support for specific claims

We understand that certain medical situations require a specialist’s touch. That’s why we offer dedicated support teams for claims related to emergencies, cancer, and maternity care. You can be confident that the team members who handle your case have the necessary expertise so you can enjoy a stress-free claims experience.

Partnership with local hospitals

We’ve partnered with leading medical facilities globally, ensuring you receive top-quality medical care. The biggest advantage? We handle direct payments to these private hospitals, so you don’t have to worry about immediate out-of-pocket expenses. 

However, you’re always free to choose your preferred medical centre as long as it’s within your plan’s area of coverage and claim eligibility. 

Round-the-clock support

Our 24/7 emergency helpline ensures help is just a call away, regardless of the time of day (or night). Our team provides immediate assistance, even making necessary evacuation arrangements when required.

Efficient medical evacuation

In case of emergencies requiring medical evacuation, we ensure a smooth process from start to finish. Not only do we arrange your medical evacuation if needed, but our additional Medevac Plus service also covers repatriation and includes coverage for a companion to accompany you home.

Health insurance for individuals and groups 

Our insurance solutions cater to a diverse array of needs. Whether you’re a retiree, a local, an expat working in Tanzania, or an employer, we’ve got you covered. Moreover, we can even offer life insurance and income protection policies for you, your family, and your employees.

Looking for comprehensive health insurance in Tanzania?
Get a quick online quote now

What’s the Tanzanian healthcare system like?

Tanzania’s healthcare system is a blend of public, private, and faith-based organisations, with infrastructure ranging from grassroots-level medical dispensaries to top-level consultant hospitals.

In recent years, access to and investment in the public health sector has grown in importance. The Tanzanian government, via the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly, and Children (MoHCDGEC), is working towards universal health coverage via the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF), which will manage this public health insurance scheme. Currently, formal sector workers contribute to this insurance scheme with a small percentage of their monthly wages. For informal sector employees, this enrollment is voluntary. 

However, expats should note that while some basic public healthcare services may be free for locals, they are typically not for non-residents. As a foreigner, your access to these services and their quality can vary widely.

Tanzania has limited healthcare service providers, underdeveloped infrastructure, scarce resources, and a disparity in care quality between urban and rural areas. You will find many of the country’s best public and private medical centres in the cities of Arusha and Dar es Salaam

Most expats and many locals opt for private medical insurance to take advantage of better facilities and specialised treatment.

Want more information on living in Tanzania?
Check out our guide to moving to Tanzania

3 tips for staying healthy in Tanzania

Prevention is the best cure. Here are a few ways to maintain your health while living in Tanzania:

  1. Vaccinations – Get vaccinated for hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, yellow fever, rabies, COVID-19, and meningitis, as recommended by the CDC and UK National Health Service.
  2. Hygiene and food safety – Ensure you drink only purified (bottled) water and exercise caution when consuming street food to avoid food-borne illnesses.
  3. Sun and heat protection – Protect yourself from Tanzania’s intense equatorial sun by using a strong sunblock, staying hydrated, and wearing loose, light-coloured clothing.


Costs vary depending on coverage level, the insurance provider, and the individual’s age and health conditions.

Here at William Russell, we can give you a variety of plans that you can personalise. Here’s an example of what you can expect to pay with a plan from William Russell:

Bronze SilverLite Silver Gold
Age 30 US$98 US$140 US$180 US$324
Age 35 US$103 US$147 US$189 US$333
Age 40 US$114 US$164 US$211 US$376
Age 45 US$146 US$200 US$257 US$450
Age 50 US$199 US$251 US$322 US$573

All prices in the table above are monthly and are based on the US$250 per annum excess and Zone 2, with the plan starting in 2023

Explore our plans to find one that fits your budget

As a developing country, Tanzania’s healthcare is also in the same process. Its healthcare quality is uneven, with urban areas generally having better facilities and care compared to rural regions.

As an expat, having a health insurance plan in place ensures you can access high-quality care when you need it, as you can make use of some of the superior private medical facilities found in more urban areas.

Health insurance isn’t compulsory in Tanzania. However, private health insurance is popular with expats and locals who want to access the best healthcare in the country. 

Some basic public healthcare services may be free, but most medical services, particularly specialist treatments, require payment. Expats typically do not have access to free public healthcare services. Private health insurance can help manage these costs.

Choose William Russell for your health insurance in Tanzania 

Securing international health insurance in Tanzania with William Russell provides peace of mind because we can be there for you in life’s unexpected moments.

Whether it’s a minor accident, an illness, or even routine check-ups, our comprehensive medical insurance plans will cater to your needs, giving you more time to enjoy your Tanzanian adventure.

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