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What our health insurance covers

Mental health benefits for expats

  • Lifetime limits for up to US$100,000
  • Cover for mental health medication
  • Counselling following cancer treatment

What are the mental health benefits for expats?

When you buy health insurance, the mental health benefits give you cover for mental health treatment. Mental health benefits also form part of any good international health insurance plan. Many of us experience mental health problems in our lives, but this is particularly true for expats moving or living abroad. Our recent survey shows that expats are at higher risk of experiencing mental health issues than people living in their home country.

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What mental health benefits do I get with William Russell?

We take our members’ mental health seriously. So when you purchase international health insurance with us, we give you lifetime cover up to US$100,000 on the Gold plan. Whether you need admission to a mental health unit or consultations with a psychiatrist, your health plan gives you the cover you need. Here are the main mental health benefits that our plans give you:

In-patient and day-patient treatment received in a recognised mental health unit of a hospital

In-patient and day-patient treatment

Treatment for mental health you receive in the mental health unit of a hospital.

Specialist mental health consultations

Specialist mental health consultations

Mental health treatment you receive from a registered psychiatrist, psychologist or counsellor.

Medication - Prescribed by a medical doctor or registered psychiatrist.


Specialist medication for mental health that a doctor prescribes for you.

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Expats belong to a high-risk category for mental health conditions

Life can be tough. Life abroad? Even tougher. Living and working in a different country means isolation from traditional support networks such as friends and family. Zoom is better than nothing, but it’s nowhere near physical proximity. That’s why our expat health plans give you benefits to help deal with expat life’s unseen challenges.

Why might your mental health suffer when you’re an expat?

There is no telling how the experience of moving to or living in another country can affect someone. Every expat’s experience is different, but some of the unique factors that increase an expat’s risk of mental health issues include:

William Russell-What our health insurance covers Mental health benefit for expats


Living abroad may cause someone to feel ‘out of touch’ with themselves.

Expat stress Experience things that make expats feel ostracised from their new societies

Expat stress

Experience things that make expats feel ostracised from their new chosen societies.

Language barriers-Adapting to language becomes a cause of new stress in itself

Language barriers

Adapting to language becomes a cause of new stress in itself.

Culture barriers-moving to a foreign country often feels highly precarious

Culture barriers

Moving to a foreign country often feels highly precarious.

While many countries require expats to purchase international health insurance, the authorities in those countries are not usually thinking about mental health support. They’re thinking more about the additional strain expats might place on hospitals and clinics for cancer or heart disease. It’s worth thinking about what mental health support you might need while you’re living and working abroad – particularly if good mental health support is only available privately.

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Emergency medical evacuation

Enjoy mental health support as part
of you health plan

Whether you need admission to a mental health unit or consultations with a therapist, you’ll have a health plan with the cover you need. That’s why our health plans give you benefits to help deal with expat life’s unseen challenges.

Any time you need us

You can call our 24/7 emergency medical helpline

Choose your hospital

You’re free to choose which hospital you visit for treatment

Worldwide network

We have a worldwide network of hospitals and doctors to call upon

What are the main types of mental health conditions?

Here are some common mental health conditions that our health plans cover.

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Borderline personality (BPD)
  • Psychosis
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Dissociative disorder
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • OCD
  • Trauma
  • Relationship issues
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Pregnancy & childbirth
Thank you so much for putting our minds at rest. I very much appreciated the personal touch to your service – this is very rare with insurers and is exactly why we deal with William Russell.
A.K., Indonesia
William Russell Member

Enjoy peace of mind, no matter where you live and work abroad

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So, how much does a health plan with mental health coverage cost?

We’ve put together some example prices for our health plans that include cover for mental health issues. These benefits are core parts of our health plans; there isn’t an option to remove them. When it comes to calculating prices, there are lots of factors we take into account (e.g., your age, where you live).

Bronze plan

Silver plan

Gold plan

Lifetime mental health treatment limit
In-patient and day-patient mental health treatment
Up to 30 days
Cover up to the lifetime limit for mental health treatment
Cover up to the lifetime limit for mental health treatment
Out-patient mental health treatment
10 consultations for post-hospital treatment
10 consultations
10 consultations
Out-patient mental health medication
US$500 for post-hospital treatment (20% co-insurance)
US$500 (20% co-insurance)
US$500 (20% co-insurance)
US$95 per month
US$175 per month
US$297 per month

*Monthly premium for a 30-year-old man living in Vietnam, with a US$250 per annum excess and Zone 2 cover.

What Sharon, our medical expert, says
“We added mental health drugs prescribed by a doctor on an out-patient basis. We’re focused on improving our mental health benefits each year and mental health with will be a main area of focus for us this decade.”

How to choose the right international health insurance cover

Here are some of our top tips:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Personalise your plan. Most insurance companies allow you to personalise your health plan. You’ll have options to increase your cover for certain benefits, e.g., dental cover, doctor visits). William Russell also gives you options to save money on your premium.
  4. 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. We offer excesses up to US$10,000 per claim!

FAQs on mental health coverage

We take mental health seriously. Whether you need admission to a mental health unit or consultations with a psychiatrist, you’ll get a health plan with the cover you need, even if you need mental health support as a result of other medical conditions.

That’s why, as a William Russell member, your plan includes many other opportunities to call on mental health support, especially at critical life moments. Plus, you’ll have help and support from a team of real people with our trademark personalised service.

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Pre-existing mental health conditions are mental health diseases, illnesses or disorders that are present (whether diagnosed or not) before you purchase your health plan, for which:

The counselling lifetime limits are as follows:


you have received medication, advice or treatment; you have experienced symptoms.

You are not covered for treatment related to any pre-existing medical conditions unless we have agreed otherwise.

More frequently asked questions on international health insurance

Global health insurance (also known as international private medical insurance) gives you access to private healthcare around the world.

While most domestic health plans only cover you in one country, international health plans cover you in multiple (or even all) countries. They’re great for people who live and work abroad, or who spend lots of time travelling.

Some international medical plans also include emergency medical evacuation cover so you can access urgent treatment even if it’s not available in your location.

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Yes, we provide mental health support for cancer diagnoses and additional counselling consultations for expats who have received cancer treatment (where pre-authorised).

This helps to cover up to 10 consultations, plus drugs prescribed by a medical doctor for patients who have received cancer treatment covered by the same plan.

In most cases, we can only provide insurance to expats. By expat, we mean people living and working outside of their country of nationality (e.g., a Dutch national living in Taiwan or a Canadian national living in India).

Typically, our members reside permanently in a foreign country. But we can sometimes provide cover to people expecting to spend at least 6 months of the year living or travelling abroad. In certain countries, we can cover people living in the same country that issues their passport. These countries are Botswana, Kenya, Nigeria, Mauritius, Estonia and Malawi.

We can provide plans to people of all nationalities in most countries around the world. You must be under age 70 when your plan starts, and you must be living or working in a country different from your country of nationality.

Definition of an ‘expat’

Making a claim with us is really easy.

If you need to claim for a benefit or treatment for which you must obtain pre-authorisation, you must contact us in advance of starting your treatment and give us all the information we require to assess if your proposed treatment will be eligible for cover under your plan. If your proposed treatment is eligible for cover, we will pre-authorise all eligible expenses. We will not pay for any treatment costs or expenses that have not been preauthorised by us in advance.

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Important notes

  • A waiting period is the time you must be a member with William Russell before you can claim on a certain benefit. Most benefits on our plans don’t have a waiting period, but the benefits for mental health treatment have a waiting period of 12 months. That means you must be a member for 12 months before you can start to claim on these benefits.
  • SilverLite plan does not cover mental health benefits.
  • You must seek our pre-authorisation before you receive treatment for out-patient treatment. There’s a simple online form that you need to fill out.
  • We only cover mental health treatment that you receive under the direct control of a registered psychiatrist, psychologist or counsellor.
  • We don’t cover investigations or treatment related to phobias, hypnotherapy, post-natal depression, marriage/relationship counselling or psycho-geriatric conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.