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How much does expat health insurance cost?

The cost of international health insurance varies greatly depending on your circumstances. As a rule of thumb, it’s more expensive than domestic health insurance. So what is the average cost of expat health insurance? In 2020, our average premium for an individual for a single year of cover was $3,470*. How much you pay depends on things like your age and location.

The cost of expat health insurance varies so dramatically because there are so many factors affecting how we calculate premiums. The most important factors are:

  • Where you need coverPrivate healthcare is more expensive in certain countries and regions.
  • Your age – Generally speaking, the older you are the more healthcare you’re likely to need. Premiums get more expensive as you get older.
  • Medical history – Health insurance doesn’t typically cover pre-existing medical conditions. Sometimes, you may need to pay an additional premium to get cover for such conditions.
  • Optional extras – Perhaps you need cover for complex dental treatment or temporary cover in the USA.

Unlike other providers, your claims history while you’re a member with William Russell won’t affect your renewal premium. Unlike other providers, we don’t think it’s fair to penalise members based on legitimate claims they’ve made in the past. Further, it discourages people from receiving the medical treatment they need because they are concerned about the cost of their renewal premium.

We’ve published a full guide on how we calculate premiums for health insurance.

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How much does expat health insurance costs in different countries?

Your location is one of the key factors in calculating a premium. The cost of private healthcare treatment varies dramatically in different countries, so we use a sophisticated pricing model that weights countries according to how much private healthcare costs there.

Our country pricing model

Country pricing refers to the relative weighting we apply to a country or group of countries. In 2021, we have 100 different country weightings, which means we can provide members living in diverse countries an accurate and fair premium for their private health insurance in that country.

Most expensive countries for international health insurance

So which are the most expensive countries for expat health insurance? According to a 2019 report conducted by Pacific Prime, the USA was the most expensive country for expat health insurance premiums. You might guess the other countries making up the top five most expensive. Each figure in the table below shows the average cost for a single member, priced in US dollars.

RankCountryCost
1USA$8,887
2Canada$7,045
3Hong Kong$5,738
4Singapore$5,458
5Israel$4,799

 

So, which countries are cheapest for expat health insurance?

The same survey concludes that the cheapest country for expat health insurance is Thailand. Surprisingly, European countries make up the rest of the ‘cheapest’ countries for expat health insurance.

RankCountryCost
67Slovakia$3,423
68Netherlands$3,419
Norway$3,419
69Romania$3,391
Croatia$3,391
70Poland$3,320
71Thailand$2,728

 

How much does international health insurance cost with William Russell?

Here are a few examples of our members and how much they pay for their plan.*

The busy familyThe young coupleThe solo nomad
A family of four who wants their routine dental care covered but don’t need the additional the coverage a gold plan would provide.A couple who are planning on starting a family and want to ensure they have great maternity cover.A frequent traveller and digital nomad who wants to make sure they have medical evacuation and a good level of cover without a huge premium.
Country of NationalityUKUSANorway
Country of residenceVietnamIndonesiaThailand
Age(s)35, 40, 5, 229, 3434
Plan selectedSilverGoldSilverLite
ExcessUS$250 (per annum)US$250 (per annum)US$1000 per annum
Payment frequencyYearlyMonthlyHalf-yearly
Annualised premiumUS$8,419.90US$10,298.80US$2,280.80

 

*Based on personal health plans with worldwide cover issued in 2020 by William Russell.

Michael Lewars

Commercial Director

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