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How can you save on your health insurance premium?

The cost of private health insurance is rising around the world, but there are plenty of ways you can reduce your premium (without significantly compromising your cover). Here’s a quick guide to our main premium saving tools.

At William Russell, we help you build a plan tailored specifically to you, to help you control your premium. We have cost-effective plans, excesses with good discounts, smaller areas of cover, and optional benefit limits. These options can help you reduce the amount you spend on health insurance each month or year.

There are a few other things you can do to help reduce your premium:

  • Consider switching to a cheaper health plan
  • Consider increasing your excess
  • Consider reducing your area of cover
  • Consider some optional restrictions on certain benefits
  • Make your premium more manageable by switching to monthly payments


5 ways to help reduce your health insurance premium

Substantial increases in the price of food, housing and fuel, are being felt across the world as we face a cost of living crisis. Financial pressures are piling up and everyone is looking at ways they can reduce their outgoings in these challenging times. In this guide we look at some ways you can help to reduce your health insurance premium.

1/ Get cover where you need it

The area of cover is a feature of international health plans that you don’t typically find in domestic plans. In short, it’s the geographic or territorial limits of your plan, specifying in which countries you’re covered and which countries you’re not.

Every health plan from William Russell has an area of cover. There are six zones, and you can choose any* zone with any of our health plans

As a rule of thumb, a more restrictive zone means a greater saving on your premium.

*Zone 3 is only available to residents of Indonesia

Zone 1

Zone 1 gives you full cover worldwide, with restricted cover in the USA.

It’s available to everyone, no matter where they live – but as the most comprehensive zone of cover, it is the most expensive.

Zone 2 – save up to 20%

If you live in a country where private healthcare is cheaper, you can save up to 20% on your premium by choosing Zone 2.

Map of Zones - William Russell

With Zone 2, you’ll enjoy full cover in most countries around the world, with US$100,000 cover for accident & emergency treatment in countries where private healthcare is expensive (e.g. China, Japan, Canada, countries in the EEA).

Zone 2 doesn’t give you any cover in the USA. It’s a good option if you live in Central America, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe or Asia.

Zone 3* – save up to 10%

If you live in Indonesia, you can save up to 10% on your premium by choosing Zone 3.

With Zone 3, you’ll enjoy full cover in most countries around the world, with 80% cover for eligible elective treatment costs and US$100,000 cover for accident & emergency treatment in countries where private healthcare is expensive (e.g. China, Japan, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Singapore, Switzerland and the London area).

Zone 3 doesn’t give you any cover in the USA.

*Zone 3 is only available to residents of Indonesia

Zone 4 – save  up to 30%

If you live in Africa or the Indian Subcontinent and you only need full cover in those regions, Zone 4 could be right for you.

You’ll have full cover in all countries in Africa and the Indian Subcontinent, with US$100,000 for accident & emergency treatment everywhere else.

Zone 4 doesn’t give you any cover in the USA.

Zone 5 – save up to 40%

Zone 5 is like Zone 4, except your cover in South Africa is limited to US$100,000 for accident & emergency treatment.

Zone 7* – save up to 25%

If you live in Southeast Asia and only need full cover in this area, Zone 7 could be right for you.

You’ll have full cover in Brunei, Cambodia, Timor Leste, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, and Vietnam.

Zone 7 doesn’t give you cover anywhere else in the world. Zone 7 is not available if your country of residence is Indonesia.

*Wondering if there is a Zone 6? There is, but we use it on our international life insurance plans only.

Worried about the cost of health insurance?
Get 15% off your first-year premium with William Russell

2/ Pay annually

You could save up to 5% on your premium by switching from monthly/quarterly payments to annual payments.

Switching from semi-annual payments to annual payments will save you up to 3% on your premiums.

3/ Switch to semi-private room

Switching to our Bronze or SilverLite plans which offer semi-private hospital rooms will save you 10% and 8% respectively.

80% of our members could save an average of
US$167 per year by switching to annual payments

4/ Save up to 33% with our SilverLite plan

SilverLite is a low-cost, capped-benefit health plan that gives you a saving of up to 33% compared to the Silver plan*.

You’ll still have full cover for hospital treatment, cancer treatment, and emergency medical evacuation, while the usual areas of cover and excess options are available.




Annual limit
Hospital accommodation
Semi-private room
Private room
Cancer treatment
Full cover
Full cover
Every day medical costs
Annual limit of up to US$10,000
Full cover
Emergency medical evacuation
Full cover
Full cover

*SilverLite is available to residents of all countries, except the USA, China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Singapore & Japan. For a full comparison of the Silver and SilverLite plans with T&Cs, limitations and exclusions, please read the plan agreement.

Want to know more about how we calculate premiums?
Find out everything you need to know here

5/ Adjust your excess

Members can select a higher excess to help reduce their premium, with the possibility of saving up to 26%.

This table shows the savings available* for our most popular excess options.

Excess option





US$250 per annum
US$500 per annum
US$800 per claim
US$1,000 per annum
US$1,600 per claim
*Savings are against the standard premiums, which are based on a US$50 per claim excess. When comparing with a nil excess, the savings will be even greater.

How to save on your premium - case study

Choosing expat health insurance? Choose an insurer with 30 years’ experience

In 2022, William Russell celebrated 30 years of helping expatriates like you to settle into their new lives overseas by providing world-class global health insurance in over 200 countries.

No matter where you go, and no matter what your individual requirements, you can take one thing off your mind. William Russell offers international health insurance that covers you for everything from minor injuries to long hospital stays, and we can even offer medical evacuations to patients who require treatment in other countries.