For three decades, William Russell has specialised in providing international medical insurance to expats around the globe.
Health insurance for digital nomads
- Worldwide cover
- Access to English speaking doctors
- Friendly account manager based in the UK
How does international medical insurance work for digital nomads?
Traditional health insurance policies are not always suited to digital nomads because they usually tie you to one specific country. They may also require you pay tax in your resident country to qualify. That’s where expat health insurance, also called international medical insurance, comes into play.
Expat health insurance is specially designed for individual expats living and working in other countries. With expat health insurance you can access high-quality private healthcare around the world. It covers you for a wide range of medical needs, including:
- 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, depending on the cover level
- Emergency medical evacuation if treatment isn’t available locally
When you’re out on your own, expat health insurance can give you valuable peace of mind in knowing someone is always on hand to help you in times of need. Here are the main benefits that our plans give you:
William Russell Member
What do you cover with your international medical insurance?
Our plans are flexible and personalised, so coverage is bespoke to you and your needs. With our specialised expat cover, you’ll have access to over 40,000 hospitals and clinics around the world. The range of illnesses covered is extensive and, depending on your level of cover, you could access a variety of treatments for conditions including cancer, transplants, kidney dialysis and more. All our plans include emergency medical evacuation as standard. In general, you can expect to be covered for being admitted to hospital and serious issues such as cancer. 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.
Here’s an example monthly premium based on a 30-year-old man living and working in Spain, with a US$250 per annum excess and Zone 1 cover. This does not include the current New Member 15% discount.
See our full plan description here – and if you need anything explained, feel free to contact us.
How to choose the right international medical insurance cover
Here are some of our top tips:
- Make sure the plan covers the countries you need it to. Insurance companies sometimes limit your cover or don’t offer any cover in certain countries. Make sure you’ll be fully covered where you live and work, and in all the countries you plan to travel to.
- 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.
FAQs on international medical insurance
What is a digital nomad?
A digital nomad is someone who chooses to take their work remote while they travel to different countries.
As a digital nomad, you might be employed by an international company, have a remote working agreement with your UK based company, or be self-employed.
Digital nomad visas are making the dream of living and working abroad all the more possible, with 28 countries now offering visas to individual expats.Learn more about how to become a digital nomad
Which countries are offering digital nomad visas?
As of March 2022, there are 28 countries already offering digital nomad visas.
These allow individual expats to live and work in the country for a set period of time.
Countries with the longest stay period include:
|Country||Visa validity period (months)|
|Antigua and Barbuda||24|
Discover the best places for digital nomad visas and remote work abroad
*Digital nomad visas in Spain are renewable
Will my international medical insurance cover me if I return home?
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.
Is expat health insurance a requirement for living and working abroad?
It is in some destinations, so make sure you check. Before you travel, it’s also a good idea to research the public healthcare. Look at the quality and availability of medical care, for both illness and accidents, and what the eligibility criteria are for accessing it. For extra coverage and peace of mind, you may decide to arrange expat health insurance for you and your family.
Which countries will healthcare insurance cover me in?
Our healthcare insurance 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.
Do I need to apply for different cover if I choose to move countries?
Your healthcare plan is limited to a certain Zone. If you choose to travel to a country outside of this Zone then you will need to amend your insurance plan.
You should always let us know if you’re planning to move countries even if your destination is covered by your current plan.
Does expat healthcare insurance include dental care?
All William Russell plans come with some cover for emergency dental treatment following an accident, and you may be able to add more depending on what plan you choose.
What is the best plan for me as an individual expat?
The Silver plan is a popular choice amongst our members without partners or families, you have:
- cover for hospital treatment
- everyday medical costs such as doctor visits and specialist consultations
- wellness and vaccination cover
- mental health benefits
- cover on business trips
- trips home to visit family or friends
We have a range of tools and options to keep your premium low, so you can put together the right health plan for you whether you’re purchasing a plan yourself or with your employer’s help.
What about expat insurance plans for remote workers and digital nomads?
Yes. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the concept of remote working into mainstream conversations about work-life balance.
Why pay premium rents to slog away in your London office when you could do your job just as easily from warmer, calmer location?
William Russell can offer medical cover for digital nomads wherever you choose to travel, even if you’re hopping from place to place.
Do I have to live overseas permanently to qualify for an expat health insurance plan?
While most of our customers are expats, you don’t have to live overseas permanently to purchase one of our health plans.
If you’re lucky enough to spend at least six months of the year living, travelling or working outside your home country, you can usually apply for international health insurance with us.
We are also able to offer plans to nationals of Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius and Nigeria who are resident in their home country and also to Estonian nationals.
Purchasing an international health insurance plan can have several benefits over a travel insurance policy. You’ll have cover for:
- emergency medical evacuations
- everyday medical costs such as doctor visits and specialist consultations
- medical treatment while you’re not travelling away from home