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What Our International Health Insurance Covers

Purchasing international health insurance can be confusing. There are just so many providers and policies out there, each with different benefits, coverage options, insurance jargon, and service promises. Read on to find out what we cover to match your needs.

International health insurance is quite different from holiday or business travel insurance. It’s designed for expats or remote workers living permanently abroad, or for people who spend a great deal of the year travelling. Plus, healthcare systems vary from one country to another. Just because one health insurance plan is appropriate for living in one country, it doesn’t mean that it’s the right fit for another.

So once you’ve decided you might need international health insurance, your next challenge is picking the appropriate health plan. You want to get this one right, so you’ll need to think about your circumstances and requirements.

  • On the one hand, you don’t want to find out after one or two years that you’ve been paying for cover that you don’t really need.
  • On the other hand, you don’t want to find out at the hospital that your health plan doesn’t cover the treatment programme that you’re starting the next day.

We’ve designed our international health insurance around modern expat living. Whether you’re a single professional in Sub-Saharan Africa or you’re a large family in Southeast Asia, together we can build the right cover for you. We have plenty of options to personalise your plans, so you can find the cover that suits your circumstances.

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We’ve organised our international health insurance into four standard plans. These plans describe what you’ll be covered for and what you won’t be covered for. We named the plans after metals, so they’re easier to quickly distinguish (Bronze, Silver, Gold). Silver is the most popular plan with our members, so we also offer a lower-cost version of the plan called SilverLite.

Once you’ve picked your standard plan, you can personalise your cover with optional benefits and excesses, but for now—let’s focus on the plans’ healthcare benefits.

Benefits included with all plans

As the names of the health plans suggest, some are more comprehensive (and thus extensive) than others. But all the plans include the same essential benefits:

When you’re admitted to hospital

When people think of health insurance, they tend to think about hospital and hospital treatment. Some insurance providers have their own network of hospitals, which means you can only use the hospitals permitted by your provider. We don’t place any such restrictions on where you receive your medical treatment. This means you’ll always have access to the top-rated hospitals and medical clinics within your area of cover.

When you’re admitted to a hospital for treatment, we’ll cover you for:

  • Pre-admission tests
  • Your accommodation costs
  • Surgeons’, anaesthetists’ & doctors’ fees
  • Nursing care
  • Drugs & surgical dressings
  • Operating theatre charges
  • Intensive care
  • Pathology, X-rays, scans & diagnostic tests
  • Physiotherapy

We have close relationships with over 40,000 hospitals around the world including the most popular hospitals amongst expats in many countries. These close relationships mean that we settle your medical bills directly with the hospital, so you won’t be left out-of-pocket.

Cancer treatment

Cancer can affect you anywhere, at any time. So no matter which health plan you select, we’re committed to providing the strongest benefits to give you the best chance of overcoming cancer.

When you need treatment for cancer, we’ll cover you for:

  • Tests, scans, and cancer drugs
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiotherapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Consultations (both as an out-patient and an in-patient)
  • Restorative dental treatment following chemotherapy or radiotherapy
  • Reconstructive surgery to restore your appearance1

We have close relationships with over 40,000 hospitals around the world including the most popular hospitals amongst expats in many countries. These close relationships mean that we settle your medical bills directly with the hospital, so you won’t be left out-of-pocket.

We’ll also cover you for US$6,000 per period of cover for cancer genome testing, which sequences the genes of your cancerous cells to help determine the best course of treatment for you.

Finally, cancer is a condition that patients must often learn to live with. So we give you benefits for wigs following chemotherapy, counselling with a psychologist, and consultations with a dietitian.

Doctor visits

International health insurance isn’t just for serious health issues. What about when you just want to pop to the local doctor’s surgery or the pharmacy? All our plans include cover for out-patient treatment (i.e. medical treatment for which you don’t need to be admitted to hospital).

All the plans provide cover for the following common out-patient treatments2:

  • Doctor visits & specialist consultations
  • Diagnostic tests (X-rays, MRI scans, CAT scans)
  • Emergency treatment you receive in the emergency ward of a hospital
  • Physiotherapy

Emergency medical evacuation

What happens if you have a medical emergency and the treatment that you urgently need isn’t available locally? With one of our health plans, we’ll evacuate you by road, sea or air if you suffer a life-threatening or limb-threatening condition that requires an immediate hospital treatment that is not possible locally. We’ll evacuate you to the nearest location within your area of cover where you can get the medical treatment that you need.

But that’s not all you’ll need when you have an emergency medical evacuation. All of our health plans include the following additional benefits:

  • Access to a 24-hour medical assistance helpline
  • Return airfare to your country of residence following your evacuation
  • Travel & accommodation expenses of a companion while you’re hospitalised following your emergency


Introducing the health plans

We’ve seen the essential benefits common to all the health plans. Now, let’s take a look at what sets each of them apart.


Value plans

We designed the value plans (Bronze, SilverLite) for people who require cost-effective cover against the serious health issues. Private healthcare and health insurance are both expensive, so these value plans aim to keep costs down by focusing on what’s most important.

Typically the value plans cover you for hospital costs, with semi-private accommodation included as standard. Though we always cover out-patient costs for cancer treatment, with the value plans there is only limited cover for other out-patient treatment. With the Bronze plan, we’ll only cover you for out-patient treatment that you receive following your discharge from hospital, while the SilverLite plan gives you a small amount of cover for doctor visits and everyday medical costs.

For this reason, the value plans are most popular with younger, healthier expats who tend to be less concerned about healthcare or people who live in countries with a well-developed public healthcare system.

  • The Bronze plan can be a good option for people who just want emergency coverage, and is often take with a relatively high excess [internal link].
  • The SilverLite plan can be a good option for people who don’t expect to visit the doctor often.

Comprehensive plans

The comprehensive plans (Silver, Gold) give you a wider range of cover for health conditions and treatments, and the benefits generally come with higher annual limits.

You’ll have all the benefits included with the value plans, plus full cover for treatment you receive as an out-patient. You’ll also have cover for private accommodation during hospital stays, mental health treatment, complementary therapies, and cover for well-being and preventive care. The Gold plan also includes cover for basic dental costs, pregnancy, and routine childbirth.

The comprehensive plans are most popular with middle-aged and older expats who tend to be more concerned about healthcare.

  • The Silver plan can be a good option for families with young children or for people who expect regular visits to the doctor or pharmacy each year.
  • The Gold plan is a good option for people looking to start a family or for people who require the highest level of cover.

Membership perks

No matter which health plan you choose with William Russell, you’ll always enjoy the following membership perks:

  • 24-hour medical helpline
  • Personal service
  • International cover

Notes on the health plans

You won’t find complete information for our plans on this webpage, nor the full T&Cs, limitations, and exclusions that would apply if you purchase one. You can find complete information in the plan agreement, which we suggest you read together with this webpage. All the benefits on this webpage are per member per period of cover, unless we state otherwise. We show the benefit limits in US dollars, but we can also denominate your plan in pounds sterling or Euros.

Hong Kong residents

If you’re resident in Hong Kong, the health plans are slightly different for you:

  • SilverLite is not available if you live in Hong Kong
  • Coverage for out-patient treatment is slightly different for residents of Hong Kong
  • There is a co-insurance for all hospital treatment at the three most expensive hospitals in Hong Kong

For full details, please contact us about the health plans available for Hong Kong residents.

UAE residents

If you’re resident in the UAE, the health plans are also slightly different for you:

  • SilverLite and Bronze are not available if you live in the UAE
  • The health plans comply with the UAE Government’s minimum standards, including pregnancy care, out-patient costs, and well-being costs
  • Members have access to a network in hospitals throughout the UAE

For full details, please contact us about the health plans available for UAE residents.

  1. With the Bronze plan, you’re only cover for out-patient treatment related to reconstructive surgeries that you receive in the 90-day period following your discharge from hospital
  2. With the Bronze plan, you’re only cover for certain out-patient treatments in the 90-day period following your discharge from hospital. With the SilverLite plan, there is an annual limit on how much out-patient treatment you can receive.