A guide to international health insurance for working abroad

A Guide To International Health Insurance For Working Abroad

Navigating healthcare systems in a foreign land can be daunting, but securing the right coverage ensures peace of mind and proper care.

Understanding what you want from a working abroad insurance package can help you make the most of the market and the range of options available to you.

So, how does it all work? Below, we’ve gathered some essential information to help you make informed decisions and safeguard your well-being while working abroad.

What is international health insurance for working abroad?

International health insurance for working abroad is a type of insurance that provides medical coverage and financial protection for individuals who are working abroad for a set period of time.

This type of insurance could help you if you are:

  • A seasonal worker.
  • A digital nomad or freelancer.
  • A contracted employee working abroad for a set period of time, such as one full year.

Working abroad care ensures that you’ll have access to necessary medical services and assistance while you are away from home.

What you’ll need from your health insurance while working abroad will depend on your personal circumstances. Factors like where you are living, your health history and your career choice could affect the type or depth of cover you want.

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How can international health insurance help you when working abroad?

Health insurance for working abroad can be invaluable if you’re planning on taking your career to a new country. Protecting your health and finances is important and a comprehensive medical package can give you peace of mind that you’re covered should you need it.

Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of getting medical cover.

Health cover

International health insurance typically covers a wide range of medical expenses, including doctor visits, hospitalisation, surgeries, emergency care, prescriptions, and diagnostic tests. This ensures that you have access to necessary healthcare services without worrying about the cost.

Emergency cover

Access emergency healthcare when you need it. Accidents can happen and in the event of serious illness or injury, health insurance can cover costs of essential care at nearby hospitals or medical facilities.


You may need to return to your home nation for future care or additional support. Expat health insurance can usually assist with the costs of doing so.

Preventative care

Some international health insurance plans cover preventive care services, such as vaccinations, screenings, and wellness check-ups.

Providers network

Most insurers work with a wide network of quality hospitals and medical practitioners across the globe. So, wherever you’re working, you can often get access to the best possible care near you.

Pre-existing illnesses

International health insurance often covers the ongoing management and treatment of chronic medical conditions, ensuring that those with pre-existing conditions receive the necessary care while abroad.

Legal requirement

You might find that some countries require you have health insurance as a legal requirement. Some nations don’t have a publicly funded health service, or don’t allow expats to use it. Here, you’ll need medical coverage to legally reside in the country.

What should international health insurance for working abroad include?

It’s important that your health cover works for you. After all, your situation is unique, and your health insurance must fit your needs.

Where you are, your age, your health history – all these factors can affect how your cover works.

Generally, insurers will cover a range of key health needs.

Doctor visits

Visits to high-quality, multilingual doctors will be covered for when you need to access care in your area.


Regular prescriptions and one-off purchases are often covered under a comprehensive insurance package.

Well-being & mental wellness

Increasingly, insurance packages are including therapy and mental health support. Plus, you may get access to well-being incentives, like meditation courses and educational content.

Preventative care

Get support and advice to ensure your long-term health. Preventative care packages can give you a strong platform to prioritise your health and well-being.


Accidents can happen and when hospitalisation is required the costs can mount up. Working abroad insurance will usually cover the cost of treatments and short-term hospital stays.

Emergency care

When you need emergency care, you can have peace of mind that surgery and upfront costs are protected under your insurance package.

Global access

Most insurers have access to a global network of leading medical practitioners, hospitals and services. So, you can usually access good quality cover wherever you are.

Get more tips and insurance assistance from the Cigna Healthcare blog.


Costs will differ between providers and will also depend on your personal circumstances. The price of health insurance for working abroad can be affected by:

  • Your age.
  • Your host nation or destination.
  • Period of cover.
  • Pre-existing conditions.
  • Health requirements, like prescriptions or mental health support.

It’s good practice to set your insurance up ahead of moving. In this way, you’ll be protected from the moment you arrive, and you can focus on getting settled in your new home.

Plus, you might find that some countries require international health insurance for visa purposes. So, you may need to have medical protection before you can legally enter the country.

You can set up your expat health insurance after you arrive, though it’s good practice to set it up before you touchdown in your new home. You might find that some nations require proof of existing insurance in order to enter the border.

Check ahead of time whether you’ll be required to have insurance before you arrive in your destination.