A guide to international health insurance for retirees

A Guide To International Health Insurance For Retirees

The freedom to retire abroad means you get to live out your golden years meeting new people and soaking up new experiences. It could also mean moving to a country with a more temperate climate and an affordable cost of living.

If you’ve been thinking of retiring abroad, you’re not alone. 13% of U.S retirees  and workers dream of living abroad during retirement. That number is even higher in the UK, with nearly 80% of pension savers  desiring to retire abroad.

But as romantic as settling down in Thailand  or South America may sound, you may need to have reliable retiree health insurance to cover you in case of any emergency or health-related issues.

With this in mind, let’s explore international retirement insurance in more detail.

What is international health insurance for retirees?

This is a specific type of health insurance cover designed to provide a high level of medical care to retirees looking to relocate from their home country to another country, after or for their retirement.

Relocating abroad offers a different lifestyle to the one you might be used to. You may want to explore your new home, immerse yourself in the new culture, food and atmosphere.

three retiree women over 50 laughing and hugging each other

With this new opportunity for adventure comes new concerns about prioritising your health. Ensuring you’re in the best health means you’re free and able to make the most of your retirement.

You might find that the local healthcare system isn’t what you’re used to. You may even find that you can’t access it as an expat in a new country.

That’s why having retiree health insurance abroad gives you peace of mind to enjoy your new home, so you can rest assured that you are able to access high-quality care, wherever you are.

How can retiree health insurance help you abroad?

International health insurance for retirees comes with several benefits. These include:

Access to good quality hospitals

Most insurers have access to a network of hospitals, clinics and leading medical professionals across the globe. This means you can access the best quality healthcare, wherever you are.

Multilingual staff

An insurer’s international call staff can communicate in several different languages, breaking down barriers of communication to allow you to focus on your health and mental well-being.

Bypass daunting paperwork

Paperwork and healthcare bureaucracy can seem a little daunting. Most insurers will handle this for you, fast tracking you through the regional system and ensuring you receive quality care quickly.

International team of medical experts

Medical experts across the world provide you with country-specific solutions to solve your healthcare needs.

24/7 healthcare support

24/7 healthcare support prioritises your health and well-being, whenever and wherever you are.

What should international health insurance for retirees include?

When looking for retiree international health insurance, you want to make sure that the cover is well-suited to your personal requirements.

Ideally, you want to get an insurance package that covers you for the following:

Pre-existing illness

Your cover should help you manage some of the most common pre-existing conditions (or any chronic conditions you might have) including type 2 diabetes, hypertension, joint and back pain, arthritis and osteoporosis.

Critical illness cover

Life is unpredictable, and sometimes your health can be too. If you get a sudden critical illness diagnosis while living abroad, critical illness cover can help you meet the financial costs of your treatment.

Eye care

Make sure that they are well-covered to get treatment in case of any eye injuries, cataracts or progressive eyesight conditions.

General wellness

Your mental and emotional wellbeing are also important. Make sure your policy also covers you for treatments and therapies such as counselling to improve your personal wellness.

Dental care

Keep your dental health in tip-top shape with a comprehensive cover that keeps you smiling through your golden years.

With Cigna Healthcare, you can find an international health insurance policy that meets all your specific needs, regardless of where you’re planning to retire.

Find out more about retiring abroad and protecting your health at Cigna Healthcare.


Yes, you can.The type of cover you may get will depend on different factors such as:

  • The level of coverage you’re looking for.

  • Your reasons for living abroad.

  • As a legal requirement.

The maximum age limit for medical cover can vary depending on the type of policy and the insurer. While many insurers do not cover people of a certain age, there are some insurers that can provide coverage for people aged 80 and above.

Where you retire will depend on a variety of factors, not just the local healthcare system. While access to a robust healthcare system is important, especially as you age, there are other factors to consider. Weather, finances, distance from family and migration status will all affect where you choose to spend your years after working.

Retiring abroad can be an exhilarating and life-changing experience. If you’ve been thinking of retiring abroad, check out some informative pieces on how to get started, including top retirement destinations and more.