It’s a cold winter day and you’re sitting in your apartment staring out the window at the snow falling. Your computer is open in front of you with a list of things you have to do today, but you know you aren’t going to get to it. You’re battling a runny nose and try to calm a throbbing headache. There’s a sharp pain in your ear and your body aches all over.
You’re getting sick.
Nobody likes getting sick, especially when they’re abroad and alone. This is why it’s important to have health insurance as a digital nomad. While you may be living a different type of lifestyle, it’s still important to take care of yourself and your health. You may not have a primary doctor, but with health insurance, you can feel confident that you can see a doctor when you need to, wherever you are.
Digital nomad health insurance isn’t your typical health insurance. It offers global coverage, so you can receive medical help wherever you are in the world. However, there are some important factors to consider when buying digital nomad health insurance.
Why Get Digital Nomad Health Insurance?
Whether your home country has universal healthcare or it’s dependent on your career, as a digital nomad it’s important to find global health insurance. While your insurance may fully cover your medical needs in your own country, there is no guarantee that it will cover you halfway across the world.
You’re probably thinking, “I’m young and healthy. Nothing is going to happen!” It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your health. When you pay for health insurance, you’re putting your mind at ease and investing in staying healthy. You never know when you may come down with a serious illness or have an unforeseeable accident.
Not only will you have peace of mind about your health while living abroad, but your out-of-pocket costs will greatly decrease. So, when you’re considering whether or not to buy digital nomad health insurance, we definitely recommend that you do.
When browsing digital nomad health insurance plans, you’ll first notice the premium price. A premium is what you pay upfront for your coverage. This could be billed monthly or annually.
Many people will immediately shy away from high premiums without reading about the plan further. Don’t disregard a health insurance plan just because the premium seems too high. Depending on the coverage and deductible, it may be worth paying the extra money.
A deductible is the amount of money you are responsible for when you seek medical care. This includes copays, coinsurance, and any other medical-related costs. These out-of-pocket costs are going to help you weigh your decision on which digital nomad health insurance plan to go with.
For example, if your deductible is $5,000 for the year but your premium is $100 per month, you could end up spending a total of $6,200 on medical care in just one year.
Sometimes paying a higher premium is worth having a lower deductible because you are responsible for a lesser amount when it comes to receiving medical care.
If you have a preexisting condition, this may influence your decision on which digital nomad health insurance plan to buy. You know which services and type of care you’ll need the most. So, make sure whichever plan you buy has the coverage you need.
While it’s tempting to go with the lowest price possible, think about what you need to stay healthy. It’s worth it to pay a little extra in order to stay healthy.
While most digital nomad health insurance plans do cover prescription medications, it’s always a good idea to double-check. Whether you are currently prescribed medication or may need a short-term prescription, you’ll want to make sure it’s covered.
In a perfect world, all of your medical needs would be covered by your health insurance. Unfortunately, many plans have restrictions on what they do and do not cover.
For example, a motorbike accident in Thailand may not be covered if you do not have the proper license for driving.
Before buying your digital nomad health insurance, read the fine print closely. It’s important to know what is covered, what isn’t covered, and restrictions of coverage. Don’t assume that every insurance plan is the same.
Compare Health Insurance Plans
You may feel overwhelmed when first looking to buy health insurance. It’s important to research plans thoroughly. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or get in contact with a representative. Gather as much information as possible!
Once you’ve found a few options to consider, compare them to each other. Weigh the benefits of each. This will help you decide which plan is right for you.
The Difference Between Travel and Health Insurance
Now you may be wondering, what is the difference between travel insurance and health insurance as a digital nomad?
To begin, travel insurance offers coverage of travel-related mishaps such as delayed flights and lost luggage. It’s meant for short-term coverage for vacations. While most of these plans do offer coverage of health-related expenses, it’s mostly for emergencies and accidents.
Health insurance for digital nomads is just like your normal health insurance, which covers routine doctor visits, prescription medication coverage, and more, but it works in different countries. Some plans do include coverage of travel-related mishaps such as lost luggage or stolen property.
Looking for recommendations for digital nomad health insurance? Join Nomads Embassy: The Official Global Digital Nomad Network to connect with other nomads.
When I’m not writing and teaching people how to achieve a location-independent lifestyle, you can find me globetrotting, experiencing new cultures, and working on my amateur photography skills.