Due to the pandemic, remote work has become the new normal for many people. Working from anywhere gives a team the freedom to go where they feel the most inspired to perform their best. Traveling while working also means you’ll need to ensure you have the coverage you need, not just for your trip but for yourself.
Medical emergencies happen, and when they do, they can be quite expensive. Every country has varying healthcare costs, and you could pay thousands of dollars for an urgent medical procedure. If you don’t have the funds to pay upfront, some hospitals will not treat you unless your situation is life-threatening.
There are various health insurance options available for digital nomads — read on to discover which could be the best for you.
What Is a Digital Nomad?
“Digital nomad” describes a location-independent person, meaning they aren’t required to live in any particular city or state to perform their job. They can travel anywhere they’d like (within their home country, unless their company allows staff to operate outside of their country of residence) and aren’t required to come into an office.
Digital nomads also complete their work responsibilities solely through laptops or desktop computers.
What Are the Perks of Being a Digital Nomad
- You aren’t trapped at a desk.
- You don’t have a commute.
- You have more free time.
- The beach could be your office.
There are many perks to working remotely and traveling while doing so. Here are some reasons digital nomads love remote work and why many in-office workers are making the transition.
You Aren’t Trapped at a Desk.
If you work remotely, you don’t have to worry about being confined to your desk for eight hours daily. It can be difficult to focus on important tasks when you can’t get up and move around much or change locations.
Some companies don’t like their employees to be away from their desks much during the day, which can be stressful. People who struggle with mental disorders like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and have trouble staying still, often see an improvement in focus when they can move around.
You Don’t Have a Commute.
It’s no secret that gas prices are steadily climbing each day, and for many, at a rate, they are no longer able to afford them comfortably. Eliminating the commute to work means you’ll have more money each month for all of life’s other necessities like food, water, and housing.
You Have More Free Time.
Flexibility and the opportunity to set your hours mean you can also decide when your breaks are. For many remote-first companies, as long as the job gets done on time, it doesn’t matter if you’re signed in to your company platform for eight hours or more each day.
The Beach Could Be Your Office.
Traveling while you work means your office doesn’t have to be a coffee shop; it could be the beach. Changing your work location now and then is a great way to spark new ideas, especially if you work in a highly creative field.
As you can see, there are many positive aspects to being a digital nomad. To live this lifestyle, you’ll need to ensure you have healthcare covering you for an extended period across your home country.
There are even global health insurance plans that can extend outside of your country of residence.
Why Do Travelers Need Health Insurance?
- Your regular health insurance plan isn’t valid.
- You’re in an unfamiliar place with new risks.
- You’ll save money.
Obtaining a health insurance plan might not be the first thing on your mind as you plan your next big trip, but it’s worth looking into. Travel insurance is good but isn’t enough, especially for long-term trips.
The longer you’re away, especially if traveling outside your home country, the more risk you take. Here are some of the reasons why it’s important to purchase health coverage for your journey.
Your Regular Health Insurance Plan Isn’t Valid
While health insurance companies offer emergency coverage for U.S. citizens traveling within the United States (excluding Hawaii), you won’t have this same protection in a different country. Your health plan isn’t valid outside your home country, even for emergencies. You’ll have to come out of pocket for those costs.
You’re in an Unfamiliar Place With New Risks
As a digital nomad, you’ll find yourself in many situations where you aren’t fully aware of what’s happening around you. There will be new people, new learning areas, fresh food, and more.
Every city has risks, and you won’t always be prepared for everything. The last thing you want is to get sick from the food you’ve never tried before and not have medical coverage to protect you.
You’ll Save Money
If anything were to happen to you while traveling, health insurance would help cover things like your ambulance trip to the urgent care and any other medical expenses that result from your emergency treatment. Also, since you’ll have a standard health plan, you’ll be able to have regular check-ups and preventative care covered as well.
If you’re looking into travel insurance plans already, you’ll notice that they are best for short-term trips and only cover medical costs for emergencies.
At Insured Nomads, we’ll also cover treatment for urgent situations involving pre-existing conditions under your travel plan. You’ll have to come out-of-pocket for any healthcare costs beyond those.
Health Insurance Plans For Travelers
There are many health insurance options digital nomads can choose from. You’ll need to research to ensure you’re picking the best choice for your personal needs. You’ll also need to be aware of the factors that will impact how much you pay for your plan and plan for them accordingly. Here is a breakdown of the offerings you can get when applying for a Global Health Insurance plan with Insured Nomads.
What’s Included In a Traveler’s Health Plan?
Global health plans will cover emergencies and even routine medical care when necessary. You can get coverage for up to one year at a time and renew if you need to when time runs out. Even better — you don’t have to wait until open enrollment like traditional health plans; you can apply for health coverage with us anytime.
Every Insured Nomads health insurance plan comes standard with these perks:
- Inpatient care
- Outpatient care
- Mental health care
- Other types of assistance
The term “inpatient” refers to someone who has to be admitted into the hospital for treatment for one night or more. Examples of inpatient care include organ transplants, surgeries, and oncology. So, even traveling, you’ll have access to quality care from providers in your network.
“Outpatient” refers to a person who can be treated and discharged within the same day they arrive for help. Examples of outpatient care include consulting with your physician, regular check-ups, diagnostic tests, urgent care, and alternative treatments. Out-of-pocket costs for standard check-ups can be quite high, so having health insurance while you travel is a smart idea.
Mental Health Care
Insured Nomads also provides travelers access to mental health resources such as counseling. You can request this assistance when you go in for inpatient or outpatient treatment. We also offer substance abuse support for those who are struggling.
Other Types of Assistance
Other assistance offered under a global health plan includes ambulance transportation to local urgent care, preventative screenings, necessary vaccinations, prescription medication, vision care, and maternity coverage.
This type of coverage is good while traveling around as a digital nomad. You never know where your journey will take you, so it’s best to be prepared for anything coming your way.
Preferred Global Health vs. Preferred Plus Global Health
With Insured Nomads, you can choose from a couple of different options for your Global health plan. The preferred plan gives you everything listed above but is not valid within the U.S. This makes it great for travelers who do not reside within the United States and don’t plan to visit.
The preferred plus plan offers medical coverage worldwide, so wherever you plan to go, you’ll be protected under your Preferred Plus Global health plan.
What Do Travel Coverage Plans Include?
- Emergency medical coverage
- Protection for your stuff
- Trip delay insurance
- Trip interruption insurance
- Trip cancellation insurance
Travel coverage is a great idea for every traveler, no matter where they’re going or how long they plan to be there. Health insurance protects you, but travel insurance offers protection for your trip (and your items).
Here are some types of protection you could receive under a travel insurance plan.
Emergency Medical Coverage
If you don’t have health insurance but a travel insurance plan, you’ll be able to have emergencies covered. This means access to 24/7 medical care, COVID-19 coverage, coverage for treatment directly related to a pre-existing condition, and emergency dental care.
Anything outside of a life-threatening emergency is not covered under your travel insurance plan and must be paid out-of-pocket.
You’ll also be eligible for emergency transportation under your travel plan. This refers to ambulance transportation to your local urgent care, emergency accommodations due to a natural disaster, and an evacuation or repatriation (relocation back to your home country).
Protection for Your Stuff
If the airline loses or damages your luggage, you can file a claim to be reimbursed for this. You can also be reimbursed for expenses incurred during a flight delay, a stolen cell phone, and injuries from extreme water sports or other eligible activities requiring medical attention.
Trip Delay Insurance
Trip delay coverage goes into effect when your travel plans are put on hold due to circumstances outside your control. If your flight is delayed because of a mechanical issue, and the time it takes to repair it causes you to miss parts of your vacation or spend more money than you planned, you could file a claim.
You can be reimbursed for meals purchased at the airport while waiting for your delayed flight and any unused portion of your trip that you paid for in advance. Examples include hotel accommodations, group activities, cooking classes, and rental cars.
Trip Interruption Insurance
Trip interruption insurance goes into effect when you’re already at your destination, but something outside your control prevents you from continuing your journey. Traveling to another country risks things like unforeseen local dangers or threats.
If an area becomes unsafe due to a natural disaster or you become ill, you can be evacuated and relocated for your safety. You can be transported back home if you require medical treatment and travel outside your home country. Any unused portion of your trip can be reimbursed, like hotel nights.
Trip Cancellation Insurance
Trip cancellation coverage protects you before you’ve even left your house. If you’ve spent a large sum of money on a trip, getting this protection is a good idea. This is especially true if you (or someone you’re traveling with) have a pre-existing medical condition that requires frequent treatment.
If you have to cancel the trip at the last minute, you’ll be able to file a claim for each expense you paid for in advance and want to be reimbursed for. You can be reimbursed for airline tickets, rental cars, and ski lessons.
Which Factors Affect Insurance Cost?
- Your age
- Amount of insurance needed
- Local healthcare costs
- Travel time
- The cost of the trip
As you’re shopping around for a travel insurance plan, you can begin to prepare for what the total cost may be by analyzing your situation. How many people are you traveling with? How old are they? Many factors determine whether your expenses will be high or low, so let’s discuss those.
Age matters when it comes to travel insurance because it is one of the key risk indicators insurance companies use to set their rates. Older people, particularly senior citizens (65 and up), will pay higher premiums for travel insurance because they are more likely to have pre-existing conditions requiring medical care during a trip.
If someone you’re traveling with has a pre-existing condition, it’s smart to have protection for your trip that covers medical emergencies. However, you should prepare for a higher cost than if you were to travel with someone without a pre-existing condition.
Amount of Insurance Needed
What are you looking to have covered? Did you want to include add-ons such as trip delay, cancellation, or interruption insurance? These will cost extra on top of the standard travel insurance premium.
Opting for the minimum coverage will save you money in the short term, but it will cost a lot more out-of-pocket if your trip is interrupted and you aren’t insured against that.
Local Healthcare Costs
If healthcare costs at your destination are high, your travel insurance will go up to compensate for that. The more it costs for ambulance transportation, or local health services, the more your insurance company will have to pay on your behalf in an emergency.
There are some countries where healthcare is quite cost-effective or even free, but if you’re traveling to a destination with high healthcare costs, be prepared to pay more on your travel insurance premium.
The longer you’re away on your journey, the more you will pay for travel insurance. So, if you’re planning to travel for several months, you’ll need to set aside extra funds for your insurance costs.
Longer trips are more expensive to insure because the longer you’re away from home, the more likely you will need medical attention. No one wants the worst to happen, but the risks are nonetheless.
The Cost of the Trip
If you spend a lot of money on your trip, it will also cost more to insure. Let’s say you were to experience a delay, interruption, or cancellation due to a covered event on a trip that cost you $30,000.
Any prepaid, unused portion of that trip can be reimbursed to you as long as you have the proper coverage. So, if $20,000 of your overall costs were paid in advance, you could file a claim.
The premium you spend on a trip like this would be adjusted to account for the insurance company's overall cost and associated risk.
The Risks of Not Getting Health Insurance
- No help for pre-existing conditions
- Expensive medical procedures
- Dental work is pricey
- Prescription medication coverage
Thinking about cutting travel costs by eliminating health insurance? Think again. Traveling abroad without taking the proper steps to protect yourself is a huge risk. Plus, you could end up paying much more for a medical emergency than you would have spent on your insurance premium.
Remember, health coverage is not retroactive, so if you purchase it after an emergency, the protection will only apply to any future covered events. Here are some of the top risks associated with traveling without health coverage.
No Help for Pre-Existing Conditions
Many travel insurance companies don’t offer this, but with Insured Nomads, you’ll have coverage for treatment resulting from pre-existing medical conditions under the global health plan.
You’ll also get this protection under a travel insurance plan, but only in emergencies. The health plan will cover non-emergencies when needed.
Expensive Medical Procedures
It could be very costly if you get to your destination, get very sick, and unexpectedly go to the hospital for treatment. Also, some hospitals in other countries won’t treat you in non-emergency situations unless you pay them upfront.
A non-emergency can become an emergency quickly if it’s not addressed. You’ll want to ensure you have the proper coverage in case of time-sensitive health problems requiring immediate treatment.
Dental Work Is Pricey
If you have issues with your teeth like cavities, or you damage a tooth and need to have it repaired or pulled, you’ll also want coverage for that. Insured Nomads help cover emergency dental procedures on your behalf if you need access to those services.
Prescription Medication Coverage
Prescriptions without insurance can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars out of your pocket each year as a U.S. citizen. With quality health insurance, you’ll often pay less than $20, depending on the prescribed medication.
It’s not the best idea to go without healthcare because life’s emergencies can be quite costly. If you’re a digital nomad or planning to become one, make sure you’re taking every possible step to protect yourself, your trip, and your belongings.
Frequently Asked Insurance Questions
When it comes to travel insurance and Global Health Insurance plans, many people have questions. Insurance can be tricky to understand, even with plenty of research, so let’s highlight and discuss some of the most common questions about insurance plans.
How Much Is the Travel Insurance Deductible?
Every company sets its deductible limits, but at Insured Nomads, your travel insurance deductible can be anywhere from $0-$500. Remember that the higher you set your deductible, the less you will pay on your premium.
How Does a Travel Insurance Deductible Work?
Deductibles are the out-of-pocket amount for emergencies before your insurance kicks in to help. So, if your deductible is $500 and your insurance claim is $1,000, you’d have to pay $500 before your insurance steps in to cover the rest.
Do I Pay the Travel Insurance Deductible Each Time?
Every insurance company is different, so clarify this before purchasing a policy. Deductibles can reset yearly, or they can reset each time you file a claim. Ideally, you’ll want as much time as possible between deductible payments if you need to file multiple claims.
How Often Do I Pay for Travel Insurance?
Most insurance companies allow you to pay your premium monthly or the entire amount upfront.
How Often Should You Renew Your Travel Insurance Policy?
Your travel plan with Insured Nomads can cover you for up to a year if you’d like, at which point you can renew for longer if you decide to extend your trip.
You can even purchase a yearly plan and take multiple short trips throughout the year, it doesn’t have to be one consistent journey. Please note that World Explorer plans can only be extended once.
Is Telemedicine Available with a Travel Insurance Plan?
Insured Nomads has telemedicine options available for digital nomads who need medical care while traveling alone but don’t want to go into the hospital unless it’s an emergency.
What if My English Isn’t Very Good?
No worries! We are multilingual and have many specialists happy to assist you in the language you’re most comfortable communicating in.
When Do I Hear Back About My Travel Health Insurance Application?
It takes around two business days to reach an application decision, but it could be longer if we require more information from you.
Once approved, you’ll receive a quote, which you can pay immediately if you agree to the terms. Your Global health plan premium might be higher if you have certain health conditions.
After you make the payment, you’ll receive a confirmation email from us detailing your benefits and explaining the perks that come with your INC membership (included in every health plan purchase).
Get Covered With Insured Nomads
If you get a standard health insurance plan with us, you’ll have all the protection you need against unexpected health emergencies (and non-emergencies).
Plus, every person who purchases a health plan through us will get a complementary INC membership. This membership provides access to luxury airport lounges, amazing food options, and high-quality sleep pods and shower spaces — all for you to utilize in between flights along your journey.
Remember, your regular health plan will not cover you outside your home country. You will need global health insurance to ensure you don’t have to pay a large out-of-pocket amount for emergencies.
Some travelers skip purchasing insurance because they want to cut down on additional costs. However, our plans are very affordable — a small price to avoid potentially larger expenses in the long run.
Want to learn more about our affordable health insurance and travel insurance plans? Check out all that Insured Nomads has to offer!
About Insured Nomads
Insured Nomads is the first to take an integrated traveltech, fintech and insurtech solution to the world for remote workers, globally distributed teams, expats, and travelers. Their purpose is to make travel as safe and smart as staying at home. They do this by providing health insurance with exceptional medical benefits in tandem with wellbeing, safety, security, and advanced tech-enabled solutions for ease of payment for healthcare, emergency response and evacuation. Insured Nomads is available through affinity relationships, direct, embedded and through select brokers and partners for groups and individuals.
Information on integration, collaboration and partnership contact Brett Estep: firstname.lastname@example.org
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