iPMI Global

International Private Medical Insurance (iPMI) for Digital Nomads

In this iPMI Global Digital Nomads In Focus article we talk with the movers, shakers and deal makers from the international private medical insurance market, and ask, which iPMI policies are suitable for digital nomads? What is the scope for individual and group business?

Most digital nomad visas demand health insurance and some specify IPMI. So how big is this new market?

François Jacquemin, Foyer Global Health: For all internationally mobile people, we recommend a cover that enables the expat and family to recover from an illness or an accident in a facility that is prepared to treat our customers in the best way possible. As most digital nomads are young and healthy, we offer some products that are designed to cover emergency and high-cost risks of our insured, with the main focus on inpatient treatment.

Scott Rosen, MDabroad: As an agnostic service provider, we are unable to endorse any specific plan. Our advice would be for digital nomads to look for a product that will have an easy to contact service platform, sufficient coverage ($500K+ USD), repatriation benefits to get them to a comfortable treatment setting, and coverages for mental health and all major diseases.

Eithan Wolf, PassportCard: While the main questions rely with the potential of one’s cut of affiliation to their home country it is my personal belief that a comprehensive product is always advisable. We ought to take into consideration that at the point of purchase we tend to disregard to potential adverse effects of health deterioration and future underwriting requirements while purchasing a limited product both in terms of benefits and overall term.

Diane Thomas, UnitedHealthcare Global: It really depends on their needs and circumstances due to the nature of their ever-changing lifestyles. For shorter stays, short-term coverage is ideal. For longer stays, long-term coverage is recommended. We offer both options.

Our short-term travel plans feature medical treatment and prescriptions for accidents or unexpected illnesses, dental emergencies, medical evacuations and repatriations, security and natural disaster evacuations and repatriations, virtual visits, and medical and security intelligence services.

Our long-term coverage is ideal for digital nomads who plan to say longer than six months in a locale and want comprehensive global insurance like medical treatment, prescriptions, and dental, in addition to assistance services like evacuation support.

Lourdes Peters, World of America: That is hard to say, you must talk to the individual, ask the right questions, not necessarily face to face, but the information you gather via any means should meet the needs and expectations of the area from which the person is living in. For example, are they staying in a certain country for a certain length of time or are they more mobile. Are they travelling with their family or alone?

Are they interested in benefits that provide coverage for their hobbies and personal wellbeing? These are all questions that would define the type of coverage that moves and adjusts to the digital nomad.

What is the scope for individual and group digital nomad IPMI health insurance cover?

François Jacquemin, Foyer Global Health: The scope for our individual and group coverage is always worldwide and depends on each individual need, from short-term to exclusive coverage. Even though a definition – yet evolving – of a digital nomad exists, we believe that one unique digital nomad persona does not exist, every situation is different. Some start a family abroad while keeping the same lifestyle. They eventually realize that health and security get a different priority for them. Our range of products aims to evolve throughout the life of our customers.

Scott Rosen, MDabroad: The scope of individual and group coverage for digital nomads does not differ much in essence from typical coverages available, although the insured should ensure more flexibility to start with. Coverage should include:

  • Medical Coverage: Coverage for doctor’s visits, hospitalization, surgery, emergency medical treatment, and prescription medications while living or traveling abroad.
  • Coverage Area: Worldwide or specific regions, allowing access to medical care in various countries.
  • Emergency Services: Emergency medical evacuation and repatriation if needed.
  • Pre-existing Conditions: Coverage for pre-existing medical conditions, possibly subject to waiting periods.
  • Deductibles & Co-Payments: Out-of-pocket amounts that must be paid before the insurance covers costs.
  • Optional Coverage: Add-ons for specific needs like maternity care, mental health services, or adventure sports coverage.
  • Duration: Flexible options for short-term or long-term coverage.
  • Renewability: Check if the policy is renewable for extended stays.
  • Group Coverage: Cost-effective group plans if travelling with others.
  • Network of Providers: Availability of a network of healthcare providers for cashless treatment or reimbursement.

Since specific terms, conditions, and coverage limits can vary between insurance providers and policies, it is critical to review policy details to choose the right plan for a digital nomad lifestyle.

Eithan Wolf, PassportCard: While it is traditionally more custom to review digital nomads as individuals, we are witnessing a growing trend of corporates enabling their employees to work remotely. One may question the duty of care of such corporates upon enabling their employees to work remotely from outside of state and therefore the consideration of providing a suitable reach to proper international care. We believe this is to be further reviewed.

Diane Thomas, UnitedHealthcare Global: The choice between individual and group health insurance comes down to individual circumstances and priorities. When making this decision, I would consider my overall health needs, number of dependents going on the plan, the safety and security of my destination(s), length of travel, visa requirements, my employment status and budget.

With these factors in mind, digital nomads can consider individual plans that typically offer more customization and variety in terms of length of coverage, but can be more expensive compared to group plans, which are often more affordable and provide stability but may limit choice and customization options.

Depending on these considerations, UnitedHealthcare Global can offer a variety of options to help people select the optimal coverage for their specific needs.

Lourdes Peters, World of America: Most digital nomads travel alone, or they travel with their families as a group. Traditional groups like such as in a group of people working for the same company in the same region is very unlikely. The digital nomad more often travels alone and sets roots for a brief period and then changes location, all they need is internet, a laptop and as many hours they want to work at.

Related Reading: Digital Nomads iPMI & Health Insurance Strategies 2024

Editors Note: The above answers are published alphabetically, by company name.

UnitedHealthcare Global
Cigna

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iPMI Global is the leading business intelligence provider for international private medical, health, travel and expatriate insurance markets worldwide. Due to the nomadic nature of the international private medical insurance (IPMI) market, iPMI Global is an internet based news service for worldwide insurance and medical assistance professionals who need to understand the impacts of insurance and healthcare policy, regulatory, and legislative developments.

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