The differences between local health insurance and international health insurance seem confusing. But the main differences lie already in the term: Local health insurance covers only one specific region or country. International health insurance covers you worldwide.
This article provides a detailed look into the similarities and differences between local and international health insurance.
Extensive cover for medical treatment, preventive care, and all kinds of sports.
🤯 Different types of health insurance
- Local health insurance: This type of insurance is referred to insurance which only cover a certain region or country. Local health insurance is a private form of insurance.
- International health insurance: International health insurance is also known as international medical insurance and expat health insurance. It is a type of insurance for people who are living, working, or traveling abroad.
- National health care plan: Many countries offer their citizens public and private health care which is similar to local insurance, mostly limited to the country of residency. National health care plans are made to cover citizens and in some cases temporary and permanent residents.
Examples of countries that allow permanent residents (non-citizens) to use the national healthcare systems are Mexico and Panama.
🌏 Region of cover
- Local health insurance: Local health insurance is a type of insurance that covers your medical costs when you get sick or hurt, but only in a certain area, like a country or region. Some countries require people to have this insurance, while others let you choose if you want it or not. The insurance helps pay for things like going to the hospital, seeing a doctor, and buying medicine. Sometimes it also covers going to the dentist or eye doctor.
- International health insurance: On the other hand, international health insurance is designed to provide worldwide coverage for individuals living, working, or traveling abroad. These plans typically offer more comprehensive coverage than local plans, including emergency medical evacuation, repatriation, and travel assistance services.
📅 Period of cover
- Local health insurance: Most local health insurance providers offer monthly and yearly subscriptions. The minimum cover is mostly 6 months or 1 year. This insurance is made to cover you long-term or even life-long.
- International health insurance: Most international health insurance providers offer yearly subscriptions. A few providers allow monthly subscriptions. The minimum cover is mostly 1 year but the intention of this insurance is life-long health insurance. International health insurance is made to cover you long-term or even life-long.
- Local health insurance: The cover of local health insurance includes emergency and non-emergency medical treatments, preventive health care, and sports injuries. Local health insurance should cover dental and vision care, mental health treatments, cancer treatments, and pregnancies. It is possible that vaccinations are included. The cover of pre-existing conditions varies greatly and will affect the monthly cost of the insurance.
- International health insurance: International health insurance usually offers more protection than local health insurance, like emergency medical evacuation (help to get back home if you get really sick or hurt abroad), and assistance services that can help with medical emergencies or other problems you might have while you're traveling.
The cover includes all kinds of medical care, including emergency and non-emergency medical treatments, preventive health care, dental and vision care, mental health treatments, cancer treatments, pregnancies, and sports injuries. Additionally, international health insurance cover vaccinations. If you have pre-existing conditions please check them beforehand with your health insurance provider as it might be subject to medical questionnaires and special terms.
- Local health insurance: The monthly costs for local health insurance varies greatly from country to country. The costs depend on your age, your health status, and your chosen deductible. You can expect to pay a few hundred dollars or euros monthly for an annual plan.
- International health insurance: Similar to local health insurance, international health insurance will cost a few hundred dollars or euros per month for an annual plan. The costs depend on your age, your health status, and your chosen deductible.
💡 Popular questions
- What combination of insurance do you need as a digital nomad?
You need either a combination of local health insurance and travel health insurance or just international health insurance.
Remember that local health insurance covers you only in one specific region or country. As soon as you leave this region or country, you need additional worldwide cover. You can get worldwide cover with travel health insurance for emergencies or with international health insurance if you want more services included.
- Do you need to keep your local health insurance when traveling internationally? This depends on your local health insurance, your travel behavior, and your personal situation.
Local health insurance + travel health insurance: If you keep a home base in your home country, and you spend more than 6 weeks in your home country (or longer as the maximum home country cover of your travel health insurance) then it is advisable to keep local health insurance and add international travel health insurance for medical emergencies outside your home country.
International health insurance: If you do not have a home base in your home country, or you visit your home country within the maximum home country cover of your travel health insurance (for example, Genki covers 6 weeks home country) it might be unnecessary to keep local health insurance. In this case, you should get international health insurance with worldwide cover and all and more of the included services of local health insurance.
|General differences between local health & international health insurance||📍 Local health insurance||🌏 International health insurance|
|🏖️ What do you need?||A wide range of included services for only one specific country or region.||A wide range of included services for worldwide cover.|
|🌏 Where do you want to be covered?||Covers only one specific country or region.||Worldwide cover.|
|📅 How long do you want to be covered?||Designed for long-term or life-long cover.||Designed for long-term or life-long cover.|
|☔️ What is included?||Emergencies, regular medical treatments, preventive care, vaccines, pregnancies, mental health treatments, and much more||Emergencies, regular medical treatments, preventive care, vaccines, pregnancies, mental health treatments, and much more.
💡 Evacuation and repatriation flight to your home country is covered.
|💶 How much are the monthly costs?||Monthly costs are a few hundred dollars or euros, depending on your health questionnaire, age, pre-existing conditions, etc.||Monthly costs are a few hundred dollars or euros, depending on your health questionnaire, age, pre-existing conditions, etc.|
🌱 Health insurance with Genki
Genki offers international health insurance for digital nomads and long-term travelers. It covers preventive care, mental health care, dental and vision care, and much more!
Genki 🌏 Resident
- Region of cover: Worldwide. Every single country.
- Period of cover: As long as you want. Life-long if you wish. The minimum contract is 1 year with a monthly payment plan.
- Home country: Cover up to 180 days per year.
- Genki Resident: Preventive care, telemedicine, medically necessary search and rescue, inpatient psychotherapy, alternative treatments, osteopathy, chiropractic, physiotherapy, dental and vision care, prenatal care, and childbirth as well as COVID treatments.
- ⭐️ Genki Resident premium: Genki Resident basic + Vaccinations, medical checkups, eyesight correction surgeries, glasses, and contact lenses, dental cleaning twice per year, outpatient psychotherapy, outpatient rehabilitation measure, or first-trimester screening and amniocentesis.
- Monthly costs: Genki Resident is available for everyone of any age. The monthly fee depends on the result of a medical questionnaire, age, the chosen deductible, and the region of cover (incl. or excl. USA and Canada).