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How Dual Citizenship Impacts International Health Insurance

What are the Impacts of Dual Citizenship on Your International Health Insurance?

When people move abroad to become global citizens and expatriates, it is obviously important to buy a high-quality international health insurance policy to protect themselves and their family members. Medical costs abroad can be very expensive and accessing healthcare is critical for your health and well-being, but what impact does dual citizenship have on your international health insurance policy and rates? This is a common question that we get asked so we have tried to put together some information and tips for future and current expatriates. Here are some key considerations for dual citizens:

What is Dual Citizenship?

Dual citizenship is quite common these days, but what is it? This is essentially a legal status in which a person retains at the same time the nationality or citizenship of more than one country under the citizenship rules of those countries. Note that each country has its own citizenship rules and some can have dual nationality by automatic or different laws instead of by choice. The USA has very specific laws around dual nationalities and does allow for dual nationalities. It is easiest to become a dual citizen by birth or through your parents or even grandparents, especially in the UK. Dual nationalises can happen atomically in some circumstances such as at birth depending on the citizenships of the parents. In most countries, you take the citizenship where you are born.

Advantages of Dual Citizenship for Expats

There are quite a few advantages of having dual citizenship. Note that you should talk to a legal and tax advisor before adding or accepting another citizenship. Here are a few advantages of having dual citizenship as an expatriate:

  • Ability to use different passports for easier entry into select countries
  • Easier access to living and even working in the two countries or other countries depending on the passports you hold
  • You may be able to own property in more countries
  • Easier travel and expatriation depending on the passports you hold

What are the Drawbacks of Dual Citizenship?

Like many things, there are also disadvantages to having more than one citizenship. Here are just a few:

  • Complex legal status
  • Much more complex tax planning and the potential for double taxation
  • Many countries recognize dual nationalities and you might have to renounce your birth citizenship to become a citizen of another country
  • Obtaining dual citizenship can be very costly and involve a long and complicated process

How Does Dual Citizenship Impact My Global Health Insurance Premiums?

We often get requests from international citizens moving abroad who have dual citizenship. They often have 2 citizenship – such as American/Canadian or UK/American etc… So they often wonder which citizenship they should apply under. It often depends on where you are going to be residing as expatriate health plans are for ex-pats only – they are not allowed to cover local nationals.

Health Insurance CoverA local national is a person living in their country of citizenship – such as an American living in the USA or an Italian living in Rome. If an expat is a dual American/UK national, he or she may be able to use that American citizenship to cover living in the UK. During the online health insurance quote process, you can try plugging in your two citizenships to see how it impacts your rates.

If you have American citizenship and are living outside the USA and you want to get the USA coverage option that allows for medical treatment there, it would be advisable to use your American citizenship as some insurance providers provide this option at a much lower cost for American citizens who require coverage for treatment in the USA. Note that expat health plans are not available to citizens living in their country of citizenship – such as a US citizen living in the USA.

Will Dual Citizenship Impact My Health Insurance Coverage?

The short answer is more often than not yes. Most international health insurance providers base their premiums are a variety of factors, such as age, medical status, country of citizenship, and where you are living abroad. In fact, your citizenship and where you are living have a huge impact on your international health premiums. Note that you need to advise the insurance company at renewal if you have changed your country of residence. For almost all expat health plans in the market, if you move back to your country of citizenship, your global health plan will not be renewable at the anniversary – having a dual nationality might allow you to keep your global medical plan depending on where you are residing.