We often get asked by global nomads and expatriates if they can continue to renew their global health policy. In this global health insurance article, we will discuss the renewal process for individual expatriate health insurance policies for global citizens.
Here are the International health insurance renewal tips
First Things First – Become an Insured Nomad – Buy Expat Healthcare
It kind of seems obvious, but yes, to renew your policy, you have to buy expat healthcare first. Becoming a global nomad or expat is much more common these days and one of the most important decisions you can make is buying an international health insurance policy when you are moving abroad for work, extended travel or retirement. That health plan can be handy when becoming an international citizen because unexpected accidents or illnesses can be very expensive and seriously damage your finances. Some people use travel medical coverage for short-term coverage while maintaining coverage back home, but those becoming expatriates who are going to live abroad, they will often buy international health insurance coverage.
In many countries, you can’t get a visa unless you purchase an international plan and you might not even be eligible for local coverage – in many cases, the local medical care and insurance may be substandard. Buying international healthcare via our website is very easy & we are here to discuss your requirements at no cost to you.
Make sure your global health plan is renewable!
So once you are buying global medical coverage, you want to make sure the policy is renewable as long as you remain an expat. Most expat plans are offshore and are not available to local citizens, so you won’t be able to renew the policy when you go back to your country of citizenship in almost all cases. If you spend at least six months abroad, you should be able to renew your expat health policy.
Will my insurer not renew my coverage if I experience high claims?
Note that some expat plans in the market will not renew if you encounter high medical claims, but we don’t offer such substandard policies. Make sure you get a policy that will cover you regardless of your claims.
Almost all expat policies will not increase your premiums because of your individual claims. Some might put you in a different premium pool, but almost all pool your claims with all their clients.
Will my expat policy renew if I am too old?
With very few exceptions, most expat health plans are renewable for life as long as you are an expatriate living abroad. The GeoBlue policy is an exception as coverage ceases at age 75. Our favorite global nomad plan for those living abroad for life is the Cigna Global plan as it will definitely be there for life as an expatriate. You also have to make sure the insurer is financially secure and will be there for the long haul – another reason Cigna and Allianz plans are excellent choices for expats as they are very large and well-known entities. Make sure your expat plan has guaranteed renewability for as long as you will live abroad.
What is the renewal process for expat health policies?
Expat policies renew every 12 months, so every year, about a month before your annual renewal, the expat insurance provider will send you a renewal invitation, so make sure the provider has your up-to-date email address or policy address abroad. Make sure you respond and maybe check into their customer portal to examine the renewal and updated premium. Make sure you advise the insurer of your current country of residence abroad as this has a direct impact on your rates. You can wire the payment or send a check to the insurer or continue the monthly premium payment via your credit card on file.
Remember to pay your renewal premiums at the renewal
More often than we would like to mention, people forget to pay their premiums for a variety of reasons. If you pay monthly with your credit card, make sure you update the credit card at expiry or if you get a new card or account. Many global nomads pay annually as this comes with a 10% premium savings over paying monthly, but either way, it is the expat’s responsibility to pay the premiums when they are due – including at renewal. Without payment, your coverage will lapse & you may not be able to get it back, especially if you have high medical claims/conditions – so again, pay the premiums to the insurer on time.
Will my premium go up at renewal?
Insurance premiums do go up at renewal. Your rates are based on your age, location, citizenship and health inflation rate, which is about 9-11% per year. Read our article on why expat health premiums go up every year. Note that you can reduce your premium if you increase your deductible, drop coverage options or change to the insurer’s lower level of coverage.
Can the international health insurer make plan changes at renewal?
Yes, ex-pat insurers do make changes to their policy terms and coverage levels from time to time. More often than not, they make improvements to the coverage levels. You are often provided with a copy or link to the plan terms and conditions & the insurer will note any changes, which you should read each year so you know what you are and are not covered for. One benefit that some insurers have provided at no extra cost is expat telehealth or virtual care, which is a great way for them to reduce claims but also for clients to secure medical advice for minor conditions.
Can I make coverage changes at renewal?
The short answer is that it depends – You can’t increase your coverage options or lower your deductible without medical underwriting, so keep this in mind as you are increasing the risk to the insurance provider. You can reduce benefits or move to a lesser plan to obtain a lower premium at renewal if you wish. You can also add a spouse or partner to your plan subject to medical questions and underwriting. If you have maternity coverage and have satisfied the 12-month waiting period, your child should be added at birth.
Final thoughts on international healthcare renewals
A global health plan renewal doesn’t have too complex, and the renewal process for most expat insurance plans is quite easy. You just have to do your part and provide payment and renewal confirmation to the insurer in a timely fashion. Luckily, our team is here to assist you in the renewal process if you have any questions, concerns or problems – that is why people buy via a broker and there’s no cost for having us engaged. Premiums, renewals and claims are still direct with the insurer. Living abroad is a great adventure, and your global health will help provide the peace of mind required to live the insured nomad lifestyle.