How To Choose International Health Insurance

When planning to travel or live abroad, securing international health insurance is an essential step. This type of insurance ensures that you have access to medical care in foreign countries, protecting you from high healthcare costs that could arise during your travels or residency.

Understanding how to choose the right worldwide medical insurance and recognizing its importance can make a significant difference in your overseas experience. Here’s a detailed guide on selecting health insurance and the reasons it’s indispensable.

Why International Health Insurance is Necessary

  1. High Healthcare Costs Abroad

In many countries, particularly in North America and Western Europe, medical treatment can be extremely expensive. Without appropriate insurance, these costs can be financially crippling.

2. Access to Quality Medical Care

International health insurance usually grants access to a broad network of hospitals and doctors globally, ensuring that you receive high-standard medical treatment wherever you are.

3. Legal Requirements

Some countries require proof of health insurance as a condition for issuing a visa, especially for long-term visitors such as students or expatriates.

4. Peace of Mind

Knowing that you and your family are covered in case of an emergency can provide peace of mind, allowing you to focus on your travel or living experience without undue worry about potential medical issues.

How to Choose the Right International Medical Insurance

  1. Assess Your Needs. Before selecting a policy, consider your health needs, the nature of your trip, and any activities you plan to engage in that could increase risk. If you have pre-existing medical conditions, look for a plan that covers them. Also, consider whether you need coverage for emergency evacuation or repatriation.
  2. Understand the Coverage Offered. Not all health insurance plans are created equal. It’s important to understand what each plan covers. Some might offer comprehensive coverage that includes doctor visits, hospital stays, and even prescription medications, while others might only provide emergency coverage. Platforms like Friendly Global can help simplify this process by comparing different options and guiding you towards the best choice for your circumstances.
  3. Check the Geographic Coverage. Make sure that the insurance covers health care in the country or countries you will be visiting or residing in. Some policies may have exclusions for certain areas or might not be accepted by local healthcare providers.
  4. Consider the Duration of Coverage. If you are going on a short vacation, a travel health insurance policy may be sufficient. However, if you plan to stay abroad longer, you might need a more permanent international medical insurance solution.
  5. Read Reviews and Get Recommendations. Look at reviews and ratings of different insurance providers and plans. Personal recommendations from friends or family who have lived or traveled abroad can also be invaluable.
  6. Evaluate the Cost. Compare the costs of different plans, but don’t just go for the cheapest option. Cheaper plans often have higher deductibles and less coverage, which could end up costing more in the long run.
  7. Check for Limits and Exclusions. Be aware of any limits on coverage, such as caps on the amount paid out per year, or specific exclusions, which might include certain types of injuries or treatments.
  8. Ease of Claims Process. Consider how easy it is to make a claim with the insurance. Some companies offer 24/7 support and have straightforward, user-friendly claims processes, which can be a huge relief in times of distress.


Choosing the right international health insurance is crucial for anyone traveling or living abroad. It not only ensures access to necessary medical care without prohibitive costs but also provides peace of mind during your international adventures. By carefully assessing your needs and understanding the specifics of different insurance policies, you can find a plan that best fits your requirements, ensuring that your health is protected wherever you go.