Which Are The Best International Health Insurance Providers

As an ex-pat living abroad, securing comprehensive and affordable health insurance should be one of your top priorities. Your health and financial well-being depend on finding a policy tailored to your needs. With so many options to choose from, determining the best international health insurance providers can feel overwhelming. However, with some guidance from industry experts, you can narrow down the field to find a provider you can trust to be there when you need them most.

Health Insurance

Choosing Between Local and International Health Insurers

When choosing a health insurance provider, you have two main options: local companies in your country of residence or international providers. Both have advantages and disadvantages to consider based on your needs and situation.

Local health insurers typically offer plans tailored to the healthcare system of that country. They may have access to larger networks of doctors and hospitals, especially those that operate primarily in the local language. Premiums and out-of-pocket costs also tend to be lower since they can negotiate lower rates. However, coverage and benefits may be more limited, especially for major medical and emergency care abroad.

International health insurance companies, on the other hand, provide more comprehensive coverage across borders. Their plans are designed for globally mobile individuals and families who require access to high-quality healthcare wherever they may be. They offer wider coverage for emergency medical evacuation, repatriation of remains, and treatment in foreign countries. Premiums and deductibles are often higher to match the level of coverage and flexibility. Some of the most well-known international providers are Bupa Global, Cigna, and Aetna International.

When determining the best option, you need to evaluate factors like the location and availability of doctors in your area, coverage for pre-existing conditions, maternity and dental care benefits, medical evacuation and repatriation, and premium affordability. Speaking with an experienced health insurance broker can help identify companies and plans that meet your unique needs. In the end, you must choose what combination of coverage, access, and cost works for your situation.

Our Criteria for Rating the Top Health Insurance Companies

When determining the top international health insurance providers, our experts consider several important factors.

  • Financial stability and solvency. We analyze the company’s financial reports to ensure they have the resources to pay out claims. Strong, reputable companies will have an “A” rating or better from independent rating agencies like A.M. Best.

  • Plan options and coverage. The best companies offer a variety of plans at multiple price points, including comprehensive coverage for both emergency and routine care. They provide coverage worldwide, including the U.S., with access to major hospitals and an extensive network of doctors and specialists.

  • Customer service. We evaluate the overall customer experience, including the ease of obtaining a quote, submitting claims, and getting questions answered. The top companies provide superior service with knowledgeable representatives, short wait times, and multiple contact options (phone, email, chat).

  • Additional services. Additional services like health and wellness programs, medical assistance hotlines, and telemedicine options are appealing benefits that the leading companies frequently offer. Some provide useful tools to help you estimate costs and find providers.

  • Premiums and out-of-pocket costs. While premiums and out-of-pocket costs like deductibles and copays are not the only factors, we consider them as part of the overall value. The best companies offer competitively priced plans for the coverage and services provided.

By analyzing these key criteria, we can determine the international health insurance companies that consistently deliver an exceptional experience and value to customers seeking coverage worldwide. Our recommendations can give you confidence that you are choosing a reputable provider for your health insurance needs.

Aetna International: One of the Largest Global Health Insurers

Global Coverage and Comprehensive Plans

Aetna International is one of the largest providers of international health insurance, covering over 650,000 members worldwide. They offer a wide range of comprehensive global health plans for individuals and groups that provide coverage almost anywhere in the world. Their flagship plans include the Aetna Summit and Aetna Summit Plus, which provide extensive inpatient and outpatient coverage with access to their large network of over 1 million healthcare providers.

Financial Stability and Experience

Aetna International is a subsidiary of Aetna Inc., a Fortune 100 company and one of the largest healthcare benefits companies in the U.S. with over $60 billion in revenue. They have over 160 years of experience providing health insurance and benefits. Their financial strength and stability provide security that claims will be paid promptly. Aetna International is also accredited by AM Best, indicating its ability to meet ongoing insurance obligations.

Additional Benefits and Wellness Programs

Aetna International’s plans provide additional benefits beyond just health insurance. They offer wellness programs, health education, and a 24-hour nurse hotline. Their plans also include coverage for vision care, dental care, maternity care, medical evacuation, and repatriation of remains. For those with chronic conditions, their disease management program provides support and guidance.

High Customer Satisfaction

Aetna International receives high ratings in customer satisfaction surveys. They aim to provide a simple and personalized experience for their members. Their website and mobile app make it easy to find doctors, check claims, and access health information. They have multilingual service centers that provide support in over 20 languages. Members report an overall positive experience with Aetna International’s plans and services.

In summary, Aetna International should be at the top of your list when considering leading international health insurance providers. They offer comprehensive coverage, financial stability, additional benefits, and a high level of customer service. For globally mobile individuals and families, Aetna International provides the security of trusted health insurance coverage almost anywhere in the world.

Bupa Global: Award-Winning Global Healthcare

Bupa Global is one of the world’s leading international health insurance providers. Founded in 1947, Bupa now serves over 32 million customers worldwide. Bupa Global offers high-quality private medical insurance for individuals and corporate clients. Their plans provide coverage for treatment anywhere in the world.

Award-Winning Service

Bupa Global has won several industry awards, demonstrating its dedication to outstanding customer service and benefits. Some of their most recent accolades include ‘Best International Private Medical Insurance Provider’ at the 2019 Health Insurance Awards and ‘Best Private Medical Insurance Provider’ at the 2018 Health Insurance Awards.

Comprehensive Coverage

Bupa Global’s health plans offer comprehensive coverage for hospital stays, surgeries, cancer treatment, emergency evacuation, and more. Their flagship product, Global Health Options, provides cover for over 35,000 hospitals and healthcare professionals worldwide. With Global Health Options, you have the freedom to choose where and how you receive treatment. There are four levels of cover to suit different needs and budgets: Silver, Gold, Platinum,, and Diamond.

Additional Benefits

Bupa Global policies provide valuable additional benefits:

  • 24/7 multi-lingual helpline for medical emergencies and general inquiries

  • Access to Bupa’s international network of trusted hospitals and doctors

  • Cover for pre-existing conditions and no age limits on entry

  • Optional benefits like denta,l, optical, and wellness coverage

  • Discounts on health screenings, va,ccinations and Bupa services

Financial Stability

As an international leader in healthcare funding and provision, Bupa Global has a very stable financial footing. Bupa is a private company limited by guarantee, meaning profits are reinvested to improve services and benefits. Bupa Global has an ‘A’ rating from AM Best, indicating excellent financial stability. You can feel confident knowing your policy is backed by a reputable and secure provider.

In summary, Bupa Global is a premier international health insurance provider offering high-quality plans, award-winning service and financial stability to support their members’ healthcare needs around the world. Their Global Health Options policy provides the comprehensive cover and flexibility to access the best care wherever you are.

Allianz Global: Diverse Range of International Health Plans

Allianz Global Health offers a diverse range of international health insurance plans to suit different needs and budgets.

Comprehensive Coverage

Allianz Global Health provides comprehensive coverage for inpatient and outpatient treatment, as well as emergency medical evacuation and repatriation. Their flagship plans - Allianz Care and Allianz Care Plus - offer extensive benefits including:

  • Hospitalization and surgery

  • Primary care and specialists

  • Diagnostic tests like MRI and CT scans

  • Prescription drugs and medications

  • Preventive care such as health screenings

  • Maternity care and childbirth

  • Cancer treatment including chemotherapy and radiotherapy

Flexible Options

Allianz Global Health offers flexibility in several ways:

  1. Choice of plan levels from basic to premium to suit different budgets. The premium plans provide the highest coverage limits and additional benefits.

  2. Optional benefits like dental and vision care, and wellness programs can be added on.

  3. Freedom to choose any hospital or doctor within the plan network which spans 190 countries. Out-of-network coverage is also available for emergency treatment.

  4. Option to tailor plans based on individual needs by adjusting deductibles, co-,payments and coverage limits.

Highly Rated

Allianz Global Health is a reputable provider of international health insurance. They have consistently received high ratings from independent reviewers for:

  • Financial stability and ability to pay out claims

  • Customer service and support

  • Comprehensive benefits and plan flexibility

  • Global provider networks and direct billing arrangements with many hospitals

If you're looking for a well-rounded international health insurance plan with excellent coverage and flexibility, Allianz Global Health should be at the top of your list. Their flagship plans provide one of the most comprehensive benefits packages in the market today.

Cigna Global: Flexible Health Insurance for Individuals and Businesses

Flexible Plans

Cigna Global offers a range of flexible international health insurance plans for individuals and businesses. Their plans provide comprehensive coverage and a high level of flexibility so you can find an option suited to your specific needs and budget.

Global Network

Cigna Global has an extensive global network of over 1 million hospitals and physicians worldwide. Their plans provide access to quality healthcare wherever you are in the world. They have strong networks across Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and North America.

Customer Service

Cigna Global is known for prhigh-quality quality customer service and support. They offer a dedicated customer service team available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to assist with any questions about your plan or a medical emergency. They provide support in multiple languages to serve their global customer base.

Optional Benefits

Cigna Global plans offer optional benefits you can add on to customize your coverage. Some options include dental and vision benefits, maternity coverage, and coverage for pre-existing conditions. They also offer a range of deductible and coverage limit options so you can adjust your premium to fit your budget.

Digital Tools

Cigna Global provides access to their Cigna Wellbeing app which allows you to manage your plan details, submit and view claims, access virtual care, and connect with a doctor via phone or video chat when needed. They also offer a health risk assessment tool you can use to evaluate your health risks and get recommendations to improv your well-being.

In summary, Cigna Global is a reputable provider of international health insurance for individuals, families, and businesses. They offer flexible, comprehensive plans with strong global networking-quality quality service and support. Their optional benefits and digital tools provide added value and convenience for customers. Cigna Global is a trusted choice for global health coverage.

William Russell: Simple, Affordable International Health Cover

Comprehensive yet Affordable Coverage

William Russell offers simple, comprehensive international health insurance plans at affordable prices. Their flagship product, the William Russell Core plan, provides essential medical coverage for ex-pats and international citizens. It includes:

  • Inpatient and outpatient treatment

  • Primary care and specialist consultations

  • Prescription drugs and medications

  • Diagnostic tests like blood work, X-rays, and scans

  • Emergency medical evacuation and repatriation

  • Routine maternity care and childbirth

Flexible Plans for Different Needs

In addition to the Core plan, William Russell offers Silver,,  Gold, and Platinum plans with enhanced benefits like dental and vision care, wellness benefits, and higher coverage limits. This range of options allows you to choose a plan suited to your specific healthcare needs and budget. Most plans also allow you to select from different levels of deductibles and co-insurance to further customize your coverage.

Worldwide Network of High-Quality Providers

William Russell has an extensive global network of over 1 million healthcare providers, including some of the top hospitals and specialists worldwide. With their direct billing arrangements with many provide meaneans you have access to quality care without large upfront payments. William Russell also has dedicated assistance teams to help you find suitable doctors and hospitals.

Additional Services for Peace of Mind

Other useful services from William Russell include:

  • 24/7 multilingual helpline for medical emergencies and advice

  • Personalized support from a dedicated account manager

  • Discounted rates on travel insurance, life insurance, and income protection

  • Online services to submit and track claims, download documents, and make payments

Overall, William Russell offers comprehensive yet affordable international health insurance plans with the flexibility to suit different needs and budgets. Their large provider network and additional services provide security and support for globally mobile individuals and families. With William Russell, you can get essential health coverage wherever your travels may take you.

IMG Global: Extensive Worldwide Network and Travel Insurance

Extensive Provider Network

IMG Global provides access to over 17,000 healthcare providers and facilities in more than 180 countries. Their provider networks include some of the top hospitals and doctors around the world. With IMG Global, you have the flexibility to choose from their network providers or go outside the network and still receive coverage. However, using in-network providers will typically save you money. Some of the hospitals and facilities in their network include:

  • Bumrungrad International Hospital in Thailand

  • Anadolu Medical Center in Turkey

  • Gleneagles Hospital in Singapore

  • Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein in Brazil

Travel Insurance Included

IMG Global’s international health insurance plans automatically include travel insurance coverage for unexpected medical emergencies that may arise when traveling abroad. Their travel insurance provides coverage for emergency medical evacuation, repatriation of remains, and emergency reunion. You also have the option to purchase additional travel insurance benefits like trip cancelation, trip interruption, lost luggage, and more.

Plan Options for Individuals and Groups

IMG Global offers international health insurance plans for individuals and families, as well as group plans for businesses, schools, and organizations. Their individual plans include options for short-term travel, long-term living abroad, and global citizens. Group plans can be customized to meet the unique needs of any organization. All plans provide coverage for inpatient and outpatient care, emergency services, prescriptions, vaccinations, physical therapy, and more.

24/7 Customer Service and Claims Support

IMG Global provides 24-hour customer service and claims support 365 days a year. They have a multilingual team available by phone, email, and live chat to assist you with any questions about your plan benefits, claims, or other concerns. IMG Global aims to process most claims within 15 business days. They provide easy-to-useuse online claims system to submit claims and track their progress.

In summary, IMG Global is a reputable international health insurance provider with an extensive global network, travel insurance, various plan options, and excellent customer service. For those looking to get coverage worldwide, IMG Global is worth considering.

Best Health Insurance FAQs: Find Answers to Your Questions

What types of international health insurance are available?

There are several types of international health insurance plans available to choose from:

  • Comprehensive plans provide coverage for hospital stays, surgeries, doctor visits, prescriptions, emergency care, etc. These tend to be the most expensive but offer the greatest coverage.

  • Major medical plans cover catastrophic events like hospital stays and surgeries but provide limited coverage for routine care. These balance coverage and cost.

  • Short-term travel plans are for those taking a short trip abroad. They provide emergency coverage only for a limit periodiod, typically less than 12 months. These are very affordable but coverage is minimal.

  • Expatriate plans, also called "ex-pat health insurance," provide long-term coverage for those living abroad for an extended period. They offer comprehensive coverage but at a lower cost than comparable domestic health plans.

  • Group plans are offered through employers and associations. Premiums are often lower due to the group's negotiating power. Coverage depends on the specific plan details.

How much does international health insurance cost?

The cost of international health insurance can vary greatly depending on:

  1. Your age and health conditions. Older individuals and those with pre-existing conditions typically pay higher premiums.

  2. The type of plan you choose. Comprehensive plans cost more than major medical or short-term plans.

  3. Where you live or travel. Healthcare costs differ significantly around the world, so premiums are higher for those in areas with higher costs of living and healthcare expenses.

  4. Your deductible and coverage limits. Plans with lower deductibles and higher coverage limits have higher premiums.

  5. Additional riders. Adding coverage for things like dental, vision, maternity, or evacuation coverage will increase your premium.

On average, you can expect to pay between $1,000 to $10,000 per year for an individual international health insurance plan. The exact cost will depend on your situation and the above factors. It is best to compare multiple plans from different insurers to find one that meets both your needs and your budget.


As you can see, there are many reputable companies offering international health insurance plans. The key is finding a provider that offers coverage tailored to your specific needs and budget. Do your research, compare policies and premiums, check reviews from current customers, and speak with brokers to determine what options are the best fit for your situation.

Your health is too important to leave to chance, so take the time to find a comprehensive international health insurance plan you can depend on, no matter where in the world your travels may take you. With the right policy in place, you'll have peace of mind knowing you and your loved ones will be well cared for.

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