Insurance for Globetrotters: A Guide for Expats Seeking Health Coverage

Team Expat Finance, Health Leave a Comment

When you’re living abroad, the quality of healthcare in your adopted city may not be the kind you are used to getting in your home country. Healthcare facilities vary from one country to another. Plus as a foreigner (and unless your work employment package includes international health insurance), you and your family will not likely be entitled to any free or subsidized healthcare. Singapore has zero social welfare system protection or government subsidized assistance for foreigners, nor any coverage or discount for medical or dental expenses, accidents, loss of income, and personal or financial liabilities.

Considering that costs of living in Singapore are high, it is wise to cover yourself and loved ones incase of unexpected health emergencies, which could render you helpless and sleepless in Singapore! Take, for example, simple surgeries in a private hospital in Singapore such as an appendectomy or a ligament tear or sprain could cost you $15,000. While a tonsillectomy could drain your coffers of $20,000 overnight!

Expatriate Health Insurance

If you’re globetrotting the world with your family, and living and/or working abroad, it’s therefore extremely key to consider getting an expatriate health insurance. One tailor-made especially for your situation, and to give you and your loved ones the best quality healthcare and peace of mind, wherever you are in the world.

Team Expat recently did some research on expatriate health insurances and found Cigna’s Expat Heath Insurance policy to be a flexible choice that can be customized to meet your unique needs. Cigna, a reputable global insurance supplier, basically provides three levels of Essential Core Cover: Silver, Gold and Platinum. All of these policies cover the necessary inpatient, day case surgery and accommodation costs, in addition to essential cover for cancer and mental health care. The Gold and Platinum policies further offer cover for inpatient and day patient maternity care.

On top of having the reassurance of a comprehensive core cover, you can tailor your core policy with a range of optional benefits or add on modules custom-fit for your health needs, including:

  • International Outpatient – For expats needing more extensive outpatient cover including doctor’s visits and prescriptions (which do not require hospital stay)
  • International Health and Wellbeing – Prevention is always better than cure, and Cigna provides cover for screenings, tests, examinations and even counseling support for a range of life crises. Receive additional tailored advice and support through online health education and health risk assessment.
  • International Medical Evacuation – For times when you or a family member needs specific emergency treatment in another country in the event it’s not available locally, Cigna covers transport and repatriation costs in your time of need when the last thing you want to worry about is logistics!
  • International Vision and Dental – Dental and getting new spectacle prescriptions are part and parcel of routine maintenance not often covered by insurance plans, yet necessary for expats having to relocate! Cigna provides cover for routine eye examinations, as well as costs for spectacles and lenses. It also covers a wide range of preventative, routine and major dental treatments.

Cigna’s International Health Plans are explained here for your further reading. In their site, they further report to working hard to “keep their levels of cover high and prices down”, good news indeed for expats in Singapore! You may proceed to get a free no obligation quote if you’d like here.

Expat Maternity Cover – Because Moms Deserve All The More Coverage!

Starting a family abroad can be challenging, but there’s coverage enough for everyone today. In the past, most insurance providers made you pay a premium if you wanted maternity benefit, as it was how the actuaries covered off the added liability. Cigna Global’s Gold and Platinum level products come with routine maternity cover to the value of $7,000 and $14,000 respectively. Long-term complications from maternity, home births, and newborn care are covered within both levels, with the latter policy providing up to $156,000 of premium care (Platinum level policyholders). More information on Cigna’s Expat Maternity Care here.

What About Travel Insurance For Expat Vacationers?

While an Expatriate Health Insurance covers expatriates’ healthcare while they are living and/or working abroad for a prolonged period of time, the Travel Insurance is designed for holiday makers who wish to cover cancellations, personal belongings and emergency medical treatment during their vacations abroad. Whether you’re planning for a holiday or moving abroad for a more permanent job relocation, you should plan for insurance ahead of time.

At Team Expat, we’re rather into infographics (who isn’t?). Quick pointers explained using colorful graphics and arresting visuals; we think the Internet’s a better place because Cigna created a useful infographic highlighting the important differences between travel and expatriate insurance, and key considerations to prepare for before moving or traveling abroad. Taken originally from Cigna’s website, here’s the infographic for some handy expat information:


If you’d like further advice on managing your finances & insurance plans as an expatriate living and/or working abroad, connect with our Finance Experts here.

Note: Cigna did not pay us to write the review above & the article’s purely for informational purposes! Conduct your own research before applying.

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