Expat Health Insurance Plans

Medical Insurance for Expatriates & Global Citizens

M any expats and diplomats are surprised to learn that their domestic health insurance plans may not follow them while living or working internationally. IMG's international medical insurance options include plans that have been designed specifically to serve the needs of expatriates and their families, and can provide invaluable peace of mind for globally mobile citizens.

IMG's expatriate health insurance provides 24/7 global access to health care, and connects expats to important international medical services, such as the coordination of emergency evacuations. These plans can be customized to suit the needs of expatriate individuals, families and groups.

With expat-friendly international medical coverage that's portable and comprehensive, it's easy for expatriates to get Global Peace of Mind®.

Why Do I Need Expat Health Insurance?

Before expatriates start a new life in a new country, it’s essential that they take steps to protect their health and well-being.

Consider the following real-life scenarios in which expatriates covered by IMG plans experienced medical emergencies abroad:

While working away from home in Somalia, an IMG client who had purchased an expatriate insurance plan was involved in a motor vehicle accident and was sent to Kenya for immediate care. IMG arranged an evacuation and coordinated his return to his home country, where he received medical care at a facility close to his family.

In another instance, an IMG client was working as a marine crew member and fell and broke her neck on the vessel. She was taken to a facility in Turkey, where she received emergency medical treatment. IMG then arranged her transfer to a facility in the U.K. for long-term care.

Anything can happen when expatriates are living or working in another country. To protect their health against the unexpected, expatriates should consider purchasing international medical insurance specially designed for global citizens.

How Much Does Expat Health Insurance Cost?
Less than $100 per month for a healthy adult*

IMG’s expatriate health insurance plans offer excellent coverage at a competitive price. Long-term individual plans can cost less than $100 per month* for a healthy adult. Value is just one of the many reasons this expatriate chooses IMG.

Factors that Determine Cost
The cost of an expatriate health insurance plan varies based on many factors, including:

Age of Traveler

Coverage becomes more expensive as you grow older, due to increasing risks of health problems.

Area of Coverage

Choosing a coverage area that includes the United States increases the premium, due to the high costs of medical care in the country.

Payment Frequency

IMG offers members a discount when they pay for coverage on an annual basis, as opposed to monthly, quarterly or semi-annually.

Sex

Women typically pay higher premiums than men when they are in their child-bearing years, while men typically pay higher premiums as they age because they have a shorter life expectancy.

Coverage Level

The more coverage that’s selected, the more the plan will cost. Electing a benefits-rich plan and adding optional coverage will increase the premium.

Medical History

An expatriate’s health may be considered during the underwriting process.

*Based on a healthy 30-year-old male purchasing a Global Medical Insurance policy from International Medical Group. Individual plan rates may vary based on your health and other considerations.

Is Expat Health Insurance Required?
It Depends on the Destination

When it comes to health care, expatriates have even more to consider before packing their bags and relocating to a new country.

Depending on the destination, some expatriates may need to consider country-specific health care regulations when researching coverage options. Some countries require residents to maintain local health insurance, while others may allow expats to purchase their own international health insurance. The United Arab Emirates, for example, requires health insurance for all short- and long-term visitors, including expatriates.

While not all countries require expatriates to purchase international medical insurance, in most cases, it’s wise to have some level of supplemental coverage.

Learn more about the importance of expat health insurance by reading a testimonial written by one of our members.

What Does Expat Health Insurance Cover?
Depending on the expat health insurance plan purchased, some of the key benefits provided can include:

Emergency Evacuation

This benefit provides coverage for an emergency medical evacuation to the nearest qualified medical facility and expenses for reasonable transportation resulting from the evacuation.  

Emergency Reunion

The Emergency Reunion benefit provides coverage for the reasonable travel and lodging expenses of a relative or friend during an emergency medical evacuation: either the cost of accompanying you during the evacuation or traveling from his or her home country to be reunited with you.

Return of Mortal Remains

If a covered illness or injury unfortunately results in death, this benefits provides coverage for repatriation of bodily remains or ashes to your home country will be covered; or for the preparation, local burial or cremation of your mortal remains, at the place of death.

Political Evacuation and Repatriation

Available on the Global Medical Insurance – Platinum plan, this benefit covers the costs of transportation to the nearest place of safety or for repatriation to your home country or country of residence if certain conditions are met.  

Maternity

Also available on the Global Medical Insurance – Platinum plan, the Maternity benefit provides coverage for pre-natal care, delivery, post-natal care and newborn care.

Pre-Existing Condition Coverage

This benefit, typically available once you have maintained continuous coverage for a specified period, provides you coverage for pre-existing conditions that may have been excluded from coverage on other plans.


*This is a summary of a selection of plan benefits offered only as an illustration and does not supersede in any way the Certificate of Insurance and governing policy documents (together the “Insurance Contract”). The Insurance Contract is the only source of the actual benefits provided.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I seek medical help?

With an international health plan from IMG, you have medical coverage worldwide. Our plans give you the freedom to choose your own health care provider wherever you are in the world.To view IMG's exclusive provider list, visit the Find A Doctor page in the myIMG member area.

What is the definition of a "Qualified Expatriate"?

To qualify as an “expatriate health plan,” substantially all of the primary enrollees must be “qualified expatriates.” A “qualified expatriate” is a primary insured meeting all of the following:

Qualified Expatriates in the U.S.:

The individual’s skills, qualification, job duties, or expertise is of a type that has caused the employer to assign him to the U.S. for a specific temporary purpose or assignment tied to employment; and

In connection with such transfer or assignment, the plan sponsor reasonably determines that the individual will require access to health insurance in multiple countries, and is offered other multi-national benefits on a periodic basis (e.g., tax equalization benefits, cross-border moving expenses, compensation to enable the expatriate to return to his home country);

Qualified Expatriates Outside of the U.S.:

The individual is working outside the U.S. for a period of at least 180 days in a consecutive 12-month period that overlaps with the plan year. For purposes of the definition, “U.S.” includes the 50 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

There are also special provisions for members 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) organizations who are traveling or relocating internationally for the organization, including students and religious missionaries.

Expatriate Health Plans are Minimum Essential Coverage

Expatriate health plans qualify as minimum essential coverage. This means that an expatriate health plan will satisfy the employer mandate and the enrollee’s individual mandate.

Employers are Still Subject to §6055/§6056 Reporting and Cadillac Tax on Certain Expatriates

The exemption from ACA requirements does not apply for the new health information reporting requirements for the beginning of 2016.

However, the information statements (primarily the Forms 1094-C and 1095-C for employers) may be provided electronically to individuals covered under an expatriate health plan even if the individual has not consented to electronic distribution (as long as the individual has not explicitly refused electronic distribution).

Expatriate health plans will be exempt from the §4980I excise tax on high cost employer-sponsored health coverage (generally referred to as the “Cadillac tax”) that is scheduled to take effect in 2018, except for expatriates assigned to work in the U.S.

Effective Date

These provisions related to expatriate health plans apply to expatriate health plans issued or renewed on or after July 1, 2015.

What is the Definition of an "Expatriate Health Plan?"

"Expatriate health plans" are defined as a group health plan or health insurance coverage offered in connection with a group health plan meeting all of the following:

  1. Substantially all of the primary enrollees are "qualified expatriates" (see below). Primary enrollees do not include individuals who are not U.S. nationals residing in the country of their citizenship;
  2. Substantially all of the benefits provided by the plan are not excepted benefits (e.g., not limited-scope dental/vision, health FSA, fixed indemnity);
  3. The plan provides coverage for inpatient hospital services, outpatient facility services, physician services, and emergency services;
  4. The plan sponsor reasonably believes that the plan’s benefits provide minimum value (i.e., the percentage of the total allowed costs of benefits provided under the plan is no less than 60 percent);
  5. If the plan provides dependent children coverage, such coverage is available until the adult child turns age 26;
  6. The plan is administered by an administrator that has licenses to sell insurance in more than two countries, maintains a number of related international standards specified in the law, and offers reimbursement for items or services in the local currency in eight or more countries; and
  7. The plan satisfies a number of coverage requirements set forth in the Public Health Service Act (PHSA), Internal Revenue Code, and ERISA, other than those added by the ACA (e.g., NMHPA, MHPAEA, WHCRA, Michelle’s law).

 

This definition includes both fully insured and self-insured plans. Prior transitional relief had applied only to insured expatriate plans.

What is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act? (PPACA)

The "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act," commonly known as PPACA, was first introduced as a measure to deal with rising healthcare costs and numbers of uninsured.

The heart of PPACA consists of three provisions: guaranteed issue (insurers must offer coverage regardless of the applicant's health status or pre-existing conditions), community rating (insurers must offer policies within a given territory at the same price regardless of health status, age, gender, or other factors), and an individual mandate. The individual mandate assures that everyone has a minimum amount of coverage: those above a certain annual income are required to purchase coverage or incur a tax penalty; those who cannot afford it will have their coverage paid for by the government.

As PPACA continues to be implemented and challenged throughout the country, understanding the issues and implications for the international insurance industry and your business becomes all the more important.

Am I getting the best deal on these plans?

Insurance prices are regulated by the government - you won't find a better price on IMG insurance plans anywhere else.  

How long does it take to process my application and receive my ID card and other documents?

If you are applying for coverage under the Patriot series of plans, IMG will process your application and send your ID card and other documents within one business day. If you are applying for coverage under the Global or Group series, IMG will process your application within three to four business days following the receipt of all required information, and your materials will be forwarded the same day coverage is approved. Every attempt will be made to process your application timely. The specific time frame depends largely on the type of coverage for which you are applying. 

I am a U.S. Citizen. Am I eligible for your Global Medical Insurance (GMI) plan?

You are eligible for our Global Medical insurance plan if you reside outside of the U.S. or have a good faith intent to reside outside of the U.S. for six months or more in a calendar year. Please note that IMG’s Global Medical Insurance Plan does not meet the definition of “minimum essential coverage” under PPACA. GMI is not intended to provide U.S. citizens residing in the U.S. with health insurance. While your GMI plan for worldwide coverage will not be affected by PPACA, you should review the information below to see if you are exempt from the requirements of PPACA or not, and whether you will have to pay a tax penalty or not. Under PPACA, all U.S. citizens, nationals and resident aliens will be required to purchase minimum essential coverage (PPACA compliant coverage), unless they are exempt. Exempt U.S. citizens include U.S. citizens who reside outside of the U.S. The exemption applies to a U.S. citizen who has a tax home (main place of work or employment, or if you don’t have a main place of work or employment, your main residence) in a foreign country, and is a bona fide resident of a foreign country. See details under the IRS foreign earned income exclusion test. If a person was required to purchase minimum essential coverage and did not, she/he would be required to pay a tax penalty for not purchasing PPACA coverage (if she/he files a U.S. tax return). In many cases, this tax is far less than the premiums that a person would pay for obtaining PPACA coverage.

Disclaimer

This is not an offer to enter into an insurance contract. This is only a summary and shall not bind the company or require the company to offer or write any insurance at any particular rate or to any particular group or individual. The information on this page does and will not affect, modify or supersede in any way the policy, certificate of insurance and governing policy documents (together the "Insurance Contract"). The actual rates and benefits are governed by the Insurance Contract and nothing else. Benefits are subject to exclusions and limitations.


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