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Digital nomad health insurance: how to choose the right one

Some people value their freedom more than anything, and as such, they choose more of a freelance type of work for themselves. Traveling the world while making a living is the basic definition of what digital nomads do. This lifestyle is truly an amazing experience, often glorified by the younger generations, however, digital nomads must take care of more things themselves than a “regular” in-office employee does. One such challenge of being a digital nomad is choosing the right health insurance. As expat insurance experts, we will cover in this article what digital nomads should look for when searching, comparing, and buying their own digital nomad health insurance. 

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How to become a digital nomad in Thailand?

Digital nomads use digital tools to work from wherever they choose. It can be their home, coffee shop, or an entirely different country, often one with low costs of living, pleasant climate, and communities of people who do the same type of job, such as Thailand. Anyone with a laptop, wi-fi connection, and a set of certain digital skills can become a digital nomad. Writers, coaches, digital marketers, e-commerce managers, and programmers are often living this type of lifestyle.

Digital nomads are freelancers, entrepreneurs, and even employees who work remotely within a more traditional company. However, what really encompasses the term “digital nomad” is the freedom they have: the freedom to work from anywhere in the world, and the freedom to work to their own schedules.

Digital nomad health insurance

Digital nomads, especially those self-employed, must know that their lifestyle comes with certain downsides, including income instability, visa handling, and managing their own health abroad. While working remotely abroad, digital nomads can only access healthcare in the country by paying for it, and especially in the case of Thailand, sometimes their best option is the private medical sector, mainly for language reasons, but also due to double-tier pricing

However, depending on their particular needs, digital nomads have two main options when it comes to health insurance: travel insurance, and expat health insurance

Travel insurance for digital nomads

Travel insurance can be a preferred option for those who travel often but want to keep their medical insurance expenses low. Some travel insurance policies can cover the entire region, for example, Southeast Asia, and may include a vast array of benefits, such as coverage for:

  • Medical expenses for illness and accidents
  • Emergency medical evacuation 
  • Repatriation
  • Trip cancellation and interruption
  • Travel and luggage delay
  • Loss of money, luggage, travel documents
  • Personal liability
  • Credit card protection
  • And more

It’s important to remember that travel insurance is not a replacement for medical insurance. Travel insurance policy won’t cover you in case of routine visits to the doctor, or minor cases of illnesses. You will also most likely get transferred/repatriated to your own country for further recovery if you happen to get seriously ill.

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Expat health insurance for digital nomads

For digital nomads staying for longer than three months in one place, or those seeking more comprehensive medical coverage, an international health insurance policy is a better option. Freelancers, entrepreneurs, and those working abroad for companies who can’t access local government healthcare should consider getting an expat health insurance plan.

This type of policy covers you in case of emergencies, annual check-ups, ad-hoc doctors and specialists visits, prescribed medicines. and long-term hospital stays and major surgical operations abroad.

Typical expat health insurance benefits include: 

  • Hospital coverage including consultations, hospital charges, surgery and anaesthetics, therapies, etc..
  • Outpatient coverage including health check-ups, medication, physiotherapy, vaccinations and immunization, vision, etc. 
  • Direct billing: no need to pay upfront in dedicated in-network hospitals and clinics.
  • International coverage (usually, excluding the US).
  • Emergency medical evacuation.
  • And many more additional benefits, such as dental care, maternity and newborn insurance, pre-existing conditions coverage, etc. 

The only downside to expat health insurance is the higher price compared to travel insurance plans. However, with the help of an experienced insurance broker, such as Pacific Prime Thailand, you can easily add and remove benefits, adjust coverage limits, and compare plans to ensure that the right policy matches your budget and digital nomad lifestyle. 

Feel free to contact us anytime for a non-binding consultation and plan comparison. 

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Content Writer at Pacific Prime Thailand
Elwira Skrybus is a content writer at Pacific Prime. In her everyday work, she is utilizing her previous social media and branding experience to create informative articles, guides, and reports to help our readers simplify the sometimes-puzzling world of international health insurance.

When she isn’t writing, you are most likely to find Elwira in search of the perfect plant-based burger or enjoying Hong Kong’s great outdoors either at the beach or from the boat - the closer to the sea, the better!