22 Jan SafetyWing Remote Health Review: Health Insurance for Remote Workers
We’ve already reviewed SafetyWing Nomad Insurance on here but if you’re a digital nomad working remotely then you may want something a little more robust that offers health insurance in your home country as well as abroad.
Starting at $153 per month (for people between the ages of 18-39) SafetyWing’s Remote Health policy is more expensive than the Nomad Insurance policy (which is $40 billed every 4 weeks) but it is fully global, meaning you have health coverage whether you’re in your home country, a new country or traveling non-stop.
The Nomad Insurance policy covers home visits but only for a limited time period of 30 days (or 15 days if your home country is the U.S). Remote Health doesn’t have that restriction.
The price of Remote Health will vary depending on whether you want to include the U.S, Hong Kong and Singapore in your plan. It will also vary depending on your age and whether you have any premium add-ons.
For a standard policy excluding the U.S, Canada and Singapore:
0-17: $99 per month
18-39: $153 per month
40-49: $229 per month
50-59: $354 per month
60-69: $666 per month
For a standard policy including the U.S, Canada and Singapore:
0-17: $186 per month
18-39: $287 per month
40-49: $429 per month
50-59: $664 per month
60-69: $1249 per month
As you can see it gets much more expensive if you’re older or you want to cover the U.S, Canada and Singapore.
You’re covered in 175+ countries but there are some countries that you can travel to but cannot be a local citizen. There are no countries in the world where you can’t at least receive emergency treatment on planned trips up to 30 days. See SafetyWing’s excluded countries list for more info.
Here’s what’s covered with Remote Health.
As you can see you’ll receive a full refund for things like hospital treatment, cancer treatment, reconstructive surgery, evacuation to a medical facility, prescription drugs, surgeries and ambulances.
Emergency outpatient treatment is covered up to $250 (unless you get the premium add-on) and MRI, PET and CT scans are covered up to $5,000. Repatriation following an evacuation is covered up to $100,000 and organ transplants are covered up to $150,000.
For a list of conditions and treatments covered, here’s a full list of coverage.
You can choose to include some premium add-ons to your policy at an additional cost. These are:
Dental – $1.5K in dental coverage for when you need to see a dentist for things like routine check-ups, fillings, crowns and dentures. There’s a 9-month waiting period in your first year before the benefit becomes available.
$0 deductible – The standard yearly deductible is $250 but you can choose to reduce this to zero.
Outpatient care – Medical care outside of being admitted to the hospital. You’ll pay a 10% co-pay.
How to use the insurance
You can use the insurance at any hospital in the world and if you have the outpatient add-on you can go to any accredited medical practitioner for an eligible condition covered in your plan.
SafetyWing offers direct billing for hospital visits in emergency situations or when you have an upcoming procedure (call or email 2 days ahead). They’ll handle the payment directly with the hospital, meaning you won’t have to pay out of pocket and submit a claim.
For outpatient visits you have to pay out of pocket and submit a claim through your online profile. Claims are paid within 7 working days.
Note: If you have mandatory health insurance, for example, one issued by your local government, your SafetyWing policy will be viewed as a top up. Your local cover should be used first.
What you’re covered for
Everything is covered unless it is one of the following activities:
- treatment of injuries sustained from base jumping,
- cliff diving,
- flying in an unlicensed aircraft or as a learner,
- martial arts,
- free climbing,
- mountaineering with or without ropes,
- scuba diving to a depth of more than 30 metres,
- trekking to a height of over 4,000 metres,
- bungee jumping,
- paragliding or microlighting,
- skiing off piste
- any other winter sports activity carried out off piste.
Pros and Cons
Great for digital nomads – If you’re often traveling and living in different countries for extended periods of time then Remote Health covers you wherever you are. Sometimes as a digital nomad you fall through the gaps – you’re not covered by regular travel insurance but you’re also not living somewhere long enough to qualify for local healthcare. SafetyWing solves this problem, meaning you have healthcare wherever you go.
Get full refunds on certain treatments – Travel insurance usually has a maximum payout but with Remote Health you get a full refund for things like hospital treatment, surgeries and reconstructive surgery.
Covers you for more than emergencies – While many travel insurance policies only cover you for emergency medical, Remote Health is a global health insurance product that coves you for things like cancer treatment.
No exclusions for pandemics – You’re still covered in pandemics like COVID-19, so if you contract COVID while you’re traveling, it will be treated the same as any other illness.
Purchase while you’re already abroad – You can purchase the policy after you’ve already departed from your home country.
Doesn’t include regular travel coverage – This is a health insurance product so it doesn’t cover things like trip delay, trip interruption and lost luggage. For that you’ll need the Nomad Insurance policy or travel insurance with another provider. You may have travel insurance included with your bank account or credit card, so always check.
Can be expensive – If you’re older or you need coverage in the U.S, Hong Kong and Singapore it can start getting expensive. It’s also more expensive than a normal travel insurance policy.
U.S, Hong Kong & Singapore coverage add-on only covers you for up to 6 months – if you’re planning to travel and work in these countries you won’t be covered if you’re there longer than 6 months.
Pre-existing conditions may or may not be covered – If you have a medical history, SafetyWing’s underwriting team will look at your application within 48hrs of submission and provide you with three possible outcomes. Either they’ll a) cover it, b) cover it at a higher price or ask if you want to exclude it, c) your application may be denied.
If you’re a frequent traveler working online, sometimes travel insurance policies just don’t cut it. If you want piece of mind that you have healthcare wherever you go, then it’s worth looking into Remote Health. You can sign up for Remote Health here.