Retiring abroad has a wide range of benefits. Changing where you live can help you relax, wind down, and significantly improve your health. Living abroad is often cheaper than in the UK, while the improved weather is also a bonus for Brits relocating or retiring overseas. However, you still need to move knowing you can seek medical care as and when needed - particularly as you'll be leaving the NHS behind.
Expat insurance helps you cover yourself for any emergency or routine medical expenses. Let's review Cigna Healthcare so you can determine if it’s a good option for you.
Who is Cigna Healthcare?
Cigna Healthcare is a global health insurance provider offering various health insurance products and services to individuals, families, and businesses worldwide. The company is part of Cigna Corporation, a US-based global health services company that has over 180 million customer relationships in over 200 countries and jurisdictions.
The company provides a variety of health insurance plans designed for individuals and families who need international medical insurance coverage. Their plans are designed to cover a wide range of medical expenses, including hospitalisation, surgery, outpatient care, prescription drugs, and emergency medical evacuation. They also offer additional benefits such as dental, vision, and wellness programs.
Cigna Healthcare's health insurance plans are available to expats and global nomads living and working outside of their home countries. The company offers plans that can be tailored to meet the specific needs of each individual, with options for deductibles, coverage limits, and other benefits.
The brand is a well-respected and established global health insurance provider with a strong reputation for providing comprehensive coverage and excellent customer service.
Why is expatriate insurance different from travel insurance?
Private international health insurance is for expatriates living or working abroad for a prolonged period. It's designed to cover routine and emergency healthcare, essential hospital stays for things like surgery and rehabilitation, and the treatment of chronic conditions. It also includes diagnostics tests, preventative check-ups and mental health support. You could also need cover for things like pregnancy and delivery, dental treatments, or optometric expenses.
In contrast, travel insurance is designed for holidaymakers and usually only covers short trips abroad. It typically includes trip cancellations, lost luggage, repatriation, personal belongings, travel documents and emergency medical treatment. It usually doesn't cover routine and elective medical treatments.
Why can’t I use travel insurance as an expat?
There are a few reasons why travel insurance isn't suitable for expats.
Travel insurance policies are designed to provide coverage for short-term trips, ranging from a few days to a few months.
Many travel insurance policies require the insured to be a resident of their home country. Expats, who by nature are living and working in a different country, may not meet this requirement.
Exclusions for pre-existing conditions
Some travel insurance policies may exclude coverage for pre-existing medical conditions. Expats with existing medical conditions may find they are not covered by travel insurance.
Limited coverage for personal belongings
Expats who are travelling with a lot of belongings may find that they need more coverage than what is provided by a travel insurance policy. If you’re planning to move overseas, you’d cover your personal belongings with a home insurance policy after you’ve moved.
For these reasons, expats will need specialised insurance products designed specifically for their needs, such as international health insurance or expatriate insurance. These policies may provide coverage for extended periods, pre-existing medical conditions, and more comprehensive coverage for personal belongings.
Cigna Healthcare’s Two Core Plans
You can choose from two core plans with Cigna, both of which you can tailor with optional add-ons.
Cigna Healthcare Health Options
This plan gives you access to high-quality care worldwide. You can choose whether you want to include USA coverage, and you'll have comprehensive coverage for inpatient, outpatient, cancer care, mental health care and emergencies.
There are levels to choose from within this plan, with four optional add-ons, which are:
- International Outpatient: Includes consultation fees for appointments with specialists and medical practitioners.
- International Medical Evacuation and Crisis Assistance: Provides coverage for medical evacuation and repatriation in an emergency.
- International Health and Wellbeing: Providing screenings and routine physical exams.
- International Vision and Dental: Access to preventive dental treatment and discounted eye tests.
Cigna Close Care
With this core plan, you are covered for where you live and your home country when you return to visit. However, emergency medical coverage outside of either country is also included for short, temporary trips. This plan is also flexible with the following add-ons as additional options:
- Outpatient and wellness care: Outpatient care such as physiotherapy, vaccinations and other physical examinations
- Dental care and treatment: Preventative dental treatment, as well as routine and major dental work
Why choose Cigna Healthcare?
There are several reasons why someone might choose Cigna International as their insurance company:
Cigna has a strong global network, with operations in over 30 countries. This means they deeply understand local healthcare systems and can provide tailored medical care solutions to meet the unique needs of individuals and families living or travelling abroad.
Cigna offers a wide range of health insurance plans that provide comprehensive coverage for medical expenses, including hospitalisation, surgery, outpatient care, inpatient care, prescription drugs, and emergency international medical evacuation. They also offer additional benefits such as dental, vision, and wellness programs with extensive access to healthcare professionals.
Cigna's international health insurance plans are customisable, allowing individuals to choose the coverage levels and benefits that best meet their needs. This flexibility can be vital for expats who need an international health insurance plan and may require more specialised coverage. Their Gold and Platinum plans cover a wide range of pre-existing conditions too.
Quality customer service
Cigna is known for providing quality customer service and support to its clients. They have a team of experienced professionals available 24/7 to assist with any questions or issues that may arise.
The company is a well-established and respected insurance company with a strong reputation for providing reliable, high-quality healthcare coverage. They have received numerous industry awards and accolades for their products and services.
Picking expat insurance
Choosing Cigna can provide peace of mind and financial protection against unexpected medical expenses while living or travelling abroad. Their comprehensive coverage, years of experience, extensive medical network and customisable plans make them a top choice for many.