Which international health plan best suits you?

No two people and no two expat stories are the same – so why should health plans be?

Which international health plan best suits you?

There are dozens of factors to consider when choosing an international health insurance plan, but the most important is that it suits you and your own unique needs.

Here are a few things to think about when deciding which plan is best, and how you can tailor a plan just for you and your family.

How long are you living abroad?

If you’re just travelling for a month or so, travel insurance might be your best bet, or you might even have some coverage via a domestic plan

But if you plan on living abroad for a longer period of time, an international health plan is essential. And, generally speaking, the longer you’re living abroad, the more coverage you should have.

Is it just you, or do family members need coverage?

If you’re young, healthy, and single, it might be tempting (although not necessarily smart) to get the cheapest health insurance available.

But if you have children or others who rely on you, consider their needs, and what kinds of costs you might incur without insurance. Is it worth having a higher level of coverage to make sure certain things are paid in full, for instance? Do you have a family member with a pre-existing condition, perhaps?

At Cigna Global there are three levels of core coverage: Silver, Gold, and Platinum. The maximum payment per beneficiary per period of cover, across all sections of the insurance, is €800,000 on Silver level, €1,600,000 for Gold, and unlimited with Platinum coverage.

All levels of the insurance cover things like hospital accommodation, prescribed medicines and drugs, intensive therapy, surgeon's fees, pathology, and radiology. But each level has differing degrees of coverage for hospital accommodation for a guardian, advanced medical imaging, physiotherapy, rehab, and other costs.

Do you need more than the basics?

No matter what the level, Cigna Global’s core plans will ensure you have some sort of coverage when it comes to standard medical care. But what about the not-so-standard stuff?

Cigna Global helps you tailor an international health insurance plan that's perfect for you, with optional benefits available like international outpatient care, international health and wellbeing, international medical evacuation, and international vision and dental.

Do you have diabetes or another dietary illness?

If you have diabetes or require some other form of dietary advice for another illness, it’s important to know you can get the support you need while living abroad. Dietetic consultations are covered and paid in full as part of international health and wellbeing under the Platinum plan, but not Silver or Gold.

Do you have glasses or contacts?

So your eyesight isn't perfect – no shame in that. But do you know where to go for an exam abroad, and what it costs? Cigna's International Vision and Dental benefit pays for your routine eye exams and will cover the cost of glasses and contact lenses.

Are you over 50?

If you're 50 or older, you should be thinking about regular cancer screenings. With the International Health and Well-being add-on, screenings for prostate, breast, and bowel cancer (after age 55) will be covered. For women aged 40 to 49, a mammogram is covered every two years even if you're asymptomatic. You can also get an annual scan to check bone density.

Are you alone far from home?

International Medical Evacuation isn't just helpful for the person experiencing an emergency – it can also help family members to be there at that time of need. This optional benefit covers visits for a parent, partner, sibling or child to a beneficiary after a sudden accident or illness.

Learn more about healthplans with Cigna Global

Are you pregnant, or planning to be?

Routine maternity care is not covered under the Silver plan, so if you're young and single that might work for you. But if there's a chance you might get pregnant, choose Gold or Platinum.

Under those plans complications from pregnancy and homebirth costs are also covered. Newborn care is covered even on the Silver plan, but when you're bringing a new life into the world, it's better to be over-prepared, especially if you’re a first-time parent.

Do you need regular physiotherapy or visits to the chiropractor?

If you need physiotherapy, or if you get regular chiropractic or acupuncture treatments, or visit another sort of medical specialist, adding International Outpatient care to your plan is a good idea. This optional benefit also covers adult vaccinations, dental accidents, child immunizations, and, under the Gold and Platinum plans, pre-natal and post-natal care.

Get your own personalized plan

No matter what special conditions you or your family members have, Cigna Global can help you create your perfect plan.

Read more about why expats choose Cigna Global here, and get in touch to get a free quote for your own personalized plan.

This article was produced by The Local Client Studio and sponsored by Cigna Global.

For members


How do I get a European Health Insurance Card in Austria?

An European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) provides EU residents with access to public healthcare across the bloc. Here’s what you need to know about getting an EHIC in Austria.

How do I get a European Health Insurance Card in Austria?

A big advantage of living in Europe is the ability to travel to so many different countries.

But sometimes accidents or illness can happen while on holiday or a work trip, which can mean an unplanned visit to a doctor.

READ ALSO: Austria recommends 4th Covid vaccine dose for everyone over 12

Thankfully, the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) provides some protection against expensive medical bills in the form of reciprocal healthcare. 

Here’s what you need to know about the EHIC and how to get the card in Austria.

What is an EHIC?

An EHIC is a form of medical insurance cover and replaces the international health insurance voucher (form E111). It is issued free of charge and allows holders to access state-provided medical care while temporarily in another EU country. 

It works on a reciprocal basis through a country’s social security system and care is provided at the same cost as those insured in the country (which means it can be free, in some cases).

This means that if you have an e-card and are insured with one of the public health insurances in Austria, such as ÖGK, for example, you are entitled to the EHIC and to access public health services (to a certain extent) in other countries.

FOR MEMBERS: What is Austria’s e-card and what do you need to know about it?

The EHIC is valid in all 27 EU countries, as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the UK.

However, the EHIC is not an alternative to comprehensive travel insurance as it doesn’t cover any private healthcare costs, a flight home or lost/stolen property.

Why do I need an EHIC in Austria?

The main advantage of having an EHIC is if you need medical treatment while briefly travelling in another country.

While the coverage is limited to state-provided healthcare, it does mean you will be treated by a doctor and not liable to pay non-resident medical fees.

READ NEXT: How Austria is making it easier for non-EU workers to get residence permits

Austria’s e-card – the national insurance card – is needed for almost all medical procedures. On the back, it contains the EHIC Ecard image: Wikicommons

How do I get an EHIC?

EHICs are issued by the national health country provider of the country where you live. This could be, for example, the ÖGK or SVA, depending on which provider you use in Austria.

In Austria, every e-card (the health insurance card that is used to visit a doctor) already contains an EHIC on the reverse of the card, so there is no need to apply for it separately. 

However, if the data fields on the EHIC on the back of your e-card contains stars (***) instead of personal information such as name and date of birth, further documentation is required to access healthcare in another EU country.

In this case, you need to contact your social security provider in Austria to receive a replacement card before you travel.

The EHIC is only valid on the condition that you are insured or co-insured in Austria.

Useful words 

Social insurance – Sozialversicherung

Travel insurance – Reiseversicherung

Healthcare – Gesundheitspflege

Useful links

European Commission

Austrian social insurance