• published on 8/1/2023
  • 4min

What is Short-Term International Health Insurance?

Designed for individuals and families working, living, or moving abroad for less than a year, short-term health insurance provides medical coverage during your time overseas.

What is Short-Term International Health Insurance?

Table of contents

1. Who is this plan suitable for?

2. Reasons to take out short-term international health insurance

3. Travel insurance vs. short-term health insurance

4. Take your time before you decide

It’s best to do some research into different insurers and levels of cover they offer before you travel so you can find a plan that meets your individual needs.

Continue reading to learn more about short-term health insurance.

Who is this plan suitable for?

Many travellers opt for short-term health insurance when they go abroad. Below are some examples to help you decide if it is the right choice for you.  

Digital nomads

As digital nomads travel between different countries while working, this kind of cover may be a great option for them if they are only staying abroad for a short time. It provides the flexibility they need to live their desired lifestyle without having to purchase long-term cover.

To learn more about the pros and cons of the digital nomad way of life, check out our blog.

Those on work secondments

Those moving abroad on a temporary work assignment can also benefit from this insurance while they experience everything their host country has to offer.

Some plans can even provide cover in your home country if you go back for occasional visits, ensuring that you are protected if you become unwell. However, routine, or pre-planned treatment in your home country is usually excluded from cover.

Frequent travellers

Whether you’re on a gap year, a work sabbatical, or just travelling for an extended period of time, having medical insurance in place can prevent you from having to cut your trip short. You can experience new places and cultures without having to worry about your health.


A short-term plan could also be suitable for expats who have newly arrived in a new country and may need temporary health insurance cover until they can enrol into the state healthcare system.

This means they can receive comprehensive medical care when they are not yet eligible for public healthcare services.

Reasons to take out short-term international health insurance

Having adequate medical cover is an important consideration when you’re thinking about moving abroad in any capacity. It can be helpful if you’re unfamiliar with the country’s public healthcare system where you’re travelling to, or are worried about experiencing financial loss from unexpected treatment costs.

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why this kind of international health coverage is worth thinking about.


How long you need the cover for will depend on your personal circumstances, but a short-term health plan can provide you with a level of flexibility that you might not get with other kinds of international health insurance policies. You can select from 1 to 12 months and you will be covered abroad without having to pay for a traditional, renewable health plan that you don't need.

You might also be able to choose the duration of the cover, with an option to extend it if you want to stay abroad longer.

Protect your medical needs

It can be useful to have private health insurance when travelling so you can seek medical treatment quickly and with ease. Our short-term international health insurance plan includes:

  • Emergency dental care

  • Specialist treatment and consultations

  • Accident & emergency treatment

  • Overnight hospital stays

  • Hospital charges

  • Treatment in your home country*[1]

This list is not exhaustive of the benefits included in short-term health plans. Speak to us if you have any specific questions or want more detail about our cover.

Coverage wherever you go

Short-term international health insurance is worth thinking about if you’re planning on travelling to multiple countries during your travels, as it can contain portable benefits. This means you can receive medical treatment wherever you go, so long as it is within your area of cover.

Emergency medical and non-medical evacuation

Some insurers will include this in their short-term health insurance plans, which gives you the reassurance that you can be evacuated to a safe place in case you fall ill or experience any threats in the country you’re in.

Travel insurance vs short-term health insurance

Though they are often confused, travel insurance and short-term health insurance are in fact very different.

Travel insurance provides cover for a range of issues during a specific trip(s), such as emergency medical treatment, lost luggage, flight cancellations and other travel issues. With short-term health insurance, you will have more comprehensive medical cover that will protect you during an extended period abroad.

Have a read of our blog to learn more about the differences between travel insurance and international health insurance.

Take your time before you decide

It is essential you take your time before selecting a plan, making sure you read through all the associated information carefully. It could also be a good idea to have a list of what you want included in your cover.

Click here to find out how we can support you with our short-term international health insurance plans.