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Taking a look at your coverage options

There are three main insurance plan options that are available to both inbound and outbound expats. This section looks at the pros and cons of each option.

What are your coverage options?

Now that you’ve had a look at the key questions that you will need to consider before securing your health insurance plan, it’s time to consider the three main coverage options that are available to you before looking at our insurance solutions:

  • Compliant global MEC plan: Historically, outbound and inbound expats who require ACA compliant and international healthcare plans would have to buy these plans separately. Pacific Prime is now proud to offer compliant global MEC plans, which combine both US and worldwide coverage all in one single policy.

  • Non-compliant global plan: A non-compliant global plan means that you will receive international healthcare coverage in all countries excluding the US.

  • Buying a local compliant plan and global plan: Currently, most global plans offered by insurers are not ACA compliant. Therefore, many people who require both these plans would have to purchase international health insurance on top of their ACA compliant health insurance if they are living or travelling abroad for an extended period.

Coverage options: pros and cons

Please note that when choosing an insurance plan, your personal situation such as income, family size and length of stay will all come into play. The three coverage options all come with their own pros and cons, addressed below:

Compliant Global MEC Plan

Pros

  • You will no longer be subject to potentially hefty penalties unless in some special cases you are exempt from them.

  • Gain additional peace of mind when filling out your annual tax returns from knowing that your insurer will issue your form 1095B to prove that you have had MEC for the tax year.

  • With this single policy, your coverage is completely portable worldwide, including the US.

  • This plan looks and feels like a US plan, so whether you are an inbound or outbound expat, you will benefit from access to all healthcare facilities when you’re in the US.

 

Non Compliant Global Plan

Pros 

  • Product flexibility tends to be higher for non-compliant global plans, so you can choose to take out a variety of coverage benefits that you are sure you won’t need.

  • Premiums are usually less costly for non compliant global plans in lower product tiers, with lower coverage for singles and people with lower income levels.

  • This may be a preferred option for outbound expats who will spend less than 35 days in a tax year out of the US.

  • No US address required.

 

Buying a Local Compliant Plan and Global Plan

 Pros

  • Those that are required to have an ACA compliant plan will no longer be subject to potentially hefty penalties in the US.

  • Enjoy a higher diversity of coverage options and benefits from multiple insurance policies.

  • It’s good for those who want to seek comprehensive care in both the US and worldwide.

 

Cons

  • ACA compliant global plans will usually have to meet a set of prescribed plan benefits, so the plan may be richer than what you require, meaning that there may be less product flexibility than what you’re looking for.

Cons 

  • You may not be provided adequate cover for US care.

  • A tax penalty will apply. Fines may be high depending on your income and family size.

 

Cons

  • You will still need to have a valid US address for a domestic compliant plan. This may be tricky for people moving out or living outside of the US.

  • Depending on the plans you choose to secure, this may be a costlier option than securing an ACA compliant global plan.

Now that you’ve weighed out the options, please have a look at our insurance solutions page to find out about the solutions we have available. 

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