If you are moving overseas to reside outside your normal country of residence it is important to setup appropriate health insurance protection for you and your family.


An admitted health insurance policy is one which has been directly licensed by a particular location governing body, be it a particular country, state or province.


A non-admitted health insurance policy is one that has not been licensed by a particular location governing body, be it a particular country, state or province.


Focusing on international health insurance policies, the differences between admitted and non-admitted policies include:

  1. Location of legal protection for policy holder, admitted plans legal protection administered locally while non-admitted provided in country of carriers’ s registration country, e.g. the UK. Sometimes a locally admitted health insurance company protects its policy holders if the insurer ceases trading by using a fund to pay off a policyholders’ liabilities;
  2. Method of claims processing, can vary due to difference in direct-billing networks. A locally admitted plan may have better direct-billing network in that particular location, while a non-admitted plan may provide a direct-billing network across the region and globally;
  3. Non-admitted plan benefits not restricted by local rule or market premium restrictions, or may not comply with local law forcing cover of pre-existing health conditions. A result is non-admitted plans can offer higher benefit limits or more comprehensive benefits compared to some local plans;
  4. Admitted plans in some countries are required if a long-term resident and may be linked to a visa application or renewal process;
  5. Non-admitted can have larger pool of premiums as sales not restricted to one location, this helps non-admitted plans cover high risk events, more sporting activities or passive war cover. Non-admitted plans often provide a worldwide area of coverage;


  1. Both forms can work just as effectively as each other, providing direct-billing networks for example;
  2. Both forms have legal protection provided by the carrier’s administration country;
  3. Policy quality. A policy stamped “admitted” does not imply better quality and is an administrative seal.


  1. Does your resident country require an admitted health insurance policy to reside as a long-term resident or for your visa application or renewal process? If so, a non-admitted health insurance policy may only serve you over a temporary period in that country until you can setup a locally admitted health insurance plan;
  2. If point 1 does not apply to you, it is important any health insurance cover is suited to your needs so you can access the right health care where you reside;
  3. Although your country of residence law may require you to have a locally admitted policy as a long-term resident or to apply for or renew your visa, it may be the case your employer may provide this to you to satisfy this requirement.

    If you have satisfied this requirement via an employer or personally purchased local policy, you are free to also own a non-admitted policy in addition to this, which can provide additional or more comprehensive benefits including for transplants or cancer treatment, and protect you over the long-term as it is independent of your country of residence;
  4. Does the health insurer confirm your country of residence is within its area of coverage and they will honor your medical / emergency treatment bills in that location? The vast majority of non-admitted health insurance plans operate in over 190 countries around the world, but it is important to choose the right area of cover and level of cover suited to your location.

    A non-admitted policy is designed to be globally portable and can often be maintained if you move country or return to your home country. Due to the concept of pre-existing health conditions and that most can be excluded on a new application, it is advised to maintain a policy over the long-term.


Point 1 in the points to consider above may include the following countries but is not limited to: the Netherlands, Finland, Germany, UK, India, South Africa, Kazakhstan, Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia, Canada, Puerto Rico, Japan, Russia, Switzerland, Mexico, Turkey, Thailand, Hong Kong, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, China & the USA.

If you are moving to one of these countries a non-admitted health insurance policy may only serve you over a temporary period in that country until you can setup or are required to have a locally admitted health insurance plan, unless you plan to maintain a non-admitted policy is addition to a locally admitted one.

It is important to seek professional, regulated, independent international insurance advice both on the ratings and status of their insurance provider of interest and their policies available. It is your responsibility to ensure that your healthcare cover is legally appropriate.

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