If you are a frequent flier to foreign lands or are looking for specialised treatments in countries other than India, Health Insurance Plans with International Coverage might be your cup of tea.

Please remember, that India remains one of the most affordable nations when it comes to medical surgeries/procedures. Other than India, a majority of the countries have an exorbitant status regarding health treatments. So, if you don’t have financial funding to bridge the gap, you will end up spending a massive amount for the treatment that will most likely dry out your savings.

However, health insurance plans offering International coverage aren’t exactly cheap when compared to the standard policies. Moreover, such plans have multiple restrictions when it comes to this specific feature.

So, here’s a blog providing details on Health Insurance Plans with International Coverage and weighing out the pros and cons to help you decide if these policies are at all worth having.

Best Health Insurance Plans with International Coverage

Policy Name Key Features Maximum Coverage Limit Drawbacks
HDFC Optima Secure Plus
  • International treatments (emergency and planned)
  • Optional overseas travel and accommodation cover
Up to the Base Sum insured and Plus Benefit
  • Expensive
  • Reimbursement basis
  • Ensure to choose 'Plus' for planned treatments
Care Advantage + Protect Plus Add-on with Global Cover
  • Global coverage (except US and Canada and US, or worldwide) for both planned and emergency hospitalizations
Up to 6 crores
  • Expensive
  • Reimbursement basis
  • Recent increase in complaints
Niva Bupa Health Premia (Platinum)
  • Covers only emergency hospitalization during foreign trips
  • Up to 2 crore/insured person (International coverage)
  • Double the sum insured (International coverage extension)
  • Only covers emergency hospitalizations
  • Issues with the claim post-management change
Digit Worldwide Treatment Plan
  • Covers both emergency and planned treatments abroad
Up to 3 crores
  • New in the market
  • Limited track record for claims experience assessment

How to choose a plan that covers international treatments?

When selecting a health insurance policy for best-in-class international treatment coverage, you have to look at a few things.

  1. Scope of Coverage: Check to see if the plan covers both emergency and planned treatments abroad. Some policies only cover emergency hospitalizations while excluding planned treatments. Meaning if you had a rare medical disorder and the treatment was only available outside India then you may not be able to make the trip if your plan doesn’t cover planned hospitalizations.
  2. Geographical Limits: Check if the policy has geographical exclusions. Some plans may not cover treatments in certain countries, like the U.S. and Canada, which are popular destinations for advanced medical treatments.
  3. Method of Claim Settlement: Most policies that cover international treatments operate on a reimbursement basis, requiring you to pay upfront and seek reimbursement later. This can be financially challenging. So see if there is a cashless provision.
  4. Premiums: Premiums for global coverage can be significantly higher. So you need to weigh the cost and benefits associated with the plan before you make a decision.
  5. Coverage Limit: Consider the maximum coverage amount. For expensive treatments in developed countries, a higher coverage limit, potentially up to 6 crores, can be crucial.
  6. Insurer's Reputation and Track Record: Investigate the insurer's history, especially regarding claim settlements and customer service. This becomes all the more important considering the amount of premiums you pay. Newer companies might offer attractive terms but may lack a proven track record. So you have to keep an eye on the insurers’ settlement numbers and operational efficiencies.

What are the best plans for health insurance with international coverage?

  1. HDFC Optima Secure Global Plus: HDFC Optima Secure is already a very comprehensive policy. But the Global Plus plan goes a step further by offering coverage for international treatments. This includes both emergency hospitalisations when you are travelling abroad and planned treatments i.e. if you ever wanted to travel outside India to avail state of the art medical care somewhere else. There’s even an optional cover for overseas travel and accommodation expenses. Although we wouldn’t recommend this actively.

Put together Optima Secure Global Plus is a really good plan with robust global coverage.

Drawbacks to consider: This is a very expensive policy and most claims are settled on a reimbursement basis. This means you have to pay the medical bills yourself and then seek reimbursement from the insurance company. There’s also the fact that HDFC Ergo has another plan called Optima Secure Global (without the Plus) that offers coverage for emergency hospitalizations only. Please make sure you are buying the Plus version if you intend to cover planned international treatments.

2. Care Advantage + Protect Plus Add-on with Global Cover: This is a combo plan and you can buy 2 variants. One variant provides global coverage for both planned and emergency hospitalizations in foreign countries except Canada and the US. Another variant provides global coverage worldwide without excluding any country. And depending on your budget you can pick and choose.

And perhaps the best part is you can extend the coverage up to 6 crores. This really helps if you are considering advanced treatments in developed countries.

Drawbacks to consider: While you can pay lower premiums by selecting different variants, it is still an expensive policy. Also, like most plans on this list, claims are settled on a reimbursement basis. So you’ll likely have to put up the cash upfront first. And finally, Care has been receiving more complaints of late which is something you should consider.

3. Niva Bupa Health Premia (Platinum): Health Premia Platinum offers coverage for international treatments. However, unlike other plans on this list, it only covers emergency hospitalization during foreign trips. Meaning if you were ever diagnosed with a critical illness and you want to get an advanced procedure in a foreign country, then you can’t do that since the coverage is only applicable if you are hospitalized in a foreign country during travel (solely on an emergency basis). This defeats the purpose of having global coverage. However, the upside is that this plan is relatively affordable when you consider some of the other alternatives on this list.

Drawbacks to consider: Outside of the fact that it only covers emergency hospitalizations, there is also the fact that Niva Bupa’s claim process has left us a bit frustrated after the change in management.

4. Digit Worldwide Treatment Plan: This is another relatively affordable option for people who are looking to cover both emergency and planned treatments abroad. What’s more impressive is the fact that Digit doesn’t have a lot of conditions attached to the coverage either. It’s relatively straightforward and does a good job of explaining what it covers and what it doesn’t.

Drawbacks to consider: However, Digit is a fairly new entrant in the market and we know of very few people who have taken up the plan. So it’s very hard to make a full assessment of the claims experience considering there is such a shallow track record.


Health Insurance Plans offering International Coverage makes sense only if you have the financial bandwidth for this. However, even if you are opting for this coverage, make sure that it covers both emergency and planned treatments across all countries.