Live abroad

My experience with Cigna Global

Joanna Horanin

Like my website?

Hi there! 👋 I’m Joanna, author of The Blond Travels. If you find my articles helpful, I’d be happy if you could follow me on Instagram, or . Support from readers like you means a lot to me and helps to keep this website alive. Thank you! 🙏

There are so many private insurance policies for expats and digital nomads on the market that it’s hard to choose the right one. I chose Cigna and have been using it on and off for a couple of years now. Here is what I think about it and what my experiences have been with them.

I don’t go anywhere without insurance. If I travel to a different country, I buy good travel insurance. If I stay there for a bit longer, I go for something for digital nomads. And if I live abroad, then I choose medical insurance, which covers me in case of accidents as well as long-term sickness. I feel more secure if I have a good policy.
In the last couple of years I have used many insurance companies. Recently I have used Cigna Global and I decided to share my experience with them with you.

If you live abroad and are looking for medical insurance, maybe this post will help you to make the right decision. I know how hard it is to choose it and that’s why I’ve decided to write this post. Check out Cigna and see what it can do for you.

Before we start a disclaimer: I am a part of the affiliate programme with Cigna. This means that if you apply for a quote through this link, I will get a small commission. However, this doesn’t mean that I’m not honest. I always try out the product first before I share anything here with you. This post was written after years of using Cigna and you can be sure that their product has been tried out by me.

My experiences with insurance for expats

I have been living abroad for over 15 years now. During this time I have mostly used government healthcare. In the UK I didn’t need private insurance as I think the NHS works pretty well there and if you are a young person, you don’t need to see a doctor that often.

When I moved to Thailand I didn’t use any insurance, which was a mistake. After I got a melanoma and had to pay for the surgery by myself, I decided that it was time to get a policy. You can read about it all here.

In the last couple of years I have used insurance for digital nomads as well as some other options. I have changed policies quite a bit. Sometimes it was the price, other times I thought I didn’t need it and relied on the government insurance.

My problem was that I moved from country to country and I didn’t live in the country of my residency. This created quite a few problems and I was constantly worried about what I was going to do if something happened.

My experience when it comes to healthcare and insurance when being an expat and a digital nomad tells me that:

  • It’s hard to have a complex insurance when you move from country to country
  • It is expensive if you would like to have inpatient and outpatient care
  • In certain cases you are not treated like the rest of the patients e.g. during the pandemic, when you are the last one to get the vaccination
  • Insurance companies don’t like when you are in the move, so they are more reluctant to give you a good quote.

Why did I choose Cigna Global?

I arrived in Portugal without any proper insurance. I had the EU healthcard, which is a bit like travel insurance, so if you are seriously sick, they might send you to your country of residency. It took me a long time to set up everything in Portugal and I was worried about the healthcare. So, I have decided to look for a private medical insurance, which would insure me for Portugal.

I chose Cigna for many reasons. I was mostly convinced by their reputation. They are a well known brand and I knew that I give money to someone, who will not cheat me.

Second reason was that they weren’t that expensive. I mean, let’s be honest, medical insurance is pricey. But, I chose an option, which was quite good for me and didn’t cost me an arm and a leg.

And the third reason was their customer service. I applied for the insurance online and a few minutes later I had a call from a very nice sales representative. He made me feel reassured that I made the best possible decision.

The cost of the insurance

As with any other insurance, the cost of your policy will depend on your age and your health. So, I can’t really give you the quote. You need to go on Cigna’s site and check it out for yourself. However, I can tell you what I chose and how much it cost me.

I chose Cigna Close Care Plan. This policy covers you for the country of residency (which is Portugal for me) and the country of birth (Poland in my case). I chose an excess of 2,000 Euros. This means that in case of any tests or a stay in the hospital, I’ll have to pay this amount and anything above that, Cigna will cover.
This policy also includes an annual health check up, which is always important to me.
The cost of this policy was 1,000 Euros per year.

My experience with Cigna in Portugal

I have used this policy a little bit since I bought it.

First, I had an eye infection and after using some compresses, I decided to contact them.

Cigna has a special portal, when you have all your details. It is supposed to also have an option that allows you to contact a doctor, who then calls you. This option was gone from the site, so I called their customer service. A very nice lady sorted it out for me. She didn’t know why the said option was gone, but logged a request for me.
I was asked which language I want to speak in during the consultation and where I currently was.

After 2-3 hours a doctor called me. He asked me many questions about my eye and recommended an antibiotic. He sent me the prescription by email and advised that if I was going to have some more problem with the infection, I should contact them and send them a picture of my eye.
I then printed the prescription and went to a pharmacy, where I bought the medication without any problem.

I was actually amazed by the whole process! It was my first experience with a telephone consultation and I was so happy it went smoothly.

The second time I dealt with Cigna (I actually didn’t deal with them. You’ll see why) was when I decided to have a check up.
I try to have at least a PAP smear on a regular basis and it was a high time for me to do it.

I logged into my account on Cigna’s site, chose the location and looked for a hospital that did check ups. I then contacted it by email and the receptionist replied instantly. They booked me in for the next available slot. I went to the hospital, did my check up and that was it! I didn’t have to call anyone, didn’t have to ask for a refund and didn’t even pay!
Again, a great customer experience.

I haven’t had bad experiences with Cigna so far and if I ever do, I’ll update this post.

Summary – Do I recommend Cigna Global?

I have had only good experiences with Cigna and I really recommend it. If you are looking for something that is affordable, but you also want to feel looked after, search no further.
Check out Cigna now and see what they can do for you.

Do you have any questions, or would like to share your experiences? Leave a comment!