Are Countries Requiring Mandatory International Health Insurance?

We are all anticipating what are the new norms to be expected by this worldwide health pandemic. The economic losses incurred in 2020 have been devastating and no country wants to continue on that trend. While some may wait out another year before traveling, many of us will be the first to hit the skies again. World Travelers, digital nomads, expats and especially those who are embarking on this new remote work lifestyle will probably be the first to test the waters, so to speak.

Two things are certain, change is coming and we always learn to adapt.

The situation remains fluid but already we are seeing countries put mandatory requirements in place for entry. One such new requirement is International Health Insurance. Not to be mistaken for Travel Insurance; which will typically cover a specific itinerary including delays, interruptions, cancellations and baggage with some limited emergency medical services. On the other hand, International Health Insurance (may be referred to as Travel Medical Insurance by some carriers) is similar to the Local Health Insurance plan you have at home.* International Health Insurance plans are comprehensive and will ensure that if you become ill or require the use of medical services while outside of your home country, you will not become an economic strain on their system. In short, your plan will pay for your treatment and care. It may also give you some level of comfort to be guaranteed access to English speaking doctors and a concierge service that will see you through healthcare situations every step of the way. (A service included with many carriers).

The coronavirus can impact each person differently. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) anyone can have mild symptoms but older adults, especially those with underlying conditions, can be more serious. We’ve all been witnessing the varying degrees of effects of this virus. Therefore, it is not surprising that countries are responding.

As of the date of this article there were already nine (9) countries that released 2021 updates relating to their requirements for entry that included Mandatory Health Insurance for all visitors.

  • Aruba; with a minimum coverage limit of $75k

  • Costa Rica; with a minimum coverage limit of $50k

  • Cuba; with proof of insurance that includes COVID

  • Ecuador

  • Tahiti; must attest to coverage and assume all expenses

  • St. Maarten

  • United Arab Emirates

  • Turks & Caicos

  • Dubai and Abu Dhabi

We can expect this list to grow. Aside from the countries listed above, others are also requiring written declarations that you are assuming responsibility for healthcare expenses during your stay. Accordingly, it is not a stretch to anticipate updates on Visa Requirements.

So what are the next steps? Before you travel, assume that your destination will 1) either require you have a health plan in place, 2) require that you purchase a plan before being cleared through customs, or 3) require you indemnify them from risk if you are tested positive for COVID-19 in their country. Buy an International Health Insurance plan that covers you in the country of your stay. This is relatively simple, and costs will vary depending on country or countries you need coverage, the amount of your deductible, your age, length of plan and plan selection, and of course the optional add-ons. Everyone’s needs are different and insurance carriers vary by their offerings. It is important to purchase a plan based on you and your family’s needs and not just the Premium you will pay. Remember, insurance is in place to minimize your risk and in this case, we are talking health and financial risk.

Here are 5 questions you can start with:

  1. Are you traveling within the next 3 months?

  2. Are you going to be outside of your home country for longer than 30 days?

  3. Do you have any chronic illnesses or prescription needs (i.e., diabetes, arthritis, etc.)?

  4. Does your family have a history of critical illnesses (i.e., heart attacks, cancer, stroke, etc.)?

  5. Are you responsible for any minors/dependents?

If you answered Yes to any of these questions, you should not leave home without an International Insurance Plan in place. GET A QUOTE.

To learn more and stay up to date, go to Arnitha Webb where you will find several carrier and plan options.

Arnitha Webb, Entrepreneur | Expat Coach
I help people travel with peace of mind.  Expand your International Lifestyle and turn your Dream of Living Abroad into Reality.

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