Countries that Require Travel Medical Insurance for Entry

Did you know that many countries require visitors to have travel health insurance to grant entry? Be sure to get the coverage you need!

Mar 23, 2017, 10:19 AM

Rising global health care costs have encouraged an increasing number of governments worldwide to require or consider requiring travel health insurance for non-nationals.

What does this mean for you? When traveling to certain destinations, you may need to do a little more research before embarking on your trip. 

Travel health insurance and travel medical insurance provides temporary medical coverage while you’re away from home. It’s designed to protect you in the event of an illness or injury, providing a range of benefits, including emergency medical and dental, accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D), repatriation and more. 

Some countries that require you to have travel health insurance upon entry include:

  • The United States: Those traveling to the U.S. on a J1 or J2 visa are required to have medical coverage that meets regulatory standards for the full length of their program
  • Schengen countries: Applicants for Schengen visas must prove that they have travel medical insurance to cover any expenses which might arise in connection with repatriation for medical reasons, urgent medical attention and/or emergency hospital treatment or death, during their stay. 
  • Cuba: Visitors to Cuba must have proof of travel health insurance upon entry.
  • Russia: Certain applicants for a Russian visa are required to have travel health insurance that’s valid for the duration of their visa.
  • Antarctica – Not surprisingly, anyone taking a trip to Antarctica is required to have comprehensive travel health insurance that provides coverage for medical costs in case of hospitalization, evacuation, repatriation and emergency travel. 

Depending on the country you’re visiting, you may need to purchase a plan that provides a certain level of coverage. For instance, minimum coverage for exchange visitors traveling to the U.S. on a J1 visa must provide medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness; repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000; expenses associated with medical evacuation to the exchange visitor’s home country in the amount of $50,000; and deductibles cannot exceed $500 per accident or illness.

Wherever you’re traveling, be sure to research your destination’s entry requirements beforehand so you don’t get caught without the necessary coverage. You can review these requirements on the country’s official immigration website. 

Once you purchase a travel health insurance plan, be sure to keep copies of your policy and insurance ID card with you at all times during your travels. 

Although proof of travel health insurance isn’t required for entry to many countries, purchasing a plan will provide the security you deserve if an accident or emergency arises while you’re away from home. It’s one of the most important things you’ll pack on your trip that you’ll never want to use!

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