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Countries That Require Travel Medical Insurance for Entry

Countries That Require Travel Medical Insurance for Entry

Traveling abroad can be an exciting experience. While preparing for your trip, you will likely spend a lot of your time planning and making arrangements for your visa, flights and accommodations, researching tourist attractions, and buying clothes and toiletries. One thing you don't want to forget is Travel Insurance. There is always a chance you will become sick or be injured in a foreign country and your domestic insurance may be very limited or may not provide any coverage at all. This is a major reason why it is important to purchase a proper travel medical insurance for traveling abroad.

Many countries worldwide have had to pick up the bill for medical expenses tourists incurred during their visit. As a result, more and more countries are requiring that travelers to their country carry proper travel insurance so that they aren't left with the financial burden of medical bills left unpaid by tourists. The following countries have such requirements in effect now:

  • Anguilla

    All travelers to Anguilla must take a PCR test no more than 5 days before arrival in the country. They will also be tested at the airport and required to quarantine in their hotel rooms until the results come back (between 2–24 hours). They must also self-isolate for either 10 or 14 days (depending on their home country), after which they will take another PCR test and, pending a negative result, be free to move about the island.

    Anguilla also charges visitors a fee intended to cover the PCR tests, surveillance, and public health costs. The fee varies by number of people and the length of time in the country.

    Travelers to Anguilla are also required to purchase travel medical insurance that covers coronavirus-related treatment and that lasts the duration of stay in the country. They must submit proof of such insurance upon arrival in the country.

    Anguilla Travel Insurance
  • Aruba

    Travelers to Aruba are required to purchase a healthcare policy from the Aruban government. The policy covers up to $75,000 in hospital expenses, tests of suspected coronavirus cases, and up to four outpatient retests as determined necessary by a physician. The cost depends on the traveler’s age and duration of stay. This mandatory government insurance does not cover the cost of the initial test that must be taken no more than 72 hours prior to the time of travel (and the results of which must come back negative).

    Aruba Travel Insurance
  • Bahamas

    The Bahamas are open for tourism as of Oct. 15, 2020. All incoming travelers must fill out a Travel Health Visa Application before departure. Applications take up to 72 hours for approval. Print and keep the visa with you to show to airline and border employees. All travelers must also present a negative COVID-19 PCR test dated no more than 7 days before arrival while completing this visa. Between Oct. 15-31, 2020, all visitors will be required to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. Starting Nov. 1, quarantine will not be required if the health visa (including the negative coronavirus test result) has been approved.

    All visitors to the Bahamas are required to have travel insurance covering COVID-19 that lasts the duration of their trip.

    Bahamas Travel Insurance
  • Brazil

    Brazil is open to international tourism as of July 29, 2020. Visitors from any country are welcome, but they face certain entry requirements.

    They must have travel health insurance that covers COVID-19 for the duration of the trip. Travelers will be required to show proof of this insurance before departure and again after arrival in Brazil. Arriving passengers will also have their temperatures taken.

    Brazil Travel Insurance
  • British Virgin Islands

    As of December 2020, the British Virgin Islands are reopened for international visitors. Travelers must provide a negative COVID-19 test dated no more than 5 days before arrival. They are also required to show proof of travel medical insurance lasting the full duration of stay, and they must apply for a “BVI Getaway Traveler Authorization Certificate” within 5 days of arrival. They must complete the application at least 48 hours before arrival, and upload it along with the negative COVID test to https://www.bvigateway.bviaa.com.

    After arrival, travelers are required to activate a contact tracing system on their phone, wear a government wristband monitoring device, and quarantine for 4 days. On their 4th day in the country, they will take another COVID test. If it comes back negative, they are free to enjoy their stay in the country.

    British Virgin Islands Travel Insurance
  • Cambodia

    Visitors must show proof of travel insurance with medical coverage of at least $50,000.

    Cambodia Travel Insurance
  • Cayman Islands

    Visitors to the Cayman Islands are required to show proof of travel insurance that covers COVID-related expenses. The insurance must last the full duration of stay in the Cayman Islands. All travelers will be required to take a PCR test upon arrival at the airport.

    Cayman Islands Travel Insurance
  • Chile

    You need to purchase travel medical insurance for at least $30,000 that would provide COVID-19 coverage and would be valid throughout the stay in Chile. As US based travel medical insurance companies offer a minimum of $50,000, that is what you would need to purchase to meet the requirements.

    Chile Travel Insurance
  • Colombia

    Colombia has re-opened its borders to travelers from all countries. All visitors must fill out an online form between 24 hours and 1 hour before the flight. Visitors are required to bring negative COVID-19 PCR test results dated no more than 96 hours before departure. They are also required to have travel medical insurance that covers coronavirus-related expenses and that lasts the full duration of the trip.

    Colombia Travel Insurance
  • Costa Rica

    Costa Rica is open to tourists from select, low-risk countries as of August 1, 2020. This includes visitors from the European Union, Canada, and the UK.

    Visitors must complete and present an epidemiological survey. They must present proof of a negative PCR coronavirus test dated no further than 48 hours before travel. They must show proof of travel insurance that covers medical care and an unexpected, extended stay in a hotel. And they are required to follow all local and airport health regulations, including wearing a mask.

    Costa Rica Travel Insurance
  • Cuba

    Those traveling to Cuba, including Cubans living abroad and visiting temporarily, are required to purchase travel medical insurance for visiting the island nation. As it has become relatively easier for some Americans to visit Cuba in recent years, there has been a significant increase in demand for Cuban tourism.

    Cuba Travel Insurance
  • Dubai

    Foreigners visiting Dubai must present proof of travel medical insurance that covers COVID-19 just like any other sickness. The proof must be presented at the time of boarding.

    Dubai is the most visited city in United Arab Emirates (UAE).

    Dubai Travel Insurance
  • Ecuador

    Effective May 1, 2018, all travelers to Ecuador are required to have travel medical insurance.

    Ecuador Travel Insurance
  • European Schengen Countries

    For those traveling to any of the 26 Schengen countries in Europe, if a person is required to obtain Schengen visa, they would require a compliant health insurance plan that would cover at least €30,000 Euros (EUR 30 000) in medical benefits, as well as provide the coverage for emergency medical evacuation and repatriation of remains.

    Schengen Visa Insurance

    You can visit the above web site to instantly purchase the insurance and print the visa letter and take it to the embassy or the consulate.

    US citizens visiting Schengen countries for less than 90 days are not required to have visa. For any visit longer than that or for long term stay, Schengen visa is required.

  • French Polynesia

    Upon arrival, visitors who are not members of the French healthcare system are required to show proof of travel medical insurance (or proof of their means to pay medical expenses out of pocket) in case they should test positive for coronavirus during their time in the country. Coverage should include COVID-related expenses like hospitalization and repatriation.

    COVID-19 Travel Medical Insurance
  • Georgia

    As of December 2020, the country of Georgia has begun reopening its borders to international tourism. They are currently allowing visitors from only a select number of European countries. Under their digital nomad program, they are allowing visitors from a wider range of countries (including the U.S., Canada, and the UK), but the program lasts a maximum of one year and has its own entry requirements.

    Visitors from permitted countries must fill out an online Travel Authorization form at least 48 hours in advance of arrival. All international visitors, including those on a Digital Nomad Visa, are required to have travel insurance that covers coronavirus-related expenses and that lasts the full duration of the trip.

    Georgia Travel Insurance
  • Iran

    Valid travel medical insurance is an entry requirement for anyone trying to get an Iranian visa and must be shown upon landing at the international airport in Iran. If you do not have a valid travel health insurance plan, you will be required to buy one before you can enter Iran.

    Iran Travel Insurance
  • Israel

    As of July, 2021, Israel requires all foreign visitors to purchase travel medical insurance that provides coverage for COVID-19.

    Israel Travel Insurance
  • Jordan

    It is mandatory for all non-Jordanian visitors to provide proof of travel medical insurance in order to visit Jordan. The only visitors who are exempt from this requirement are medical tourism patients.

    Jordan Travel Insurance
  • Laos

    Laos mandates all foreign citizens entering Laos to purchase travel medical insurance that provides COVID-19 coverage.

    Laos Travel Insurance
  • Lebanon

    All tourists from all destinations need travel insurance that will cover the expense of coronavirus medical treatment if any tests come back positive or a traveler develops symptoms while visiting Lebanon.

    Lebanon Travel Insurance
  • Oman

    Oman’s borders are now open to visitors from more than 100 countries. They may enter visa-free if they can show proof of a pre-arranged hotel reservation, health insurance coverage of at least a month’s duration, and a pre-booked return ticket. Passengers are required to take a PCR test upon arrival at the airport and self-isolate until the results are ready. All tourists are required to have travel health insurance that covers coronavirus and is valid for at least a month, even if the length of their trip is shorter (7–10 days). This is to ensure coverage if the passenger contracts COVID-19 at the very end of their scheduled visit.

    Oman Travel Insurance
  • Pakistan

    Pakistan’s borders are open to tourism as of Oct. 5, 2020. Travelers into the country are to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result dated no more than 96 hours before arrival. Travelers from certain countries are exempt from the test requirement. All incoming visitors are required to have travel insurance that covers coronavirus for the full duration of their trip to Pakistan. All visitors are also required to submit their contact information to Pakistan before departure.

    Pakistan Travel Insurance
  • Panama

    Panama opened its borders to international tourism on Oct. 12, 2020. Entry requirements include a negative COVID-19 PCR test result dated no longer than 48 hours before travel; visitors can also take a test upon arrival at the airport. Visitors are also required to have travel insurance that covers coronavirus and that lasts the full duration of their stay in Panama. Be mindful that the country still has strict mask and social distancing requirements in place.

    Panama Travel Insurance
  • Puerto Rico

    All visitors to Puerto Rico must complete an online Travel Declaration Form and provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result dated no more than 72 hours before travel. They are also required to purchase travel insurance that covers coronavirus-related expenses and lasts the full duration of stay in the country.

    Visitors from the following countries will still not be allowed entry into Puerto Rico: All European Union countries, Brazil, China, Iran, Ireland, and the United Kingdom.

    Puerto Rico Travel Insurance
  • Qatar

    Expatriates living in Qatar are required to carry sufficient medical insurance.

    Since 2015, private companies are legally obligated to pay premiums on behalf of all of their expatriate employees.

    Qatar Travel Insurance
  • Russia

    If your country requires visiting Russian citizens to have travel insurance before visiting your country, Russia requires you to get the same when visiting Russia.

    Russia Travel Insurance
  • Rwanda

    Rwandan law requires that any person in Rwandan territory must possess adequate health insurance. If you attempt to enter the country without it, you will be required to purchase a health insurance plan on arrival. It is better to be prepared and purchase a plan in advance so you have better options and a better idea of what you’re buying.

    Rwanda Travel Insurance
  • Seychelles

    Visitors must ensure that they have a valid travel insurance with full medical coverage for the duration of their entire stay in Seychelles.

    Seychelles Travel Insurance
  • Singapore

    As of January 31, 2021, visitors entering Singapore under an Air Travel Pass (ATP) or the Reciprocal Green Lanes (RGL) are required to have travel insurance that covers COVID-19 medical and hospitalization costs for a minimum of $30,000. All short-term visitors must bring an electronic or physical copy of their insurance policy as proof of coverage.

    Similarly, for workers visiting Singapore, employers must buy COVID-19 travel medical insurance for any Work Permit, Training Work Permit, and S Pass holders. The policy must offer at least $10,000 in medical coverage if the worker tests positive for COVID-19 or shows symptoms within 14 days of arrival. The policy must also cover workers on pass-in-principle approvals (IPAs).

    Singapore Travel Insurance
  • South Africa

    South Africa is open to visitors from all countries as of Nov. 11, 2020. Visitors are required to present a negative COVID-19 test result dated no more than 3 days before arrival, and they must show proof of travel insurance that lasts their full duration of stay in the country.

    South Africa Travel Insurance
  • St. Maarten

    Before traveling, visitors to St. Maarten are required to submit a health authorization application (available here) to request permission to travel to the island. They must also show proof of travel medical insurance and travel insurance that covers COVID-19. Visitors must show proof of a negative PCR coronavirus test dated no less than 72 hours before travel. Visitors from low-risk countries (Anguilla, Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saba, St. Barths, St. Martin, and St. Eustatius) are exempt from the negative PCR test requirement, but they still must complete a questionnaire and a temperature check.

    Visitors must also comply with the country’s core measures for combating the spread of coronavirus on the island, which include social distancing and mandatory face-mask usage.

    St. Maarten Travel Insurance
  • Thailand

    Visitors to Thailand must purchase travel medical insurance that provides Coronavirus coverage.

    Thailand Travel Insurance
  • Turkey

    All foreigners under the age of 65 years traveling to Turkey on long stay tourist visas are required to carry comprehensive travel insurance; at minimum, coverage is required for inpatient treatment.

    Turkey Travel Insurance

    Additionally, all expatriates under the age of 65 years must carry health insurance that provides inpatient as well as outpatient coverage. However, retired expats that are 65+ years are exempt from this requirement.

    Expatriate Health Insurance

    It is important to note that European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is invalid in Turkey.

  • Turks and Caicos Islands

    Travel medical insurance will be required, which includes emergency assistance and COVID-19 medical repatriation.

    Turks and Caicos Islands Travel Insurance
  • Ukraine

    Visitors to Ukraine require travel medical insurance for at least 32,000 and the one that includes emergency medical evacuation and repatriation of remains. Travel insurance should also cover COVID-19 related medical expenses.

    Ukraine Travel Insurance
  • United Arab Emirates

    If you are planning to visit United Arab Emirates (UAE) where prominent cities such as Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah are located, you need to know if you'll need a visa first because if you are not eligible to travel visa-free, you would need travel insurance to visit UAE.

    US citizens traveling to UAE for more than one month would need UAE visa. Citizens of many countries would need UAE visa to visit for any duration.

    Dubai Travel Insurance
  • United Kingdom

    Travel health insurance isn't required for visitors to the UK; however, it is highly recommended to buy in case of unexpected medical emergencies. If you did not purchase travel medical insurance and medical treatment is necessary, you will be expected to pay the costs from your own pocket. If you decide to just leave the country with the bills unpaid, then you would likely not be approved for a visa the next time you want to visit.

    UK Travel Insurance
  • United States

    For exchange visitors on J visa, the U.S. Department of State requires that every participant and their dependent(s) have medical insurance with at least $100,000 per incident coverage along with $50,000 in emergency medical evacuation and $25,000 in repatriation of remains coverage.

    J Visa Insurance
  • Vietnam

    Travelers to Vietnam are required to have international medical insurance that lasts their full duration of stay or to sign a form declaring themselves financially responsible for any coronavirus-related medical treatment costs they incur while in the country. They must also have a negative PCR test dated within 3–7 days of arrival in the country. Finally, all travelers must complete an online health declaration form before departure.

    Vietnam Travel Insurance

It is possible that you may be able to purchase travel insurance from a local provider in their country or at the airport, but you are mostly likely going to be charged higher premiums and/or get less coverage. If you wait, you would have to make an immediate decision in hurry, with no time to review, shop around or even understand what you're purchasing if you are forced to buy at the airport. Therefore, it is always advisable to buy travel insurance in advance, from the comfort of your home, when you are relaxed and have more time to make an informed decision.

Proposed Changes to Countries

In our ever-changing world, more countries are considering requiring tourists to acquire travel insurance to visit. The following counties will soon have changed their requirements:

  • Japan

    For several years, Japan has been considering making it a requirement for all travelers to Japan to carry sufficient travel insurance to protect them from unexpected expenses while in Japan. The officials are worried that too many uninsured tourists are racking up millions of dollars in unpaid bills and stressing the local healthcare system.

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Schengen countries require most non-US citizens to purchase Schengen visa insurance.

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