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:
- 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
- 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.
- 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
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
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
- 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
Effective May 1, 2018, all travelers to Ecuador are required to have travel medical insurance.Ecuador Travel Insurance
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.Expatriate Health Insurance
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.
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:
As reported by Thailand's Ministry of Tourism and Sports, health insurance bills for uninsured tourists are around $88 million per year. In order to reduce their losses, they are proposing to establish mandatory travel insurance for anyone visiting Thailand.
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.