Add one more to the list of changes for travelers courtesy of COVID-19. Countries around the globe are increasingly adding requirements for health insurance for international visitors. The trend was born out of a desire among popular vacation spots to protect their national healthcare systems from COVID-related costs.
While it's always wise for tourists to obtain trip-cancellation insurance, they should know that international healthcare coverage is typically something that must be obtained separately from all other policy types. That means that health coverage needs to be something that's on your mind if you're planning to travel while COVID-19 still lurks as a potential threat for tourists. Here's a quick look at the countries requiring health insurance for outside visitors:
- As of July, Aruba requires all visitors to purchase pre-selected healthcare policies from the Aruban government with coverage for up to $75,000 in hospital expenses and multiple COVID-19 tests.
- As of August, St. Maarten requires all travelers to have proof of appropriate health insurance coverage.
- As of July, Tahiti and French Polynesia require proof of proper medical insurance or an agreement to pay all costs of care during a stay.
- As of July, Turks and Caicos visitors must submit evidence of insurance as part of a three-step process for travel authorization.
- As of August, Costa Rica requires all visitors to have proof of international health insurance that also covers lodging for quarantine.
- The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is now requiring proof of international healthcare coverage.
It is also important to note that many countries are now asking for a negative COVID-19 test done within a certain window leading up to arrival as a requirement for entry. This is a detail to confirm before being turned away at a gate. It is also important to get that proof of coverage printed and ready to go before showing up at an arrival gate. While rare, it is possible that your current health insurance may provide international coverage.