If you’re planning a trip abroad, you should think about whether your destination requires travel insurance or travel medical insurance for entry. Every year, more countries consider requiring insurance for their foreign visitors.
Many countries now require COVID-19 coverage for their visitors. You can arm yourself with travel medical insurance in case of an unexpected medical emergency while abroad.
Why Are More Countries Making Insurance Mandatory?
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the list of countries that required travel insurance upon arrival had been gradually expanding.
Negative experiences with unpaid medical bills by foreigners have prompted hospitals and healthcare organizations to advocate for insurance requirements to reduce the likelihood of such incidents occurring.
Many countries have also implemented testing and quarantine requirements, as well as requiring proof of health insurance that includes COVID-19 treatment coverage.
Find out which countries require travel insurance, travel medical insurance, or COVID-19 coverage in order to enter.
Countries Requiring Travel Insurance to Enter
Those planning to travel to the following countries must have travel insurance or a travel medical insurance plan that covers them in their desired destination.
Atlas Travel® from WorldTrips® can provide you with the travel medical insurance coverage you may require for your trip. A plan like Atlas JourneyTM from WorldTrips can cover trip cancellation as well as some emergency medical expenses. All WorldTrips insurance plans include medical coverage for COVID-19-related expenses.
Travelers planning to visit Europe may require a Schengen visa. This is a visa that citizens of certain countries, including the United States, must have in order to enter the Schengen Area of 26 European countries.
According to the European Commission, those applying for a Schengen visa must provide proof of travel medical insurance that covers emergency medical expenses, hospitalization, and repatriation. The minimum coverage is €30,000, and the insurance must be valid for the duration of the stay in the Schengen Area.
This eastern European country requires visitors to have valid medical insurance for their visit. According to the US Department of State’s Country Information page for Belarus, the insurance plan must have a minimum coverage amount of 10,000 EUR (or about $11,000 USD).
Travelers can learn more about the insurance and entry requirements for Belarus on the Department of State’s Country Information page.
Visitors to this Asian country, which borders China to the south, must have valid travel insurance for the duration of their trip. There are no specific insurance coverage requirements, so just make sure you have it before you travel. The Bhutan Department of Tourism website has answers to any additional questions about Bhutan’s entry requirements.
Brunei is an Asian country that is completely surrounded by Malaysia. Make sure you have health insurance if your travels bring you here. All visitors to Brunei must show proof of travel health insurance that covers COVID-19-related expenses. Travel insurance policies must cover a minimum of $50,000 BND (approximately $37,000 USD).
More information and entry requirements can be found on the website of the United States Embassy in Brunei.
Travelers must show proof of a valid travel medical insurance plan that includes COVID-19 coverage prior to departure or purchase Cuban medical insurance at the airport. For more information on medical insurance requirements, contact the Cuban Embassy.
Cuba has no specific minimums or coverage requirements, only proof of valid insurance.
Plan your trip to Fiji, and don’t forget to purchase your mandatory health insurance. Before you book your trip, make sure your health insurance policy covers COVID-19-related expenses. The following information should be included in your insurance policy document:
- Names of insured passengers
- Insurance coverage expiration dates
Visit the Fiji Tourism website for more information on the country’s entry requirements.
Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Israel requires all foreign nationals to show proof of medical insurance. COVID-19-related expenses must be covered by this insurance. This requirement does not apply to travelers arriving from Ukraine during the conflict.
For the most recent information, visit the Israeli Population and Immigration Authority’s website.
Laos is a Southeast Asian country bordered by Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand. Visitors to this country must have COVID-19 coverage on their health insurance. Policies must include at least $50,000 in coverage. Travelers must also download the contract-tracing app and the registration app for their trip.
More information about entry requirements can be found on the Laos Tourism page.
Visitors to Myanmar must purchase travel accident insurance with COVID-19 coverage from Myanma Insurance. In order to enter the country, visitors must also complete a health declaration form and show proof of a COVID-19 vaccination. Keep in mind that masks are required in public places across the country.
Visit the Ministry of Immigration and Population’s website for more information on Myanmar’s entry requirements for COVID-19.
Why Might I Need Travel Medical Insurance Else?
Even if you’re traveling to a country that doesn’t require travel medical insurance or COVID-19 coverage, there may be times when having travel insurance coverage comes in handy, such as:
- Lost Checked Luggage or Travel Delay – When it comes to inconveniences like the airline losing your checked luggage or a lengthy travel delay, a travel medical plan can help compensate for necessary expenses. Clothing and toiletries, as well as lodging and meals, are frequently provided in these situations.
- Injury or Illness – Traveling, no matter how careful you are with your health, can increase your risk of various illnesses and injuries. While insurance cannot prevent these events from occurring, it can assist in covering the costs of an emergency room visit or treatment.
- Terrorism – Some countries are experiencing political and social upheaval, which can endanger both visitors and locals. Depending on the security status of your current location, a travel medical insurance plan like Atlas
- Travel may include a Political Evacuation benefit that could cover the cost of transporting you back to your home country. It’s also a good idea to look for coverage that includes a Terrorism benefit, which can help pay for medical expenses resulting from a covered terrorist attack.
- Kidnapping – Express kidnappings are the abduction and detention of someone against their will in exchange for personal belongings or a ransom. Tourists are especially vulnerable because of their different attire and language.
- When common sense isn’t enough to keep you safe, a benefit like Atlas Travel’s Crisis Response coverage can help pay ransom and personal belongings costs. It also provides a multilingual crisis response team to assist your family and negotiate your release. Check your plan’s policy documents for any restrictions on the Crisis Response benefit.