Did You Know You Cannot Travel Without Health Insurance?

By | April 24, 2016

Did You Know You Cannot Travel Without Health Insurance?

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Who doesn’t love traveling? With so many exotic locations around the globe, one is spoilt for choice. A number of travel companies have also popularized the saying “If you want to travel, just pack your bags and leave”. However, as easy as it may seem, travelling is not that simple. There are many things to consider before you even book the tickets. Assuming that you have taken care of all the paperwork, the first thing you must consider is this – are you covered by some sort of insurance?

What if you have a medical emergency while travelling? Or, what if you end up with a huge medical bill; even more than your regular insurance can cover and you don’t have the means to meet the expenses?

Getting Health Insurance when you travel might be a good idea. In fact, you might not have a choice in the matter. Did you know that there are some countries that don’t let you enter without Health Insurance? It’s true! So, if you want to visit any of the following countries, make sure your insurance cover is up-to-date.

Here are some countries where it’s mandatory for visitors to have Health Insurance.


Health Insurance is mandatory for all visitors entering Cuba. This rule applies to all travellers from overseas as well as to Cubans living abroad and traveling back to their home country. Individuals who are unable to provide immigration with proof of their insurance coverage will have to buy insurance from the local Cuban insurance provider at the airport.


Throughout France there are rigorous standards of insurance cover that non-working European expats under retirement age have to meet. One of the criteria when applying for a visa for long stays, is to provide proof of  private Health Insurance. In the case of regular tourists, a Schengen Visa is mandatory. This scheme covers a stay of less than 90 days and Health Insurance coverage of at least €37,500 is mandatory.

Students aged 28 years and above, who are planning to stay longer than 90 days, will have to produce proof of private Health Insurance, which is valid in France as a part of the visa application.


It is mandatory for expatriates living in Qatar to have health coverage. Private companies in the country have started paying premiums for all their expatriate employees. Foreign nationals will also have to get their own insurance and cannot rely on government provided health care.


Turkey, which is another hub for expats, has also made it mandatory for all foreigners under the age of 65, traveling on long stay tourist visas, to have unlimited insurance cover for in-patient treatment. The policy should cover benefits of approximately 2,000 lira, for outpatient treatment.


Emirates throughout the UAE approach health care legislation for expats and foreign nationals differently. Abu Dhabi for instance, requires all expats and foreign nationals to have valid Health Insurance as a condition of entry. A visa will not be granted without proof of coverage.

Dubai has recently enacted similar laws and has made health cover mandatory for visitors and locals alike.

The US

The cost of healthcare in the United States is quite high. According to recent data released by the World Health Organization and Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the average cost of a routine appendix removal in the US is around $8,156, compared to $953 in Argentina, $2,245 in Spain, and $3,408 in the UK. Though foreign nationals can travel or live within the US without having Health Insurance, it is advisable to get insured in the home country to avoid high insurance costs in the US. Here are 7 types of Health Insurance plans you can consider.

With expats and travellers increasingly hopping from country to country, it is essential to find an insurance scheme to cover all your medical expenses, in case you meet with an emergency. So, whichever country you visit, ensure that you have your Health and Travel Insurance in place.

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