Foreign governments have begun to attempt to reduce the hefty medical bills that are often left behind by tourists who experience a medical emergency while visiting. For those who can’t pay these medical bills, it places a significant strain on foreign medical systems with losses that exceed millions of dollars.
A tourist that experiences a traumatic injury and requires foreign hospital services will often leave bills unpaid, as they are so large that they have no way of paying them. As a result, there is a growing list of countries that now require foreign travelers to prove that they have travel insurance to avoid such financial burdens on their medical system.
The entry requirements that come along with visiting certain countries vary greatly and can hinge on such factors as your age, how long you plan to stay, and why you are visiting. Whether you are traveling for business, pleasure, or studying, you might require a visa to enter, and thus require medical insurance that is capable of addressing a minimum dollar amount of coverage. Certain travelers that require a visa could also trigger other requirements that include mandatory travel insurance along with a long list of fees and paperwork.
Cuba, for instance, requires all visitors to have health insurance. Commonly, a $25 fee is included in the price of your plane ticket, and travelers will not be able to enter the island nation without coverage. In 2018, Ecuador made it mandatory that all travelers visiting the country carry travel medical insurance.
Japan has long been considering making travel insurance a necessary purchase for tourists. Additionally, Thailand has also juggled with the idea of compulsory travel medical insurance and wants to implement it within the next five years.
Travelers are encouraged to research the country they are visiting well before their trip. Being educated on entry requirements can save travelers from endless headaches while going through customs, along with avoiding potential fines and penalties.
As travel insurance plays an important role for many, it often comes with exemptions that could leave tourists with a massive bill. Travelers that require the services of an air ambulance might be left to cover the entire bill, as traditional travel insurance usually does not cover such costs.
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