Traveling In Times Of Covid-19: Ask Your Health Insurance For Proof Of Coverage Certification

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With more countries now opening up for tourism again and many if not most requiring to show proof of health insurance coverage (including Covid-19 treatment) it’s recommended to contact your health insurance and ask them to provide certification.

Most travelers have either a regular health insurance or a travel insurance that could issue such a letter, however it’s important that such a letter is noted with Covid treatment to be included.

The topic has come up most recently in discussions for example when it comes to entering Thailand which I have covered a few times in their current ping pong game of opening discussions.

Under the proposal of Thailand and some other countries the main requirement of a travel insurance with a coverage sum of at least US$100,000 and Covid-19 treatment was often mentioned.

I decided to try and get such a certificate from the medical insurance company I use here in Thailand AETNA (formerly Bupa) where I hold an annual comprehensive health insurance for the last 7 years already.

Surprisingly a simple email to the customer service was enough and they provided the following letter within 24 hours:

The insured sum of THB 5,000,000 is equivalent to US$160,000 which won’t buy you much in the U.S. but for Asia and even most western countries it will buy you some decent if not first class care. I got it because I don’t want to start negotiating with hospitals in Thailand about prices so a local top insurance without any deductible was my priority.

In any case I’m happy with the service they provide including this particular document which will cover at least those instances where a country I’m traveling to has a a requirement that is covered by these US$160k.

I’m sure there will very soon be specific travel insurance products available that (at a premium) also include Covid-19 coverage should this become a common requirement. I’m sure the insurance companies are already rubbing their hands in expectation of big business.

Eventually these documents will likely be required to be presented to immigration officers, probably in combination with a recent PCR test depending in what stage of opening we are.

Conclusion

I wouldn’t want to travel without a halfway decent insurance coverage for health and personal belongings. Currently I have several travel insurances, most attached to a credit card but also a standalone policy and in terms of health my Aetna insurance is valid worldwide.

Thankfully it was easy to obtain this document from them so once borders reopen to some degree I’ll be off on a long overdue trip. After almost 7 months on the ground except for a brief weekend in Singapore I’m suffering from travel withdrawal.

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