With countries sporadically opening up for tourism again many if not most now require to show proof of health insurance coverage (including Covid-19 treatment) so 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 issue of health insurance has come up most recently in discussions for allowing travelers to enter a variety of countries, one of them being Thailand but also plenty of others.
In most cases the main requirement is a travel insurance with a coverage sum of at least US$100,000 and Covid-19 treatment to be specifically mentioned as covered in the policy.
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 8 years already.
A simple email to the customer service contact I use was enough and they provided the following letter within a few hours:
The insured sum of THB 5,000,000 is equivalent to US$165,000 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 mainly because I don’t want to start negotiating with hospitals in Thailand about prices in case of an emergency 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$165k.
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.
Last November John also wrote about his experience with American Express to get a travel insurance certificate from Amex insurance underwriter (AXA).
This ability to receive insurance certification from Amex (or other credit cards) might play into the decision to apply for or upgrade to a premium credit card ahead of your trip because purchasing travel insurance with the specific Covid-19 coverage for several months might be way more expensive than an annual fee for the card.
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 to the day exactly 12 months in one country (Thailand) I’m suffering from travel withdrawal even though I was able to visit several in country destinations here.