With ever more countries opening up for international tourism again, many if not most still require to show proof of health insurance coverage (including Covid-19 treatment) so it might be worthwhile to contact your health insurance and ask them to provide certification.
Most travelers have either regular health insurance or travel insurance that could issue such a letter, however, it’s important that such a document is noted with the detail that 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.
Having an existing insurance provider provide you with a certificate of coverage could save a good amount of money from otherwise having to take out a new policy tailored for a specific trip/destination. For example, Thailand still requires special Covid Insurance to get approval for the Thailand Pass which costs ~ $30 per week. Not a big deal but since I have my annual insurance plan it’s good that I can use that.
In most cases, the main requirement is 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 in Thailand (AETNA) where I hold annual comprehensive health insurance for the last 8 years.
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$150,000 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 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 requirement that is covered by these US$150k.
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.
Previously John also wrote about his experience with American Express to get a travel insurance certificate from Amex insurance underwriter (AXA):
This ability to receive an 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.
But you can also contact your regular insurance provider and see if can cover you abroad and can provide a document to certify that.
I wouldn’t want to travel without 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 and I’ve used it now several times to fulfill the requirements for travel purposes several times now. The policy renews once per year in February so I usually request it as soon as possible to have it available in case I need it on short notice.