Impact of COVID-19 on health mobility, medical tourism and the insurance options for coverage.

November 17, 2021

Almost two years after the first case of COVID-19 in the city of Wuhan and after the outbreak of the global pandemic, we have not yet seen a noticeable recovery in the world.  There are many countries that still have restrictions and regulations that continue to destabilize and disrupt health mobility and significantly affect the medical tourism industry.

According to data provided by the International Medical Travel Journal, world medical tourism was booming before the arrival of the pandemic, with estimated growth of 20% per year in some destinations. When we talk about medical tourism we refer to the activity of traveling outside the country of residence with the aim of receiving medical or dental treatment.  There is still a reluctance among travelers, who believe that traveling for medical care will never be the same again.

Current scenarios for medical tourism

The impact and consequences generated in the market of destination healthcare as a result of COVID-19 have not gone unnoticed. Current scenarios show a sharp decline in the world tourism economy, an industry on which international markets depend significantly.   While many countries slowly emerge from travel lockdown restrictions, it will be some time for travel activities to gain sustainable traction, and equal the levels realized pre-Covid. 

What is a fact, is the need for additional coverage that provides the medical traveler with the necessary benefits in case of contracting Covid-19 during their stay in the host country, remember that most travel insurance policies contain certain exclusions in event of epidemics and pandemics. Now, having Covid coverage has become one of the essential requirements for entry to certain destinations.

Countries such as Thailand and Israel require proof of a medical policy with Covid-19 coverage. For example, Thailand has a minimum required limit is $ 100,000. Previously Costa Rica also required a limit  of $ 50,000, but this restriction has already been removed for fully vaccinated travelers and  unvaccinated travelers must obtain proper travel insurance that covers Covid related expenses. 

Medical Insurance with additional coverage for pandemics and epidemics

The need to provide benefits to the insured in the event of a pandemic, in case they contract Covid-19 while staying in the host country, was immediately adopted by many countries in order to control the entry of visitors to the destination country and to provide health security to local citizens and residents.

Covid 19 coverage to any participant / travel companion, is generally limited to $ 25,000. However, the amount of the benefit can be higher as long as the destination country requires it.

Covid 19 coverage will increase the cost of enrollment, depending on the level of coverage required. Benefits included are:

  • Medical expenses only related to the treatment of Covid 19 disease, with limits ranging between $25,000 and $100,000.
  • Expenses incurred by the insured from being quarantined, such as accommodation, meals and travel expenses, with a limit of $5,000.

Benefits provided by the Covid 19 endorsement are applicable in the visited / destination country. Benefits are not provided in the participant’s country of origin.

Considerations to take into account when adding Covid-19 coverage

Please note that coverage for Covid 19 has the following subjectives:

  • The SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) benefit does not provide any expenses related to travel delays or cancellations of the outbound segment of travel.
  • Covered expenses must occur in the destination country as elating to any claim caused or resulting from SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19).
  • If you selected limits higher than $25,000 during the application process, these limits are only included if a host country requires a greater amount of coverage, regardless of which limit you chose or paid for. 
  • It is recommended that you know the destination countries Covid requirements before you travel and purchase the appropriate limits and coverage. 

Key Requirements / Exclusions 

Further, to be eligible for the benefits you must comply with the following:

  • Provide evidence of the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) test within 96 hours before leaving the country of origin. Negative results must be submitted at the time of claim.
  • Follow ALL protocols, laws, directives and curfews as provided by the host country.
  • If at any time before the trip an inoculation or vaccine is widely available to protect against SARS-CoV-2 and its mutations, the Trust Participant must receive said vaccine before departure.

If you would like to know more or have any questions regarding your next trip or coverage you can contact us directly at

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Posted in Medical Tourism.