Many countries requiring travel health insurance for unvaccinated Americans

Posted at 8:33 AM, Jul 09, 2021

(WXYZ) — Traveling abroad may come with an extra cost depending on where you're going. Some countries are now requiring the purchase of travel health insurance.

The same requirement goes for cruise lines. Royal Caribbean International is requiring unvaccinated passengers on Florida cruises to get travel insurance. Enough to cover COVID-19 related medical expenses including quarantine and evacuation.

What are the typical costs of that and could it spill over to domestic travel? A travel agent we spoke with said the pandemic has kept industry players on their toes as the rules are ever-changing.

"Now what it's looking like in a lot of places, Aruba's one, I'm heading to Costa Rica in a few days, you have to have travel health insurance that will cover you in case you get COVID there," Theresa Winters, the owner of Faraway Places Travel, said.

Winters said the cost of the insurance is only about $30-$60 per traveler, a small price to pay for peace of mind.

"The cost for getting stuck somewhere is substantial. They're going to put you in a secluded part of the resort for two weeks," Winters said. "So they need to know that somebody's going to cover that. Do you need to get transferred to a hospital? Are you going to be hospitalized?"

What about travel insurance for people staying within the United States. Dominic Pallone, the executive director of the Michigan Association of Health Plans, said most often, your health insurance will cover emergency situations. He does say to do your due diligence when traveling abroad.

"In today's age with COVID, we've seen a lot of foreign governments have started to require very specific levels of health insurance for travelers into their countries," Pallone said.

Before traveling internationally, experts say to call your health insurance provider to learn about your coverage and see if it's available overseas. Also, check with the U.S. State Department about the location you're headed to and what's required.

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