A recent study indicates that more nations, particularly in Europe, are requiring tourists to have proof of international medical coverage prior to entering the country.
While not yet universal – some countries are specifying the need for travel medical coverage – virtually all of the countries of eastern and western Europe recommend visitors have some form of international medical coverage as most of their hospitals and doctors expect payment for services at the time of service.
Some travel insurance plans guarantee pre-payment in order to gain access to medical attention, and some provide reimbursement for medical services to travelers after the fact.
What constitutes acceptable coverage?
This remains in debate, but most countries who require or ask for proof of coverage specify a minimum of 30,000 euros which is the standard requirement of Schengen zone countries. The Schengen zone consists of 25 mostly western European countries who have agreed to cross-border visa rules for travel between the countries.
Does this affect U.S. citizens?
To date, most countries do not require U.S. or Canadian citizens to show proof of medical insurance, but this is sure to change. By the time the summer travel season starts, more countries are expected to require visitors to prove they have medical coverage