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Normandin Beaudry

Medical insurance mandatory for entering Cuba


There, in black and white

NB Bulletin Vol. 13 N. 3, May 2010

Upon their arrival in Cuba, travellers must present proof that they have travel insurance that includes medical expense coverage in Cuba for the duration of their stay. Travel insurance policies underwritten by Canadian insurance companies are recognized by Cuban authorities. Travellers will need to present as proof either an insurance policy, insurance certificate or medical assistance card.

The medical insurance card for provincial plans is also sufficient proof. However, travellers with only medical insurance coverage from a provincial plan would be required to pay the cost of health expenses before leaving the country, whereas travellers with coverage from a Canadian insurer would not typically be required to pay these expenses up-front.

All travellers must bring their provincial medical insurance card with them. Also, some insurers may, upon request, provide an additional document confirming coverage for individuals insured because the medical assistance card does not necessarily contain the names of dependants.

Travellers without proof of insurance coverage will be able to obtain a travel insurance policy when they arrive in Cuba. We have compared an example of a travel insurance policy that can be purchased upon arrival in Cuba with travel insurance from a group benefits plan. The policy purchased proposes a maximum of $25 000 for emergency medical expenses including hospitalization, whereas the policies offered through a group benefits plan have much higher maximums (e.g.: $1 000 000).

It is important to note that the example of the policy that can be purchased upon arrival in Cuba does not reimburse expenses linked to a pre-existing medical condition, whether known or unknown. The travel insurance policy from a group benefits plan will reimburse the expenses if the medical condition was stable before departure.

For more information, you can read the bulletin issued by your insurer or visit the Cuba Tourist Board in Canada website at or the Government of Canada's travel reports website at


Please feel free to contact us for additional information.

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