COVID Travel Insurance
Required for Travelers
to Vietnam and Thailand
Table of Contents
A number of countries in Southeast Asia have recently reopened their borders to foreign visitors after two years of closures and massive tourism losses. Travelers to the region need to understand and deal with what seems like constantly changing entry requirements, from visas to COVID tests and vaccination certificates, and now COVID Travel Insurance (travel or health insurance that covers COVID).
COVID Travel Insurance for Vietnam
UPDATE 15 May: The entry requirements have been relaxed, most notably the elimination of a negative test. To the best of our knowledge, health insurance that covers at least $10,000 of COVID care is still required. We continue to strongly recommend that travelers consider health insurance in their planning.
On 15 March, Vietnam began allowing tourists to enter the country under a new set of rules for testing, vaccinations, quarantine, and contact tracing, which most view as easier versions of previous rules.
At about the same time, the government announced new entry requirements regarding the cost of COVID-related medical care – basically, travelers are required to pay for any testing and medical treatment. To support this, visitors are now required to have COVID travel insurance that covers treatment in Vietnam. We know that the minimum coverage amount is $10,000 USD, but otherwise, specifics are hard to come by.
While healthcare in Vietnam is generally viewed as relatively cheap, a serious bout of COVID that requires intensive care and a lengthy hospital stay would easily exceed $10,000, even in a government hospital. The same treatment in a facility designed for expats might be five or more times that amount. We recommend a coverage amount of at least $50,000.
Logically and practically, the length of coverage should be the same as the visit. It appears that some travelers have been allowed to enter with coverage periods that would end just a few days after their arrival. The difference in cost between the bare minimum length and being covered during your whole stay will be a small fraction of the total cost of your trip. We suggest you play it safe – get a policy that coincides with your travel plans.
Proof of insurance
Demonstrating that you have coverage is generally simple with a certificate from the insurer. There are mixed reports from travelers whether they had to show proof of insurance or not.
COVID Travel Insurance for Thailand
After testing in Phuket and elsewhere, Thailand reopened on April 1. The Thai scheme is more complex than Vietnam but follows the same roadmap: visas, tests, vaccinations, and COVID travel insurance.
Thailand requires a minimum of $10,000 in COVID travel insurance. Just like in Vietnam, healthcare in Thailand is generally cheap, but $10,000 is likely to fall short of fully covering a serious bout of COVID. Again, we recommend you get at least $50,000.
Logically and practically, the length of coverage should be the same as the visit. It appears that the Thailand Pass app, which travelers are required to use, will match the insurance period to the travel period.
Proof of insurance
Demonstrating that you have coverage is generally simple with a certificate from the insurer.
What does this travel insurance update mean?
We have heard that the authorities aren’t always enforcing the new requirements but we strongly suggest that travelers to Vietnam or Thailand take the time and effort to be certain they have COVID travel insurance that meets the new requirements. Just as important, travelers should always have a reasonable level of coverage to ensure their safety when away from home.
For most, this will mean coverage of at least $50,000 that extends for the length of the stay. The difference in your price between $10,000 in coverage and $50,000 is genuinely small. And COVID isn’t the only bad thing that might happen to you on your vacation. Don’t forget to bring your insurance certificate to the airport.
What are my options on COVID travel insurance?
If you’re contemplating a trip to Vietnam or Thailand, you have essentially three health insurance options:
1. Existing health insurance
Depending on a big variety of factors, your existing health insurance policy may already meet your needs. Talk to your representative to understand whether it would cover you in Southeast Asia, what restrictions might apply, etc. They should be able to give you a certificate to show the authorities.
2. COVID travel insurance
Most “travel insurance with COVID coverage” offered by credit cards, banks, airlines, etc. doesn’t include any meaningful health insurance, but there are some quality products available that do satisfy the requirements in Vietnam and Thailand. In addition, they provide coverage for accidents and illnesses other than COVID.
●ASEAN Pass has been designed to meet the requirements in all nine of the countries in the ASEAN pact: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. If your plans include travel to more than one of these countries, this may be your best choice. It provides up to $100,000 in COVID and other health coverage for up to 180 days of travel.
●Vietnam Pass offers coverage specific to Vietnam’s requirements, with COVID and other coverage starting at just $10,000 up to $100,000 for 180 days.
●Thailand Pass offers the same features to visitors to Thailand, with coverage starting at $20,000.
●SafetyWing offers COVID and other coverage up to $250,000 for up to one year.
●World Nomads offers varying coverage for trips up to 180 days. Because these company partners with insurance companies in each country, each policy is based on your country of residence, so the benefits and terms vary widely. But the coverage does meet the requirements and it’s a solid company with lots of travel coverage in addition to COVID.
3. Buying new health insurance
If you haven’t booked a return flight, you should think seriously about whether it’s time to get good health insurance. Living overseas is not the time and place to take big risks with your health and finances.
Featured Blog: The Ultimate Guide to Health Insurance in Vietnam 2022
Enjoy your trip!
We hope you find this information useful. You can click any of the links above to purchase COVID travel insurance. If your needs are more complex or if your stay in Southeast Asia will be more lengthy than a vacation, Tenzing Pacific Services can help you find more robust health coverage that suits your needs. We work with more than 30 insurance providers, both local and international, so we can offer a wide range of policy options.
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