Cuba Imposes Insurance for Visitors

By Circles Robinson

Cuba received over 2.4 million visitors in 2009. Photo: Caridad

HAVANA TIMES, March 7 — Without saying what it costs nor what it covers, the Cuban government announced it would obligate tourists to buy health insurance in order to visit the island.

The same measure applies for Cubans living abroad and returning home for visits and for foreigners living in the country.

See Havana Times editorial

The decision was taken at an extraordinary meeting of the Council of Ministers on February 16 and published ten days later in the Official Gazette.

According to the measure that takes effect on May 1, 2010, the government says medical insurance policies purchased abroad must be from insurance companies recognized in Cuba.

It also states that sales points will be established at points of entrance to the country for purchase from Cuban companies.

Diplomatic personnel and representatives of foreign organizations are exempt from mandatory insurance.

The Ministry of Finance and Prices is the entity empowered by the Council of Ministers to set the price of the insurance polices to be sold by Cuban companies.

Below is a Havana Times translation of the above mentioned measure:

ISSN 1682-7511



Information in this extraordinary

Official Gazette issue (No. 011 of February 26, 2010)





The Secretary of the Council of Ministers


Whereas the Executive Committee of the Council of Ministers, making use of the powers granted it by Article 97 of the Constitution of the Republic, adopted on February 16, 2010, the following:


FIRST: For entry into the country, all travelers, foreigners and Cuban overseas residents are required to possess a travel insurance policy, covering medical expenses, issued by an insurance entity recognized in Cuba.

At points of entry into the country, the sale of these policies will be ensured by Cuban insurance entities.

SECOND: During their stay in the country, foreigners with temporary residence in Cuba are required to have a medical insurance policy issued by a Cuban or foreign insurance entity recognized in Cuba.

THIRD:  Diplomatic personnel and representatives of international organizations accredited in Cuba shall be excluded from application of the previous regulation.

FOURTH: The Minister of Finances and Prices shall be made responsible for approving the forms of charging for medical services and evaluating insurance policies contracted through Cuban insurance entities, applicable to foreign as well as Cuban overseas residents and  temporary foreign residents.

FIFTH: The ministers of Public Health and Tourism are authorized, in accordance with their respective responsibilities, to dictate the norms relative to the reorganization of medical care for travelers and foreigners, as well as for Cuban overseas residents and temporary foreign residents.

SIXTH: The present Agreement shall go into effect on May 1, 2010.

In order to provide copies of this agreement to the members of the Executive Committee of the Council of Ministers and to all others for which it is pertinent, the present certification is being dispatched from the Palace of the Revolution on February 16, 2010.

54 thoughts on “Cuba Imposes Insurance for Visitors

  • November 7, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    We travel on a budget. Was just about to book a trip and noticed there’s an extra $150. for insurance and it’s tax. Changed our minds. Guess we’re off to Mexico. It was sure nice going to Cuba. I wonder if anyone will miss our money? (We travel cheap – make up for it in tips!). Sure hope they take away this cash cow.

  • September 14, 2010 at 7:59 am

    i already search this all topic and i will stand on what i says it is the very good idea i ver heard hope it will implement in other country as well.thanks guys.

  • July 17, 2010 at 11:00 am

    Nothing is for free in this world. Health Insurance is a must, and if you have/can proof of Insurance coverage, than I think you have “no problem”. This seems to me, as other Problems, an issue which has to be solved by the Cuban Government and American Government, because it is illegal for most American Passport holder to travel to the Island, and therefore the American Insurance can, or will not, pay for treatment rendered in Cuba. Legal travellers from USA (Passport Holders), in my Opinion, are covered. In my environment, my Health Insurance package is over $ 10.000.00 per year, and I have also Medicare, and I am a Dual Citizen with other coverage in my favor. Under no circumstances I wish to be a burden to the Cuban people, in any event, and have no axt to grind. See you in two months in Havana (30 Minutes from Miami Airport to Havana domestic Airport), if I find a cheap and decent privat place in Havana, near the Russean Chruch. In my Opinion, if you are not able to pay your Vacation, stay Home!! email: [email protected],
    Thanks Hans

  • June 15, 2010 at 8:33 pm

    I have spent seven of the last thirteen years living in Cuba and have been going there for twenty five years.I have spent time in the hospital and paid cash and never felt that i was being ripped off.In may of this year i was asked for proof of insurance and showed them my OHIP card,there was no problem..This is just like most other things i read about Cuba,many people giving an opinion on something they know nothing about,or they have a political agenda.

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