Rob Sequin | Havana Journal
Starting on May 1, 2010, the Cuban government will require all visitors entering Cuba to purchase Cuba health insurance from government approved vendors.
Only foreign insurance companies approved by the Cuban government will be able to sell this mandated Cuba medical insurance.
If a traveler arrives in Cuba without medical insurance, he/she will be required to purchase coverage from a Cuban government vendor, many of which will be set up in Cuban airports.
This requirement also applies to Cubans living abroad returning for a visit so only diplomats and representatives of accredited international organizations are exempt.
No details regarding cost, coverage or duration were disclosed.
There was no mention of how US travelers to Cuba would be able to buy Cuban health insurance before arriving in Cuba. Due to the US Embargo, Cuba cannot have any business presence in the United States.
One could speculate that this is a way for cash-strapped Cuba to raise revenues and/or to prevent any strain on its existing health care system. It is widely known that the free Cuban health care provided to Cuban citizens is sub-par compared to what is available at international rates to foreign tourists.
The announcement did not mention as to which Cuban health care system the tourist would be covered under by this new mandated insurance coverage.