Free Medical Coverage for Panama Tourists

In an effort to make their country a more welcoming destination, Panama now offers free medical insurance to all visitors arriving through Tocumen International Airport. Now I’m not saying that you want to forego emergency evacuation insurance, but it’s good to know that you’ll be covered if you have an illness, accident or even a dental emergency while on holiday in Panama.

Here’s how it works.

As of January 17, 2011, all tourists are covered for 30 days. When you arrive at the airport, just head over to the tourist information center in the immigration area, and pick up an insurance card and brochure. It’s that easy. Then, if you need to seek medical attention during your stay, just present the card and your passport to the provider.

And it covers medical expenses up to $7000, dental emergencies up to $2000 and legal assistance fees resulting from an accident or lost or stolen documents up to $3500. It also covers expenses resulting from an accidental death of up to $20,000.

Of course there are a few exclusions. The policy does not cover drug or alcohol related incidents or those resulting from negligence or caused as a result of participation in extreme sports. And pre-exisiting conditions are not covered.

Still it’s not bad coverage for accidents. And I have to say, it’s more than most countries give you. So if you break your foot, have a heart attack or even loose a filling, it’s good to know that you’ll get the medical care you need. Additionally, it’s important to note that health care in Panama is much cheaper than the US, so that $7000 goes a long way.

It appears that Panama is very receptive to a lot of things. Good for them!