When traveling abroad on your Xplorco membership, purchasing travel health insurance is more often than not a smart decision. Maybe you don’t use it, but it’s definitely a case of better safe than sorry. Imagine being caught with a serious health issue when traveling to an unfamiliar country and having to deal with the hassles of everything in addition to not knowing how you’re going to pay. Some countries, though, take the decision out of your hands and force you to purchase insurance before traveling.

The following countries won’t even let you enter without health insurance:

26 Schengen Countries in Europe

The Schengen Area is a zone in Europe where 26 countries (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland) have acknowledged the abolishment of their internal borders. Anyone who applies for the Schengen visa must have international health insurance. A letter from your insurance company is required and it needs to mention that you would be covered in Europe for any medical, evacuation and repatriation expenses during your whole stay and they have to be covered for at least 30,000 Euros ($35,000).


Every Antarctic operator will require proof of insurance before issuing any tickets to any cruise. And your regular health insurance isn’t enough because of the remoteness of the destination. You’ll need coverage for emergency evacuation, sickness and repatriation. The recommendation here is to look for an insurer that will offer unlimited coverage because the costs can add up quickly.


Health insurance is mandatory in Cuba for all visitors with the rule applying to all travelers from overseas as well as to Cubans living abroad. If you can’t provide proof of coverage, you’ll be forced to buy insurance from a local provider. The coverage you purchase in Cuba will likely be less comprehensive than your local policies and are likely to be more expensive, so be prepared for that.


Yes, France is listed above, but there are additional requirements here. Most are for long-term travel, but those who fall in this category must meet rigorous standards of coverage and provide proof of private health insurance as part of the visa application.


Turkey requires all foreigners under the age of 65 who are traveling on long-stay tourist visas to have unlimited comprehensive coverage for in-patient treatment. Policies are required to have benefits with a minimum limit of 2,000 lira for outpatient treatment (about $815 USD). Citizens of member countries to the European Union who have access to healthcare throughout Europe with the European Health Insurance Card do not have insurance in Turkey and still need to purchase prior to travel.

United Arab Emirates

If you’re traveling on anything but a visa, you will be exempt from needing health insurance to enter, regardless of nationality, age or gender. The rule was implemented a few years ago and has been rolled out slowly. Some companies and tour operators will offer packages that arrange health insurance coverage for you to make the trip easier.

The following countries do require travel health insurance, but there are no additional special requirements:

United States

So if you’re looking to leave the country and travel around the world, be sure you’re covered. It’s a smart idea wherever you go so you don’t get caught in a situation that is difficult to handle financially, but for the countries listed above, you won’t even be let in without it. So be prepared!

Xplorco members, click here to access your account.

Not a member? Click here to learn more.

Sources: Countries Which Won’t Let You In Without Health Insurance and More Countries Requiring Tourists Purchase Travel Insurance