As part of the visa requirements for Russia, foreigners are asked to have health insurance coverage in order to enter the Russian territory lawfully.
However, many are confused about what medical insurance is, how to obtain it, and why it is necessary for Russia. Visitors will find that it is a standard and non-complicated matter. In fact, the Russian government is taking steps to simplify and streamline the process of applying for a visa for Russia, including the possibility of lodging the application and the necessary documents (such as the proof of insurance) online.
Find more information on how to visit Russia with the right medical coverage below.
What Is the Mandatory Medical Insurance for Russia?
A visa is necessary for Russia for most foreign citizens. Those who wish to obtain one need to purchase a health insurance policy before traveling.
This means that appropriate medical coverage is a necessary condition for the issuance of the visa and therefore, it is not possible to get insured once already in Russia.
The health insurance requirements apply to visas that are obtained online (eVisas) as well as traditional paper visas applied for through a Russian embassy or consulate.
The insurance policy must be sufficient to take care of most medical costs incurred while the foreigner is in Russia and must be valid for the entirety of the trip.
Fortunately, there are many specialized international agencies that can assist tourists in choosing and buying the right insurance. Most policies for tourists cover medical costs including:
- Ambulance service
- Hospitalization and medical bills
- Repatriation of the body in case of death
Many also include doctor consultations, emergency dental care, and medicines.
Is my medical insurance valid in Russia?
Many people decide to sign up for private healthcare in their home country. In this case, policies can vary greatly. Although some comprehensive insurance contracts cover excesses incurred abroad, that is not the case for most individuals.
It is paramount that travelers contact their insurer to check whether their policy extends overseas and includes Russia. Those who are still in doubt may also refer to their nearest Russian embassy or consulate for advice.
Should I Get Travel Insurance for the Russia Tourist Visa?
Although they often get confused, travel insurance and health insurance are not the same. This does not mean that tourists are advised against purchasing travel insurance but rather, that they should know the difference
What is travel insurance?
Holidaymakers may face unexpected incidents and unforeseeable issues, no matter how carefully they plan their trip and how safe their destination. For example:
- The airline may cancel the flight for reasons beyond their control. In this case, they may not refund the ticket
- Luggage may be lost
- Belongings may be stolen
However and unlike health coverage, travel insurance is not mandatory to obtain permission to visit Russia.
How to Obtain Health Insurance for a Russian Visa
As mentioned above, the health insurance policy must be purchased in advance in order to be granted a visa. However, in case one is applying for the online travel permit or eVisa, it is possible to start the application and upload proof of insurance coverage at a later stage before submitting the final visa request.
Fortunately, it is fairly easy to get insured for a holiday in Russia. A plethora of international insurance companies offer affordable policies that insure the traveler following the Russian visa regulations.
Usually, individuals can visit a branch in person. However, in most countries, it is now also possible to purchase medical insurance for Russia online from reputable providers. All the necessary paperwork will be sent electronically and can be then downloaded and used to apply for the visa.
Finally, many banks around the world have agreements in place with providers so that they can offer their clients the option of getting insured and pay for their policy directly through the bank.