Travelers require proof of health insurance in Eastern Europe

The Travel Health Insurance Association of Canada (THIA) is urging all those living and travelling in Europe to carry proof of medical insurance while abroad.

The President of the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs & International Trade (DFAIT), David Hartman, addressed Canadians in particular, saying “Canadian insurance is almost certainly not valid outside Canada. It is essential to obtain supplementary travel insurance – health, life, disability, driving, vehicle, and trip cancellation – before leaving. In addition to Cuba, which last year announced it would require visitors to show proof of medical insurance when entering the country, more nations, particularly in Europe, are also requiring such proof.”

Hartman cited Belarus, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Ukraine in particular. In Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Estonia, minimum required medical coverage is 30,000 euros. According to official regulations in Lithuania, non-European Union visitors unable to show proof of medical coverage much purchase short-term insurance at the border.

“Because of changing border requirements and controls, we urge all Canadians traveling abroad to check the DFAIT website at and click on the countries they are planning to visit to determine their medical insurance requirements,” said Hartman. “They will be found in the Entry/Exit Requirements section.”

Though some of the site’s information applies specifically to Canadian expats and travelers, the health insurance requirements are a useful resource for all non-European Union travelers.