Colombia now requires health insurance when applying for visas and we look at inexpensive travel insurance meeting this health insurance requirement, updated for 2021.

Colombia requires health insurance when applying for Colombian visas with minimum coverage of:

  • $35,000 USD for Visitor (V) visas
  • $60,000 to $70,000 USD for Migrant (M) visas
  • $100,000 USD for Resident (R) visas

Many Medellin Guru readers have asked about health insurance needed for visas. And the insurance agent we partnered offers a relatively inexpensive travel insurance policy from ASSIST CARD that meets the health insurance requirement for Colombian visas.

ASSIST CARD has a new insurance offering designed for new foreigners in Colombia applying for Colombian visas, which is a policy without an age restriction.

Travel Insurance Features

The insurance provided by our insurance agent partner is from ASSIST CARD, which is multinational company dedicated to the provision of international assistance services with worldwide health networks and healthcare providers.

ASSIST CARD has been SURA’s provider for over 50 years, offering the international coverage under SURA’s Private/Prepagada Insurance Plans. 

The travel insurance provided by ASSIST CARD is confirmed to meet the requirements for international health insurance for Colombian visas and does not have an age limit.

The Travel Insurance Assist Card, has three standard plans:

  • $35,000 USD in coverage
  • $60,000 USD in coverage
  • $150,000 USD in coverage

The following table shows some of the features of the AC60 plan from ASSIST CARD, with $60,000 USD in coverage:

Features of the AC60 travel insurance policy

Features of the AC60 travel insurance policy

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New ASSIST CARD Insurance Designed for Colombian Visas

ASSIST CARD now has a new insurance offering designed for new foreigners in Colombia applying for Colombian visas with the following features:

  • Validity is for foreigners who arrive in Colombia.
  • Validity is annual, this insurance is not sold for more or less for a period of one year
  • This policy has no age restriction but there is an increase in the cost for those 70 years or older or 75 years or older.
  • Coverage is USD $100,000 USD.

The cost of this insurance annually depends on age and is approximately:

  • 69 years old or less – $1,200 USD per year
  • 70 to 74 years old – $1,800 USD per year
  • 75 years old or older – $2,400 USD per year

If the person has already been in Colombia for more than one consecutive year, the price can be somewhat lower but with a $100 deductible per event:

  • 69 years old or less – $1,200 USD per year
  • 70 to 74 years old – $1,650 USD per year
  • 75 years old or older – $2,200 USD per year

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Differences Between Travel Insurance and Comprehensive Health Insurance

Comprehensive health insurance in some countries won’t cover you when you travel to another country, which is why travel insurance is needed.

However, private health insurance (prepagada) in Colombia can cover travel with ASSIST CARD. Travel insurance is included with SURA’s private health insurance (prepagada).

Travel insurance for healthcare coverage is limited to emergency treatments for acute symptoms and are aimed at assistance when sudden and unpredictable events occur with a clear, verifiable and acute disease has been diagnosed. Travel insurance is not meant for long-term medical procedures.

This travel insurance plan covers a series of events not only related to health, such as loss or delay of luggage, cancellation of travel, a lost passport and many other events seen in the above table.

In comparison, private comprehensive health insurance in Colombia such as Plan Clasico at SURA covers unlimited hospitalization, surgeries, medical treatment for catastrophic illness, side effects from quimiotherapy, organ transplants, lower and upper body prosthetic and unlimited doctors’ visits.

Also with comprehensive, no referral needed to see a specialist, unlimited lab exams are permitted, there is no out of pocket deductible, includes access to the best hospitals in the country, urgent care in all hospitals, urgent care at home and a private room in all hospitals.

Why Obtain Travel Insurance?

Colombia now requires an international health insurance policy to apply for new Colombian visas. And this travel insurance policy from ASSIST CARD meets the requirement. Note that visas are now generally granted for the term of the insurance policy.

Also, you can obtain private health insurance to meet the visa insurance requirement. Either travel insurance or private health insurance can meet the insurance requirement for Colombian visas.

After obtaining a travel insurance policy (or private health insurance) you can obtain a Colombian visa.

And after you obtain a Colombian visa and cedula (Colombian ID), you can also obtain private health insurance or EPS Entidadas Promotoras de Salud, which is the public health insurance in Colombia.

Note that EPS can be difficult to enroll and agents normally will not help enroll with EPS due to EPS’ not offering commissions. Also, EPS requires a cedula and EPS cannot be used for travel. Private health insurance in Colombia can be obtained with a passport or cedula and can be used to travel.

If you plan to live in Colombia full-time and can afford it, private health insurance is recommended, as it offers private rooms in private hospitals, a huge network of providers, no need for authorizations for specialists and diagnostics do not need authorization.

In addition, if you are a tourist, you can obtain this travel insurance for a shorter duration and it will cover you while you are in Colombia or traveling in other parts of the world.

Features of the Medellín Guru Insurance Service

We partnered with Angela Berrio, who is a bilingual insurance agent who speaks English and Spanish. And she has many foreigner clients.

Features of this Colombian insurance service include:

  • Office in El Poblado in Medellín.
  • Bilingual – English and Spanish.
  • Online quotes.
  • Free consultations.
  • Offers health insurance, auto insurance, homeowners’ insurance, life insurance and travel insurance.

In 15 months of offering insurance services, over 120 Medellin Guru readers have obtained insurance in Colombia through our insurance agent partnership including health insurance, auto insurance, homeowners insurance, life insurance and travel insurance.

Get Travel Insurance (Health Insurance)

Angela’s company offers insurance services to all foreigners and Colombians who need assistance in their process of finding the best insurance protection while living in Colombia. Also, Angela’s company provides insurance needed for a Colombian visa – either private health insurance or travel insurance.

With over ten years of experience, they design the plan that best fits your needs allowing you to enjoy your life abroad.

Angela is based in Medellín but can sell insurance throughout Colombia and even to clients overseas working via the phone and email.

Our insurance partnership is an affiliate relationship (like the Amazon affiliate program). If you use our Colombian insurance partner, Medellin Guru receives a small commission and you support this website. This is at no additional cost to you. The price remains the same, whether you use a button or affiliate link on this website or not.

Why Comprehensive Insurance May Be Better Than Travel Insurance

Comprehensive health insurance plans (Prepagada SURA) provides more comprehensive medical coverage than travel insurance and the cost (for the lowest level of comprehensive) can be similar or lower than the cost for travel insurance. Also, this comprehensive health insurance can be obtained by a foreigner with a passport and can be used for a visa.

This is comprehensive medical insurance, which includes:

  • Hospitalization in all major private hospitals in Colombia with private room included.   
  • Unlimited Diagnostic exams with no copay and no authorization required.    
  • Unlimited Doctor´s visits, no referrals for specialists 
  • Unlimited lab work 
  • Organ transplant for donor and our insured client 
  • Lower and upper body prosthetic 
  • And side effects treatments from chemotherapy 
  • Treatment on catastrophic illnesses.  
  • Physical therapy 
  • Alternative Medicine visits. 
  • Travel insurance through Assist Card, up to 90 days maximum US 50 thousand for accidents or emergencies while travelling outside Colombia. 
  • Pregnancy and visits to obstetrician, Baby resonance, and automatic coverage to new born 
  • No out of Pocket Deductible in any circumstance
  • Emergency in any of our hospitals
  • Emergency at home care
  • Accidental or emergency Dental 24/7

There are three levels of comprehensive health insurance with SURA:

  • Plan Evoluciona (this plan excludes  access to Pablo Tobon Uribe Hospital, travel insurance and all medical services are in network only)
  • Plan Clasico
  • Plan Global

Here we look at the cost of travel insurance for a $60,000 USD policy vs Plan Evoluciona and Plan Clasico for a 34-year-old, showing that comprehensive health insurance can be cheaper:

  • Travel Insurance $60,000 USD plan: 3,219,520 pesos per year 
  • Plan Evoluciona:  2,631,864 pesos per year 
  • Plan Clasico: $ 3,878,425 pesos per year 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

We have received several questions about this insurance and the following are these questions with answers.

1. Is there an age limit for this travel insurance, can someone over 70 years old obtain this insurance?

Yes, this insurance can be for people aged 75 or older. There is no age limit.

2. Can comprehensive health insurance be obtained with a passport and used for a visa?

Yes, comprehensive health insurance be obtained with just a passport and used for a visa.  With comprehensive health insurance you will receive a contract (Policy), a payment receipt, Digital ID SURA Card and a letter from SURA for Migracion informing that the plan includes unlimited hospitalization and surgeries.

3. Can people from other countries like the UK and Canada obtain this travel insurance?

Yes, people from anywhere in the world can obtain this travel insurance.

4. Is this insurance needed to renew a Migrant or Resident visa or can Colombian EPS insurance be used?

You can use Colombian EPS insurance for renewals, but it is the discretion of the government to ask for more insurance guarantees. In some cases this has happened and in others it has not based on the experience of the visa agency we partnered with.

5. Is this international insurance needed to obtain an initial Resident or Migrant or Visitor visa?  

Yes, you need an international health insurance policy and the travel insurance in this article meets the requirement or comprehensive health insurance also meets the requirement. 

6. Does this travel insurance cover pre-existing conditions?

Yes, but only on a very limited basis, limited to $300 USD for a $60,000 USD policy.

ASSIST CARD is accepted at Hospital Pablo Tobón Uribe, the best hospital in Medellín, photo by SajoR

ASSIST CARD is accepted at Hospital Pablo Tobón Uribe, the best hospital in Medellín, photo by SajoR

7. You previously offered travel insurance from another company, why change?

Yes, Medellin Guru changed due to confirming that ASSIST CARD works with some of the best hospitals in Medellín including Hospital Pablo Tobón Uribe and Clínica las Américas. 

Also, ASSIST CARD is the partner of SURA, the largest insurance company in Colombia. In addition, our insurance agent recommends ASSIST CARD.

Travel Insurance Costs

According to your specific needs, age, coverage and duration of the travel insurance you chose, the cost for this travel insurance can range from under $400 USD for 3 months to under $900 USD for one year, depending on age.

Here are the approximate costs for the AC60 policy with $60,000 USD in coverage by age for one year:

  • Under age of 70 – $830 USD
  • Age 70 to 74 – $1,245 USD
  • Age 75 or higher – $1,660 USD

The policies are also available for 3 months, here are the approximate costs for the AC60 policy for 3 months with $60,000 USD in coverage by age:

  • Under age of 70 – $346 USD
  • Age 70 to 74 – $519 USD
  • Age 75 or higher – $692 USD

Medellin Guru’s Visa Partnership

In addition to partnering with an insurance agent, Medellin Guru partnered with what we believe is the best visa agency in Medellín to offer Colombia visa services. Features of this service include:

  • Online chat – get visa questions answered fast.
  • Online quotes – get immediate visa quotes.
  • Office in El Poblado in Medellín.
  • Competitive price compared to other visa services.

The Medellin Guru visa service was launched in March 2019. And in the first 26 months, 374 visas have been successfully received by clients:

  • 131 Retirement visas
  • 105 Marriage/partner visas
  • 54 Student visas (visitor visas)
  • 28 Resident visas
  • 21 Investment visas
  • 12 Work visas
  • 3 Mercosur (M) visas
  • 2 Beneficiary visas
  • 2 Rentista visas
  • 16 other visas

Also, our visa service renewed 49 American passports in Bogotá using our passport renewal service and provided visa stamping service to 10 clients (getting the visa in a customer’s passport who applied for a visa himself before the pandemic). In addition, 28 clients extended tourist visas using our tourist visa extension service.

So, in total we had 461 clients of the Medellin Guru visa service in the first 27 months.

In addition, many more visas are in process – short, medium or longer term, depending on client needs.

Use the Medellin Guru Visa Service

Medellin Guru’s Colombian Insurance and Healthcare Articles

The Medellin Guru website has several popular articles about Colombian insurance and healthcare services:

  1. Health Insurance in Colombia: How to Sign up with SURA Insurance
  2. Sign up for SURA EPS Insurance: A Service for Expats in Colombia
  3. Travel Insurance: Meets the Heath Insurance Requirement for Colombia Visas
  4. Auto Insurance in Colombia: A Guide to Colombian Auto Insurance
  5. Homeowners Insurance in Colombia: A Guide to Colombian Homeowner Insurance
  6. Medellin Guru Insurance Service: Providing Colombian Insurance
  7. Colombia has 24 of the Best Hospitals in Latin America
  8. Emergency Surgery: Expat Experience in Clínica León XIII in Medellín
  9. Healthcare Colombia: Offering Services to U.S. Veterans in Colombia

The Bottom Line: Travel Insurance that Meets the Heath Insurance Requirement for Colombia Visas

Colombia now requires an international health insurance policy when applying for new Colombian visas. The insurance agent we partnered with now offers a relatively inexpensive insurance policy from ASSIST CARD that meets this health insurance requirement for Colombian visas.

In addition, this travel insurance policy is appropriate for tourists that are in Colombia or traveling to Colombia or other parts of the world for shorter durations.

In 15 months of offering insurance services, over 120 Medellin Guru readers have obtained insurance in Colombia through our insurance agent partnership including health insurance, auto insurance, homeowners insurance, life insurance and travel insurance.

Get Travel Insurance (Health Insurance)

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Editors note: updated on September 8, 2020 with current information about travel insurance from ASSIST CARD.

Editors note: updated on October 6, 2020 with additional information about comprehensive health insurance that meets the health insurance requirement for visas.

Editors note: updated on November 25, 2020 with information about a new ASSIST CARD insurance policy designed for foreigners applying for Colombian visas.

Editors note: updated on June 1, 2021 with current information for 2021.

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