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Travel Insurance: Meets the Heath Insurance Requirement for Colombia Visas - Medellin Guru
Colombia requires health insurance when applying for visas and we look at inexpensive travel insurance meeting the requirement, updated for 2023.

Travel Insurance: Meets the Health Insurance Requirement for Colombia Visas – 2023 Update

Colombia now requires health insurance when applying for visas and we look at inexpensive travel insurance meeting this health insurance requirement, updated for 2023.

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.

Below you will find the access to the OFFICIAL assistcard website and buy the insurace

Assist Card OFFICIAL website

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 four standard plans:

  • $35,000 USD in coverage
  • $60,000 USD in coverage
  • $150,000 USD in coverage
  • $250,000 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

The AC60 travel insurance policy

Assist Card OFFICIAL website

Use the Medellin Guru Insurance Service

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 than 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 from $35,000 to $250,000 USD.

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

  • 69 years old or less – $900 USD per year
  • 70 to 74 years old – $1,350 USD per year
  • 75 years old or older – $1,800 USD per year

Use the Medellin Guru Insurance Service

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.

 

Assist Card OFFICIAL website

Features of the Medellín Guru Insurance Service

Features of this Colombian insurance service include:

  • Bilingual – English and Spanish.
  • Online quotes.
  • Free consultations.

Over 230 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.

Use the Medellin Guru Insurance Service

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

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.

Hospital Pablo Tobón Uribe, the best hospital in Medellín

ASSIST CARD is accepted at Hospital Pablo Tobón Uribe, the best hospital in Medellín. Photo courtesy of Hospital Pablo Tobon Uribe website

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 $400 USD for 3 months to $1,300 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 – $950 USD
  • Age 70 to 74 – $1,425 USD
  • Age 75 or higher – $1,900 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 – $400 USD
  • Age 70 to 74 – $600 USD
  • Age 75 or higher – $800 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 48 months, 513 visas have been successfully received by clients:

  • 184 Retirement visas
  • 136 Marriage/partner visas
  • 83 Student visas (visitor visas)
  • 36 Resident visas
  • 25 Investment visas
  • 14 Work visas
  • 5 Beneficiary visas
  • 4 Mercosur (M) visas
  • 4 Rentista visas
  • 22 other visas

Also, our visa service renewed 57 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 608 clients of the Medellin Guru visa service in 48 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.

Over 230 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.

Use the Medellin Guru Insurance Service

Assist Card OFFICIAL website

Sign up for the Free Medellin Guru Newsletter – You can see all of the previous Medellin Guru weekly email newsletters and sign up here.

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 January 17, 2022 with current information for 2022.

Editors note: updated on July 10, 2023 with current information for 2023 and new images.

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31 thoughts on “Travel Insurance: Meets the Health Insurance Requirement for Colombia Visas – 2023 Update”

    1. Rudi Hendrikus Gerrit Dekkers November 21, 2023

      Hi
      Im 67 male, im going for nomad visa, i had a bypass operation sept last year, every ok, but what will my premium for the min insurance i need for the visa.

      Thanks

      Rudi

    2. Great read, now following!

    3. Antonio Di Stefano January 21, 2021

      Jeff I am considering using your partner on renewala. I had an “M” visa the last 3 years expiring around Feb 21 this year. What visa do I need to apply for? Is it the same M visa. The online application I tried to complete from the US where I am now, did not ask for health insurance information, but asked for many other documents. What is the bottom line on requirements for renewal for me returning to Colombia after a 2 months absence? Thanks

    4. Do I need to have travel/health insurance if I am arriving on a passport and using that as the “automatic” visa? That is, I am a US citizen arriving on a flight on the 14th of November, ie in a few days, am I REQUIRED to show proof of health insurance/travelers insurance?

      • Insurance is currently not needed for tourists.

        • Thank you Jeff for the prompt reply. FYI I’m informing the insurance agent you all partner with because she was not aware of this. I relayed all the information in my original post to her, and she was unsure she told me. I should let her know now because she’s just about gotten all of the paperwork done and was ready to collect payment from me! Thanks again, on all scores!

        • This is true even if I plan to stay in Colombia for three (3) months? Sorry to keep pestering I just want to make sure.

          • Yes, not currently required. There is a proposal to require insurance for tourists but only a proposal. But you may want insurance for peace of mind.

    5. Richard Jones September 18, 2020

      What if your travel health insurance specifically blocks Coronavirus coverage ?

      • The travel insurance in this articles includes coronavirus coverage. Click on the blue “Get Travel Insurance” button in the article and you can ask the insurance broker we partnered with questions.

    6. Do they cover for covid?

    7. Fred Rubin June 19, 2020

      I am still confused. I have an R Visa and my cedula. Do I need to now get the insurance now required? I plan on getting a health insurance plan when I am allowed to return to Medellin. Thanks Jeff

      • Insurance is required when applying for a visa. Not if already have a visa that you received before this new requirement.

        • What if you have already been legally in the country for 5 years, presently have a 3 year visa and a cedula but it expires and you qualify for the 5 year visa? Are you grandfathered in?

          • No, when you apply for a new visa even if you already have a visa you need to show you have insurance.

    8. Gwen Manning June 18, 2020

      Can I get a quote for a short term policy. I will be in Canada for quite a few months. From there I might go to US for a couple of weeks and I might go to Japan for a couple of weeks at a different time. would the price be the same for anyone from any country or does it change depending where you live? I am a resident here and have EPS insurance yearly. I have a cedula also. I would want to speak with in English as I would not understand a Spanish conversation regarding this subject.

    9. Jofannie Karla June 18, 2020

      You provided an important service to all of us considering a permanent or temporary move to Medellin. Thank you!!

    10. Adriana Gutierrez June 18, 2020

      I’d like to hear the experience of travel insurance holders who have needed to use it.
      – Ease of use
      – Coverage issues
      – Preexisting conditions
      – Surprises?

    11. Hi,

      does this medical insurance cover UK passport holders/flying in from UK (to Cartagena)? I am guessing it is long term and covers pre-existing conditions? Although my focus is on Cartagena/Bolivar residentially, this is the only site that is providing this advice, so apologies if it is not Medellin-focused! My wife is from that area, hence so is our residence.

    12. I’m not clear on the V, visitor visa requirement. Must I have insurance if I fly into Medellin and get the typical 90 day visa ?

      • A visitor (V) visa is different than a 90 day tourist visa.

        A tourist visa is a permit stamped in your passport and is not a formal visa that you need to apply for, see – https://medellinguru.com/tourist-visa/. No insurance is required for a tourist visa but you can still get a low cost policy for protection for a short duration as a tourist.

        The visitor (V) visa is a formal visa that you have to apply for several purposes such as studying Spanish, medical treatments and other reasons – https://medellinguru.com/visitor-visa/

    13. Jeff, very interesting information, thanks a lot. It begs a follow up question , though: What about tourists who don/t need a visa to visit (Canadians, most EU citizens)?
      Thanks
      Harry

      • Tourists from any country can also get this travel insurance policy to provide protection while traveling – you can get an inexpensive policy for a shorter duration.

    14. Gilles June 17, 2020

      Useful information.

      Three questions:

      1) I assume that the information is not relevant if one already has a Resident visa which did not require insurance. But will it become a requirement when the present visa is renewed?

      2)Is this insurance available for persons over 70

      3) If insurance will be required upon renewal, will it be sufficient to already have the basic EPS local insurance ?

      • Best to ask detailed questions to the visa agency we partnered with – click on this link – https://expatgroup.co/english/visasincolombia/ and there is a chat at the bottom right normally during business hours.

        We will try to update the article tomorrow with answers to questions we get.

      • Your questions are now answered in the article. This travel insurance is available to age 85 and you can use EPS insurance for renewal of visas.

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