If you've searched the internet for private health insurance that covers expats in Cuba then you are most likely for looking for established UK based health insurance providers that will cover your medical expenses in Cuba.
Living as an expat in Cuba you want to avoid any unwanted and unexpected medical costs. In some countries these can run into hundreds of thousands of pounds for serious medical conditions.
Our advice when shopping around for health insurance that covers expatriates living in Cuba is to speak to a health insurance broker. Health insurance is extremely complex and if you want absolute certainty that Cuba is covered you should consult with a medical insurance broker who can explain which providers will cover medical expenses for expatriates in Cuba and which will exclude it.
There are many advantages to using a insurance broker but the biggest by far is that you're using their expertise at no cost. They are paid by the insurer (Aviva or Bupa etc) rather than you so it costs you no extra to use their brokering services.
- Do you reside in many different areas? Some will give you a cheaper policy premium than offers. A broker will be able to advise whats best.
- Do you have a hobby that may invalidate your insurance claim? A broker will know this critical information.
- If you are a couple and one of you has claimed on your policy this year would it be cheaper to separate you both onto two different policies?
- You've developed a certain condition and want to know which policy provider offers the largest amount of cover for it. A broker will know this instantly saving you huge amounts of time and effort.
You can call around every health insurance provider you can find and ask if they provider cover for expats in Cuba, however this will be a very time consuming process. Each insurer will ask for your medical history because its not normally a simple yes or not if a medical condition is covered or not.
Its much quicker to speak to one medical insurance broker which will know which policy providers on the market offer cover for expats in Cuba and under what terms they do or don't cover it.
Tourism in Cuba is an industry that generates over 4.7 million arrivals as of 2018[update], and is one of the main sources of revenue for the island. With its favorable climate, beaches, colonial architecture and distinct cultural history, Cuba has long been an attractive destination for tourists. "Cuba treasures 253 protected areas, 257 national monuments, 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, 7 Natural Biosphere Reserves and 13 Fauna Refuge among other non-tourist zones."
Having been Spain's closest colony to the United States until 1898, in the first part of the 20th century Cuba continued to develop with the influence of big investments, the creation of various industries, and growing travel to support mostly US interests and corporations. Its proximity (roughly 90 miles (140 km) from the Florida Keys) and close relationship to the United States also helped Cuba's market economy prosper fairly quickly. As relations between Cuba and the United States deteriorated rapidly after the Cuban Revolution of 1959 and the resulting expropriation and nationalisation of businesses, the island became cut off from its traditional market by an ongoing embargo and a travel ban was imposed on U.S. citizens visiting Cuba. The tourist industry declined to record low levels within two years of Castro's accession to power.
Unlike the US, Canada has maintained normal relations with Cuba and Canadians increasingly visited Cuba for vacations. Approximately one third of visitors to Cuba in 2014 were Canadians. The Cuban government has moderated its state ownership policies and allowed for localised and small private business since 1980. It also pursues revitalisation programs aimed at boosting tourism. The United States reestablished diplomatic relations with Cuba in 2015, in a period referred to as the Cuban Thaw, and the tourism industry has not benefited as much as was predicted from normalised relations with America since Ex-President Donald Trump had reinstated most of the pre-Cuban Thaw restrictions.
Until 1997, contacts between tourists and Cubans were de facto outlawed by the Communist regime. Following the collapse of Cuba's chief trading partner the Soviet Union, and the resulting economic crisis known as the Special Period, Cuba's government embarked on a major program to restore old hotels, remaining old pre-communism American cars, and restore several Havana streets to their former glory, as well as build beach resorts to bolster the tourist industry in order to bring in much needed finance to the island. To ensure the isolation of international tourism from the state isolated Cuban society, it was to be promoted in enclave resorts where, as much as possible, tourists would be segregated from Cuban society, known to as "enclave tourism" and "tourism apartheid". By the late 1990s, tourism surpassed Cuba's traditional export industry, sugar, as the nation's leading source of revenue. Visitors come primarily from Canada and western Europe and tourist areas are highly concentrated around Varadero, Cayo Coco, the beach areas north of Holguin, and Havana. The impact on Cuba's socialist society and economy has been significant. However, in recent years Cuba's tourism has decreased due to the economic recession, escalating foreign investment conflicts and fears, and internal economic restrictions. Since its reopening to tourism in the mid-1990s Cuba has not met the projected growth, has had relatively little restoration, and slow growth. A lack of foreign investment has also had a negative effect. Since then, the Dominican Republic has surpassed Cuba in tourism, new development, and investment.
Cuba has long been a popular attraction for tourists. Between 1915 and 1930, Havana hosted more tourists than any other location in the Caribbean. The influx was due in large part to Cuba's proximity to the United States, where restrictive prohibition on alcohol and other pastimes stood in stark contrast to the island's traditionally relaxed attitude to drinking and other pastimes. Tourism became Cuba's third largest source of foreign currency, behind the two dominant industries of sugar and tobacco. Cuban drinks such as the daiquiri and mojito became common in the United States during this time, after Prohibition was repealed.
A combination of the Great Depression of the 1930s, the end of Prohibition, and World War II severely dampened Cuba's tourist industry, and it wasn't until the 1950s that numbers began to return to the island in any significant force. During this period, American organized crime came to dominate the leisure and tourist industries, a modus operandi outlined at the infamous Havana Conference of 1946. By the mid-1950s, Havana became one of the main markets and the favourite route for the narcotics trade to the United States. Despite this, tourist numbers grew steadily at a rate of 8% a year and Havana became known as "the Latin Las Vegas".