If you've searched the net for private medical insurance that covers expats in Russia then you are most likely for looking for established UK based health insurance companies that will cover your medical expenses in Russia.
Living as an expat in Russia you want to avoid any unwanted and unexpected health care costs. In some countries these can run into hundreds of thousands of pounds for very serious conditions.
Our advice when looking for private medical cover that covers expatriates living in Russia is to speak to a insurance broker. Health insurance is extremely complex and if you want absolute certainty that Russia is covered by your policy you should talk with a health insurance broker who can explain which policy providers will cover medical expenses for expatriates in Russia 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 industry experience 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 lower policy premium than offers. A broker will be able to advise whats best.
- Do you have a hobby that may invalidate your insurance policy? A broker will know this vital 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 lean't you're at risk of developing a certain medical 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 Russia, 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 Russia and under what conditions they do or don't cover it.
Tourism in Russia has seen rapid growth since the late Soviet times, first domestic tourism and then international tourism as well. Rich cultural heritage and great natural variety place Russia among the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Not including Crimea, the country contains 23 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, while many more are on UNESCO's tentative lists.
Major tourist routes in Russia include a travel around the Golden Ring of ancient cities, cruises on the big rivers including the Volga, and long journeys on the famous Trans-Siberian Railway. Diverse regions and ethnic cultures of Russia offer many different foods and souvenirs, and show a great variety of traditions, including Russian Maslenitsa, Tatar Sabantuy, or Siberian shamanist rituals. In 2013, Russia was visited by 33 million tourists, making it the ninth-most visited country in the world and the seventh-most visited in Europe.
Central European Russia (e.g. Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan, etc.) is in the same climate zone as the Baltic states, Belarus, and northern Ukraine. The climate of south-west Russia (the lower Volga, and the area between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea) is more arid, with hotter summers and shorter winters. The climate of Russia's Far East along the Pacific coast is similar to that of Hokkaido, Japan and north-east China. The most severe climate is in Siberia where winters are very cold and summers are very hot, and in Russia's Far North where temperatures are always low, with the exception of Murmansk, where the sea never freezes due to the influence of the warm Norwegian Current. The climate of Russia's Black Sea coast is subtropical.
Contrary to popular belief, the climate of most popular tourist areas of Russia is not severe and is similar to that of Eastern Europe. The mean temperatures of December, January and February in Moscow are −4 °C (25 °F), −7 °C (19 °F), −6 °C (21 °F) respectively, but colder weather is common. Over the past few decades spells of extremely cold weather (below −20 °C/-4 °F) in central European Russia have become rare (in the winter 2016/2017, Moscow had temperatures below −20 °C only for three days), while the number of wintry days when the temperature is close to or slightly above the freezing point has grown significantly. In coastal areas wintry temperatures can feel somewhat colder than they actually are due to high humidity.
Unless you are allergic to the pollen of certain trees and herbs (such as birch, horse chestnut, alder, lilac, cherry tree, ash tree, rowan tree, lime tree, dandelion), the best time for travelling to central European Russia is late spring when the temperatures are pleasant and many trees are in bloom, and early and mid autumn when trees change their colour and it is not cold yet. Summer months are also good except for June in cities in central and south Russia when poplar fluff can be a nuisance, but recently the authorities of many Russian cities have taken action against the fluff by cutting and removing poplar trees and the situation has improved dramatically. Late autumn, winter months, and early spring will be enjoyable if you wear appropriate clothes and shoes. If you are interested in winter activities, in central European Russia it usually begins to snow in late autumn and snowpack usually doesn't melt away completely before early April, although spells of warm weather do occur and snow can temporarily melt away in mid-winter. Ski resorts in mountainous areas have snow throughout the winter season. Central European Russia sometimes experiences cold spells in early May when the temperature can go from +15 °C/59 °F to the freezing point for a few days.
The citizens of CIS member states, most Latin American countries, Israel and South Africa, can travel in Russia for 90 days without a visa; visitors from South Korea can visit Russia for 60 days without a visa; while tourists from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cuba, Laos, Macau, Macedonia, Mongolia, Montenegro, Serbia, Seychelles and Thailand, can visit for 30 days without a visa.
Free e-visas for visiting three regions in Russia's Far East (Primorye, Sakhalin, and Kamchatka) are available for tourists from China, Japan, India, Iran, Turkey, Morocco, Mexico, and some other countries.
Tourists from other countries are required to visit a Russian diplomatic mission to purchase a visa. Tourists are required to have a valid passport when crossing the Russian border. Russian visas cannot be purchased at the border. For more information see visa policy of Russia.
The most popular tourist destinations in Russia are Saint Petersburg (which appeared in the list of top visited cities of Europe in 2010) and Moscow, the current and the former capitals of the country and great cultural centers, recognized as World Cities. Moscow and Saint Petersburg feature such world-renowned museums as Hermitage and Tretyakov Gallery, famous theaters including Bolshoi and Mariinsky, ornate churches such as Saint Basil's Cathedral, Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, Saint Isaac's Cathedral and Church of the Savior on Blood, impressive fortifications such as Moscow Kremlin and Peter and Paul Fortress, beautiful squares such as Red Square and Palace Square, and streets such as Tverskaya and Nevsky Prospect. Rich palaces and parks of extreme beauty are found in the former imperial residences in the suburbs of Moscow (Kolomenskoye, Tsaritsyno) and Saint Petersburg (Peterhof, Strelna, Oranienbaum, Gatchina, Pavlovsk Palace, Tsarskoye Selo). Moscow contains a great variety of impressive Soviet-era buildings along with modern skyscrapers, while Saint Petersburg, nicknamed Venice of the North, boasts its classical architecture, many rivers, channels and bridges.