Russian tourist visa--health insurance
February 3, 2013 8:26 AM   Subscribe

Traveling to Russia-what kind of medical/health insurance is it that is required for a visa? How can I get it?

I am applying at the New York ILS application center tomorrow for my tourist travel visa to Russia. I'll be going for 10 days in March. I have all my paperwork in order--oh wait, except what is this about needing health insurance that's valid in Russia? Some russian visa websites state that I need this, some don't. From the ILS website:

Health insurance. Health insurance policy must conform to the provisions of the Health Insurance of foreign nationals staying temporarily in the Russian Federation, approved by Government of the Russian Federation of December 11, 1998 № 1488 - for U.S. citizens and other states in the basis of reciprocity.

I'm currently using NY state Medicaid (Health Plus) and my travel partner has private insurance through his university employer. Do we need other insurance for our trip?

I see some basic travel insurance (not solely health insurance) policies that cover 'sickness, injury, or death'. Is that enough? If so, which company do you recommend using? The cheaper the better-I want the bare minimum to fulfill the visa requirements.

What am I supposed to do here? Our appointment is 10 am tomorrow, so I won't have very much time after companies open to make a call and ask and obtain extra insurance needed. I need to take care of this today.


posted by greta simone to Travel & Transportation around Moscow, Russia (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
YMMV, but I spent the month of October 2012 in Russia without health insurance and it wasn't an issue at all.
posted by matrushka at 11:07 AM on February 3, 2013

Response by poster: What did you do when the visa application asked for a health insurance company and policy number for insurance accepted in Russia?
posted by greta simone at 11:14 AM on February 3, 2013

I had my employee private insurance (ie not travel insurance). I was using a visa service, and they recommended taking a photocopy of the insurance card I had in my wallet to include with the application.
IANAL, but my impression is that if your insurance has some kind of coverage for out-of-network hospitals and doctors, it should be fit for the purpose of indicating that you can cover medical expenses you might incur in Russia.
posted by anonymisc at 6:34 PM on February 3, 2013

I see some basic travel insurance (not solely health insurance) policies that cover 'sickness, injury, or death'. Is that enough?

IA(still)NAL, but yes, medical is one of the main reasons people buy travel insurance, and travel insurance that covers medical will serve the purpose.
posted by anonymisc at 6:38 PM on February 3, 2013

I was in that same exact place last week, New York ILS, and was also worried about what kind of document to bring to indicate I had health insurance (did it have to be stamped and notarized, did I need an official letter from the insurance company, etc). To top it off, they just weren't responding to ANY emails for some reason.

At the end, I just scanned a copy of my health insurance card and asked them in the office. They said looked at it, said it's ok, but then didn't even take it to mail in with the application, photos, and my passport. I don't know if that's standard practice, and anyway, the rules are changing all of the time, but a scan of your existing medical card with plan # is ok.
posted by peachtree at 10:08 AM on February 4, 2013

Response by poster: For future reference/searches relating specifically to Russian visas:

I was told I didn't need proof of insurance. Nor did I need the cover letter the website stated I needed, or a confirmation of my flights. All they wanted was the invitation, the application (which needs to perfectly match the invite, dates and all) and my passport, and $170. It would behoove them to change their website so it reflects what they actually want to see instead of making people run around trying to get all this irrelevant documentation. Or you know, answer their phones, return their voicemails, or reply to emails when people have questions. What a fucking tedious process that was. GGGGRRRRRR.
posted by greta simone at 8:18 PM on February 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

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