Health Insurance in the Dominican Republic – Costs and the Best Healthcare Options
In this article we will provide you an information and guidance on the different types of medical insurance options and the factors you should consider when choosing a medical insurance plan before your trip to the Dominican Republic. It will help you make informed decisions about medical insurance coverage and ensure access to quality healthcare services during the journey.
Long story short: please, make sure that you have a health insurance policy for the duration of your trip. This will guarantee you a carefree vacation and save your money.
Do you need medical insurance to visit
the Dominican Republic?
It is not mandatory to have medical insurance to visit the Dominican Republic. However, buying health insurance before travel is essential to get medical care on time. You will save a tremendous amount of money. Such insurance can protect you in case of unexpected illnesses, accidents, or other health-related issues during your trip.
Usually, when you buy a tourist trip, the insurance policy is included in its price. You should clarify this point with the company providing you with the tour. If the insurance policy is not included in a tourist trip, you arrange it yourself.
Please note that some airlines or travel companies might require you to have travel insurance as part of their policies.
Low-cost or free medical care
You can get low-cost or free medical care in some facilities. However, there are no such centers in most major tourist areas. A list of low-cost or free medical care centers:
- Public hospitals;
- Clinics run by the Dominican Medical Association (CMD);
- Medical facilities run by the Red Cross (Cruz Roja Dominicana);
- Medical facilities run by religious institutions.
Travel insurance in the Dominican Republic
Travel insurance was created to cover a broader range of events that may occur abroad. Those include medical insurance, cases involving trip cancellation, trip delay, loss of luggage, and so on. Purchasing a travel insurance policy is an excellent decision, especially if you have spent a lot of money planning your trip.
Travel insurance can be sorted into different types based on how easy they are to register and their unique contract terms. Which type of insurance you choose depends on the circumstances of your travel.
Travel insurance types
- Travel Medical Insurance;
- Non-Resident Travel Insurance;
- One Way Travel Insurance;
- Single Trip Travel Insurance;
- Annual Travel Insurance;
- Business Travel Insurance.
When and where to buy travel insurance
in the Dominican Republic?
The most profitable solution for you is to purchase the insurance policy soon after booking the trip. You can buy most insurance policies anytime up to the day of departure. Still, you may lose some time-related benefits — for example, pre-existing medical condition insurance and cancellation insurance for any reason.
You can’t buy a travel insurance policy the day before departure time. It means that at 12:01 a.m. on the day of your departure, the purchase of travel insurance is no longer available. Travel insurance prices stay the same as the date of departure approaches. The most popular way to obtain travel insurance is to purchase a policy online. Getting travel insurance online is a quick procedure.
Can you buy travel insurance at the airport? Unfortunately no. There is no travel insurance available at the airport. In addition, it is impossible to purchase insurance if you have already started a trip, missed a connection due to flight delays, or canceled an excursion.
The best companies for obtaining travel insurance in 2023
According to information published on the Investopedia website, the top companies to consider for acquiring travel insurance are:
- Runner-Up, Best Overall: Allianz Travel Insurance.
- Best Value: InsureMyTrip.
- Most Comprehensive Coverage: World Nomads.
- Best for Seniors: HTH Travel Insurance.
- Best for Cruises: Nationwide.
- Best for Medical Coverage: GeoBlue.
Investopedia is a financial media resource that recommends products based on an independent review process, with no influence on data analysis by advertisers.
You may visit the websites of these companies and purchase the insurance online, taking into account the conditions and coverage services you need.
What to think about when choosing a travel
insurance to the Dominican Republic
When choosing an insurance plan, consider coverage, benefits, the network of medical facilities, and quality of care. Here are some key points to pay attention to:
- Include in the health insurance contract the types of insured events corresponding to the activity you plan to do in the Dominican Republic.
- Consider purchasing Travel Insurance Coverage for Bad Weather if you intend to visit the Dominican Republic during the rainy season. Many travelers do not know it is too late to purchase hurricane travel insurance after a storm has been named, so buying your travel insurance well in advance is essential. Such a step will protect you if the weather causes any delays or cancellations to your trip.
- A high-quality medical evacuation plan is one of the most important things you should remember when buying insurance. Some insurance plans allow you to be evacuated directly to your home for medical care instead of hospitalization in the Dominican Republic.
- Since sunburn treatment is not included in the standard insurance, you may single out this case as a separate clause in your insurance contract. If you are attracted to yachting in the Dominican Republic, you need to include in your insurance policy cases of possible risks in this category of active recreation. These include the need for crew and yacht insurance and insurance coverage for search and evacuation operations. The insurance contract specifies all destinations where the arrival of the yacht is planned, including neutral waters.
- Check out the extended medical insurance policy terms in different companies. To enjoy your vacation carefree, you should ensure that your health policy is comprehensive. Extended health insurance is the solution to this problem.
- Ensure your insurance company issues a valid medical policy in the Dominican Republic and abroad.
Why it’s always better to have
A health insurance policy gives you those advantages:
- Access to quality healthcare. In the Dominican Republic, health insurance gives you access to high-quality health care, especially in private health facilities with more resources and better equipment than the public health system.
- Without insurance, medical treatments and procedures can be financially challenging. Medical insurance can cover the cost of healthcare services.
- Peace of mind. Medical insurance can help reduce stress and anxiety because you know you can access medical care in unexpected cases, such as illness or injury.
- You have improved health outcomes. Access to quality medical care makes you more likely to receive the medical attention you need.
Options of health insurance for traveling
to the Dominican Republic
There are several types of health insurance for travelers
to the Dominican Republic:
- International health insurance: Some insurance companies provide international health insurance plans designed specifically for travelers. For the duration of the trip, these policies may offer comprehensive coverage.
- Travel insurance: One-time and annual travel insurance are two common types that can cover medical expenses.
- Health insurance through your home country: some insurance plans purchased in your country may cover medical expenses incurred during your trip abroad. It is essential to confirm the types of coverage and limitations offered by your insurance company.
Please note that all of the above types of insurance can be standard and extended.
Standard medical insurance
Generally, standard insurance covers the following cases:
- Body repatriation.
- Transportation to medical facilities.
- Treatment in the hospital on an inpatient basis and at home.
- Emergency dental services.
- Each insurance company provides a specific contract that outlines the other cases covered by standard insurance.
Extended medical insurance
Extended health insurance provides coverage for a lot of insured cases. The policy client can expand the list of events covered, making this type of insurance relevant at all times and in all places.
How much does healthcare cost in
the Dominican Republic?
Tourists buy health insurance to reduce their possible medical expenses while traveling abroad. If you travel without health insurance or travel insurance, you may face these prices in the Dominican Republic for medical services.
- Getting a consultation with a doctor may cost approximately $60.
- If you want to invite a medical crew to your home, it can cost about $200.
- Private clinics may require a deposit of $1,500 before treatment.
For example, we will provide information about the average dental services cost.
The costs of dental services in the Dominican Republic
|Dental procedures||Cost USD|
|Consultation / diagnosis||$50|
|Fillings / bonding||$60|
|Porcelain crown (PFM)||$250|
|E.max porcelain crown (metal free)||$349|
|Zirconia crown (metal free)||$399|
|E.max porcelain veneers (per unit/tooth)||$349|
|Zirconia veneers (per unit/tooth)||$399|
|Digital 2 step smile design veneers (per unit)||$599|
|Dental bridges (per unit/tooth)||$395|
|Implant + pillar + crown||$995|
|Bone graft (1cc)||$200|
|Sinus lift (incl bone graft)||$1200|
|Full arch bridge (zirconia) + 4 implants||$6800|
|Full arch bridge (zirconia) + 6 implants||$7800|
|Overdenture + 2 implants||$2000|
|Overdenture + 4 implants||$2995|
|Three on six (zirconia)||$7800|
|All on four (hybrid per arch)||$4350|
|All on four (per arch – zirconia prettau)||$7200|
|All on six (hybrid per arch)||$5950|
|Third molar extraction||$199|
You deserve to have carefree rest and fun while visiting the Dominican Republic. We hope that you will never need medical care here. Still, if you suddenly need help, knowing that you and your family can find and pay for high-quality medical care is better.
What is the quality of medical care
in the Dominican Republic?
Private and public medical facilities are widespread in the Dominican Republic. The high popularity of the Dominican Republic among tourists from all over the world stimulates the maintenance of a qualified and professional level of medical services.
The DR has already made significant investments in improving its healthcare infrastructure. The country attracts many foreign tourists, especially from the United States, for high-quality but affordable dental care, laser treatment, and cosmetic surgery. Punta Cana and Puerto Plata’s healthcare facilities are among the Dominican Republic’s best.
Private medical facilities provide the best service, modern medical equipment, and qualified medical staff. However, the situation with government-paid healthcare is the opposite. If you cannot visit a private medical facility, be ready to face a staff shortage, medical equipment, and medications.
Public clinics usually need to be more equipped, and finding a doctor who speaks English takes time and effort. That’s why we recommend purchasing private health insurance to access high-quality healthcare and not to worry about bills if something unforeseen happens.
Pharmacies in the Dominican Republic
An abundance of pharmacies all over the Dominican Republic can please you. In addition to their widespread placement in the cities, pharmacies are an attribute of almost every hotel.
Pharmacies often sell cosmetics and popular medicines such as antibiotics, painkillers, steroids, cold aids, and sleeping pills. The only drugs which require a prescription are narcotics. Most personnel can communicate in English, so you can get their recommendations if needed. You can also get a discount if you pay for the drugs not by credit card but with cash.
Going to the Dominican Republic, you can be sure that in case of health problems, the local hospitals will take proper care of your health and provide timely, decent, and quality medical care.
Can I take my medication to the Dominican Republic?
As of 2023, you can take your medicine to the Dominican Republic. It is allowed to carry medications belonging to the group of psychotropic drugs only if you have a prescription for their use.
The Dominican Republic is friendly to all guests and imposes minimal restrictions on entry. You can read more about the rules for visiting the Dominican Republic at travel.state.gov
Thus, everyone can complete the first aid kit before the trip without the fear of not passing through customs control. Due to the many pharmacies in the Dominican Republic, it will be easy to find the necessary medicines upon arrival.
Addresses and phone numbers of clinics in Punta Cana
|Medintur Clínica y Laboratorio||Plaza Friusa, Av. España||+1 809-831-3949|
|Medic Service Punta Cana||Plaza Roque, Avenida Barceló KM1, 1er. Nivel ·||+1 809-831-1676|
|Punta Cana Doctors||Edificio Las Arenas, Blvd. 1ro. de Noviembre 303, Punta Cana||+1 809-959-4002|
|Hospiten Bavaro||Carretera Verón-Bávaro, Punta Cana, Dominican||+1 809-686-1414|
|Centro Medico Punta Cana||Av. España, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic||+1 809-552-1616|
The real story about the benefits
of travel insurance
In March 2021, a group of friends went on a cruise to the Caribbean to enjoy a vacation and receive an unforgettable experience. On the fourth day of their journey, the road took them to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
The excursion plan included climbing to the roof of the old fort. Climbing the stairs of the fortress was slow. Suddenly, Ariel, a girl from the tour group, stumbled while climbing the stairs. She fell and broke her leg. With multiple ankle fractures, Ariel went to the hospital, and received the necessary treatment. In just a couple of days, treatment costs accumulated about $7,000. Thanks to her travel insurance, the insurance company covered all treatment costs.
Since that incident, Ariel has gained a lot of social wisdom. Describing her experience, she shared some valuable things about travel insurance. According to her, travel insurance can take from 5% to 10% of the total cost of the tour.
In general, the cost of obtaining travel insurance largely depends on what is covered by insurance, the itinerary and the final destination, the duration of the tour, and other similar conditions. Ariel took out her travel insurance with General Global Assistance, with her high ratings in the insurance market, and they had just the right insurance package that suited her.
According to the information Ariel mentioned, her insurance plan, which cost $142.68 (as of March 2021), included coverage for the following claims:
- Trip cancellation: 100% of trip cost
- Trip interruption: 150% of trip cost
- Travel delay: $1,000 per person
- Baggage loss: $1,500 per person
- Sporting equipment: $1,500 per person
- Sporting equipment delay: $300 per person
- Missed connection: $750 per person
- Medical & dental: $150,000 per person
- Emergency assistance & transportation: $500,000 per person
- Accidental death & dismemberment (air flight accident): $75,000 per person/$150,000 per plan
- Accidental death & dismemberment (travel accident): $25,000 per person/$50,000 per plan
Ariel had an open fracture. It means that the bones tore the skin, and such an injury caused the risk of possible infection. In such a situation, it is necessary to take immediate action. If the fracture had been closed, it could take painkillers, return to the cruise ship, and receive medical services upon returning home. The decision was to go to a local private clinic.
After the surgery to clean the wound and accompanying medical procedures, the surgeon informed her that she needed to stay at the clinic for two more days. Including the prepayment of 80,000 Dominican pesos ($1369) for treatment, and the hospital stay was 357,000 DOP ($6,110). However, the expenses didn’t end there.
The surgeon in the Dominican Republic strongly advised her to go home accompanied by somebody, not by herself. It was necessary because the leg had not yet fully recovered, and she needed help with the flight. So Ariel’s husband bought a plane ticket and flew to the Dominican Republic.
The doctor recommended first-class air transportation and an ambulance to get home safely. The plane ticket was expensive. It was first class and the last one-way flight at the beginning of the global pandemic. So the price was $1,275 for each ticket. An ambulance ride to the airport costs 7,600 DOP or $130. Here’s a list of what travel insurance covers:
- $1,369 (security deposit before treatment at a private clinic).
- $6,110 (the medicine at the clinic and a two-day stay).
- $2,550 (the air tickets for two persons to the United States).
Travel insurance did not cover $400 for the plane ticket Ariel’s husband flew to the Dominican Republic. The insurance company claimed anyone near Ariel from the Dominican Republic could have helped her with the flight. And also that there was no urgent need for her husband to accompany her.
The insurance company also refused to compensate the 130 dollars that went to pay for the ambulance to the hospital. The reason is the absence of a date on the receipt.
After the cruise, Ariel bought a plane ticket to return home. The ticket price was $200, and Ariel paid for it with points left on her credit card account. The insurance company did not reimburse that cost because the service plan does not include reimbursement for credit points.
Generally, a $142.68 travel insurance policy can save more than $10,000 in personal expenses. The whole story you can read here.
The Importance of Medical Insurance
in the Dominican Republic
Generally, health insurance for Dominican Republic tourists is critical for a hassle-free and safe trip. It provides comprehensive coverage for medical emergencies, access to quality medical facilities, financial protection against unforeseen medical expenses, and valuable travel assistance services.
By investing in travel health insurance, travelers can explore the Dominican Republic with peace of mind, knowing they are protected and supported in the event of any medical situation.
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