Health Care Concerns while Living Abroad

Health Care Concerns while Living Abroad

Many new travelers or people moving abroad for the first time are concerned with medical coverage or what will happen if they need assistance regarding health issues.  Let us put your mind at ease by explaining some of your options.

Do I need to get shots or vaccinations before I teach English in Costa Rica?

COVID Update:

For current information on the situation in Costa Rica regarding the Coronavirus, please check out, and for updated entry requirements for international visitors arriving to Costa Rica, you can check the US Embassy in Costa Rica or Visit Costa Rica's website.  

                                             COVID Precautions

As a traveler on a tourist visa in Costa Rica, you will not be allowed to use the public health system during your time here.  But do no dismay, as there are still many options to make sure you will be covered. 

First and foremost, check with the insurance policy you currently have.  They might provide international coverage and it might not actually cost that much.  This would be ideal for those of you that are only going to be in Costa Rica for the 4-week course.

For those of you that plan on staying longer, please note that many private clinics and physicians will take patients with no coverage and allow you to pay with cash or a card.  Normally, a basic appointment with a physician will cost about 80USD.  In our experience, a regular dentist check up and cleaning will run you about 50 or 60USD.  Additionally, pharmacies in Costa Rica do not require you to have a prescription from a doctor as they have a doctor working in the pharmacy at all times. 


Finally, we have a handful of recommendations for international or travel insurance providers.  Compare policy costs and services provided to find what's right for you.

STA Travel  In addition to covering medical expenses while you are abroad,  STA will help you recover the cost of your trip if you have to cancel for a covered reason, like an illness or injury.  I personally used this provider when I first moved to Costa Rica.  Although I never needed to use the coverage, I was happy with the service and the cost.

HTH Worldwide  offers personalized health care and safety advice, a network of providers in all 50 US states and over 190 countries and some helpful medical translation tools.

Cigna International  provides a global network of over 1 million hospital and clinical staff with 24/7 service.

Aetna  has a 160-year heritage with 15 offices worldwide, can cover pre-existing conditions, has a network of over 1.1 million medical providers.

So decide what works best for you, and contact us right away to reserve your seat in one of our TEFL-certification courses in Costa Rica!  

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