Good health is not guaranteed forever. Everybody gets sick at some point, and the best way to prepare for a future health issue is by having a health care plan in place before it happens.
Ecuador offers free healthcare for its citizens, but those who are actively working pay for their health insurance through a system called lESS. For some visa holders, Ecuador requires that the holder provide their own health insurance. This requirement was previously mandated for all new residency applicants, but is now only for certain visa categories.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regulation, the categories that are required to submit their own health insurance certification are the following:
Remote Worker / Digital nomad
Applicants under the mentioned categories must have their own health insurance in order to apply for a residency visa. One should consider obtaining health insurance as a top priority when coming to Ecuador. Especially because a certificate from the insurance company is needed for the visa application. This certificate must have the applicant’s personal information, explained coverage, and duration of the policy. Some insurance companies do not issue a certificate unless the person has been enrolled for a few months, while other companies will issue one if you pay for a full year in advance. The document necessary for the visa should have been issued within two weeks prior to the application date.
International health insurance is also an option as long as the policy and certificate indicate that it has coverage for Ecuador, and the policy lasts for the duration of the entire visa.
Do not seek out whichever health insurance company just to fulfill the requirement, take your time to review different plans and choose the one that fits your needs and that will be useful for you. Your health comes first.
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