Health Insurance and Medical Care in Cuba

Spanish Studies Abroad has staff on hand who have experience with students needing medical attention abroad. If you get sick or injured and need to go to the doctor, speak to the Spanish Studies Abroad office staff; they will help you make an appointment and go with you to the doctor's office, if you want them to.

If you are under medical or psychological treatment at home, you should speak with your doctor about the possible effects of study abroad and cultural change on your condition. If you have any pre-existing medical or psychological conditions, you should bring a copy of your medical records with you, in case you need treatment while in Cuba.

Important: Eating disorders are considered medical conditions and must be reported on your health statement. Withholding medical information could result in your dismissal from the program.

Insurance Coverage:

Spanish Studies Abroad obtains medical insurance coverage for all students during their stay in Cuba through Asistur. The insurance covers all doctor visits and procedures at a medical clinic designated for international visitors. There is no extra charge for the insurance policy as it is already included in the program fees. You must return your insurance form on time to the Amherst office in order to begin the process to obtain full coverage upon arrival in Havana. If you fail to return your form as requested, coverage will be delayed.

Coverage includes 24-hour Alarm Center: Tel. (537) 866-8527; (537) 866-8339; (537) 867-1315  E-mail:; Be aware that if you require treatment for any pre-existing condition, you will be required to pay for such medical services in cash and then file a claim for reimbursement by your insurance company when you return home.

You can also find it here


If you have dental insurance in the U.S., you should also bring some dental insurance claims forms with you, in case you need dental treatment while you are abroad.


If you require allergy or other injections, you should bring syringes with you from the U.S.; needles in Cuba are usually a bigger gauge. The cost of receiving these injections is not covered by your Spanish Studies Abroad insurance, so be prepared for that expense. In order to get your injections at a clinic abroad, your doctor in the U.S. must write you a letter with the following information:

  • Directions on how to administer the injection
  • How often the medication is administered
  • Generic name of the medication
  • Components of the medication
  • Exact dosage of medication needed
  • Any possible side effects
  • Any other relevant information for administering the injection

Send one copy of this letter to the Spanish Studies Abroad office in Amherst, MA, and take the other copy with you to Cuba. Again, you must have a written prescription and/or a letter from your doctor if you want to get through airport security with your injection materials.


If you take prescription medication, be sure to bring enough for your entire stay. Keep prescriptions in their original bottles so as to avoid trouble at customs and airport security.

You should also bring a written prescription with you, in case you run out or lose your medication. Make sure the prescription has the generic name of the drug and not the brand name, so the pharmacist will be able to translate it more easily.