Puerto Rico lawmakers are considering H.B. 1410, a bill that could create a new health insurance mandate for tourists and for other nonresident visitors.
The bill would require tourists and nonresidents to have health insurance in effect while they are staying on the island. The insurance would have to cover medical bills incurred in Puerto Rico.
Tourists and other affected nonresidents who lacked coverage for expenses incurred in Puerto Rico would have to buy supplemental insurance from private insurers.
In addition to having coverage for care resulting from accidents and medical emergencies, visitors would have to have coverage that would pay for any care they receive in Puerto Rico as a result of conditions that existed before they came to Puerto Rico.
The lead sponsor is Rep. Aponte Dalmau.
The House, the insurance commissioner’s office and Puerto Rico’s tourism agency — the Tourism Company — are expected to focus on the bill in November.
Topics to be discussed could include statistics on tourists’ medical expenses, payments for care and the possible cost of basic coverage for visitors.
Bill backers are expecting Puerto Rico to provide funds that the insurance commissioner and the Tourist Company could use to regulate the tourist insurance provisions.
The tourist insurance would be noncancelable and nonrefundable. Visitors would have to pay for the insurance in full upon arrival at air and cruise ports.
Tourists who arrived with medical insurance that covers expenses in Puerto Rico, such as coverage from Blue Shield or Triple-S Salud, would not have to buy the supplemental tourist insurance.