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Ministries collaborate with local insurance firms over COVID-19 to make tourism easier

Sok Chan / Khmer Times Share:
Youk Sambath, Health Ministry secretary of state, at the news conference. KT/Siv Channa

The Ministry of Economy and Finance and  the Ministry of Health have collaborated with local insurance companies to issue the $50,000 insurance certificate required for foreign travellers.

The collaboration came after the government realised it was difficult to claim the money from foreign insurance companies for the medical treatment and testing fee when a foreign traveller tested positive for COVID-19 and needed hospital treatment in Cambodia.

Speaking at a news conference,  Youk Sambath, a Health Ministry secretary of state, said the work and the collaboration between government and 10 local insurance companies have completed around 90 percent and will make it available soon for the public and foreigners.

“At the moment, we are asking foreign travellers who visit Cambodia to deposit $3,000 to cover a COVID-19 service charge. If they test positive, we will use this deposited money to pay for the hospital, transportation, hotel fee, medical care, meals, test, and laundry other services,” she added. “All foreign travellers have to deposit the money once they arrive in Cambodia,” Sambath added.

“If they (foreign travellers) tested negative for COVID-19, they will spend only $200 to $300, and the rest of the deposit money will be returned to the depositors within the next five days,” She added.

Sambath added that the government has received around $9 million deposited cash from the 3,000 foreign travellers who came to Cambodia from May 21 to June 30.

Upon arrival Cambodia, all the foreign travellers must deposit their money (in cash or by credit card) at one of three designated bank counters located in the airports. The bank will charge a service fee $30 per person for deposit.

“Previously, we returned the deposit cash after the 14 days of
the quarantine, but now if they (foreigners) test negative of COVID-19, the banks will return the remaining money to them within the next five days,” Sambath said.

She added that $50,000 insurance will be used if a person tests positive for COVID-19 and has to stay in hospital but, at present, the working group at the Ministry of Economy and Finance and Ministry of Health are working with 10 local insurance groups to form a local insurance mechanism.

“The $50,000 insurance certificate from an overseas insurance company is just a piece of paper because we cannot get any money from the insurance company given that the claiming system is difficult, so now we are working with local insurance companies for the $50,000 insurance certificate,” She added.

Youk Chamroeunrith, Forte Insurance managing director, said the COVID-19 insurance product has already been prepared by Forte. His company will work with the government. The insurance product will cover $50,000 when an expat visits Cambodia.

“Our product is now online, and the premium is $90 for 20 days,” Chamroeunrith said. “Before, the ministry of health found it difficult to claim the money from insurance companies they do not know. Therefore, we developed the product since March. It is a consortium that allows other insurance companies to participate n this project,” he added.

Chamroeunrith said the Ministry of Economy has already approved the project. The foreigners have to purchase it from their country of origin. The covers the treatment fee, intensive care unit room, medical care, drugs, cleaning, and blood tests four times.

As of July 2, the Ministry of Health has tested 29,017 samples on 20,397 people at the Institute Pasteur du Cambodge and another 10,590 tests at the National Institute of Public Health.

Sambath however, said that from today onward, if the foreign travellers tested negative of COVID-19, the bank will return the deposit money within five days. However, if the traveller contracted and tested positive for COVID-19 on the 13th or14th day, they would be asked to redeposit the money if the collaboration with the local insurance had not yet been implemented.

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