On June 16th, the Trump Administration announced changes in policy regarding travel to Cuba, raising questions within the recreational boating community about how this will affect their ability to plan their own individual trips there. Until the details are hammered out and released to the public, however, cruisers and sailors are continuing to follow the current regulations.
As of this update, DAN Boater is continuing to assist members traveling to Cuba just as before.
With the Obama Administration's easing of restrictions on travel by U.S. citizens to Cuba, questions have arisen regarding the ability of Divers Alert Network (DAN) to provide DAN Boater medical emergency assistance services for incidents that occur within Cuba.
As a U.S. domiciled company, DAN is obligated to adhere to all rules and regulations promulgated by the United States government. With regard to Cuba, these rules and regulations come from the U.S. Department of the Treasury and are enforced by the Office of Foreign Assets Control. Failure to adhere to these rules and regulations would be unlawful and could subject DAN and its officers and employees to fines and possible imprisonment. As such, DAN must be very careful in how we handle situations which arise within the territorial boundaries of Cuba.
Effective December 21, 2015, the U.S. Department of the Treasury promulgated new rules related to providing insurance to U.S. residents who travel to Cuba, and the payment of related claims. These rules are described in C.F.R. §515.560. Provided your travel to Cuba is legal (i.e., you are not a person subject to U.S. jurisdiction, or if you are, you are traveling to Cuba pursuant to one of the existing exceptions to the prohibition against travel), your DAN Boater benefits will be available to you, and medical emergencies in Cuba will be handled as follows:
Should you need to access your DAN Boater benefits, which provide Emergency Medical Evacuation and Medical Repatriation services to members, you must contact our Emergency Medical Hotline. We will then make the arrangements as we would with any other evacuation out of the Caribbean. We will most likely use a U.S.–based medical transportation or air ambulance company for medical evacuations, but in some cases we may find it better to use a Cuba-based provider. Remember that your member benefits are services, not insurance, and we will not be able to reimburse you for any expenses you incur if arrangements are made by someone other than DAN Boater. Just call our Emergency Hotline and we'll make the arrangements and cover the cost.
If you encounter a medical emergency in Cuba and have access to appropriate medical care in the location where you become sick or injured, you should immediately proceed to that medical facility for care. As always, we encourage our members to first call local emergency services for assistance. If local medical care is not available, or if you are unable to reach local emergency services, you should contact our Emergency Hotline immediately. The DAN Boater Medical Information Specialists and Physicians will help arrange transportation to the closest appropriate medical facility so that you can get the care you need.
DAN Boater’s policies and procedures will be updated as further actions are taken by the U.S. Government with regard to Cuba.