Arriving visitors just need to pick up a brochure and a user card at the tourist information center in the immigration section of the Tocumen International Airport (we certainly hope they expand this program to cover travelers arriving overland like us).
Travelers who need emergency medical care due to an accident in Panama or due to a disease contracted in Panama just present their user card and a passport at any health center to receive free care and coverage that includes accidental death, hospitalization, medical expenses, dental emergency expenses, administrative legal assistance and lost or stolen documents fees. Incredibly, the cost of your medically-related hotel stay (up to 10 days) is also covered as are prescriptions.
In case of death, the program will cover repatriation of the body to the country of origin. Even translation services in English, Portuguese and French are covered.
Quite reasonably, Panama is NOT covering problems caused by negligence, related to alcohol and drugs, or resulting from participation in extreme sports.
The policies will be issued by Assicurazioni Generali and you can get more information here.
Our Trans-Americas Journey should be entering Panama later this year and we look forward to not needing (but totally appreciating) this innovative new traveler emergency safety net.