5 Things you must know about travel insurance including the changes to OHIP coverage

As of January 1st 2020, Ontario residents will no longer be able to claim up to $400 a day for out of country hospital care and up to $50 per day for emergency outpatient and doctor services through their OHIP coverage. The bottom line is: as an Ontario resident, it is imperative to have proper travel insurance when leaving Ontario.

Potential Premium Surge!

For every dollar that OHIP covered claims, there is a potential risk of insurance companies to increase their rates. Although OHIP only covered a small portion, there was some relief for insurance companies from the huge burden of claims, especially coming from the US.

Travel out of Ontario does require travel insurance!

Many Canadians are not aware that not all their medical expenses are covered by their provincial health insurance plans, while traveling to other provinces.

The story of a young man from Ontario went snowboarding in British Columbia and had a tragic fall which landed him in a BC hospital to deal with a broken neck which paralyzed him. The BC hospital took great care of him, but his family wanted him back in Ontario, as the cost to stay in BC was very expensive. Since he didn’t have travel insurance coverage, his family had to raise money for the air-transportation which included a medical team. The cost of this flight was over $200,000, which was way out of reach for them. Travel insurance would have covered him.

The largest gaps for Canadians travelling to other provinces is air and ground ambulance and anything outside of core services are not covered.

Unexpected medical treatment is the single most expensive hidden cost you could get hit with when you travel, whether on business or pleasure, within Canada or around the world.

Understanding the stability period.

In order to be covered for any pre-existing medical conditions there must be no changes to/or new medical conditions, symptoms, or medication during the stability period prior to your trip. This also includes, no test results showing deteriorations, no hospitalization and no referral to a specialist.

What affects the cost?

Like any other insurance that is linked to our age and health, travel insurance can vary greatly between individuals. As we age, the cost of travel insurance goes up, usually every 5 years.

Any pre-existing medical conditions will cause your rates to be more expensive and, in some cases, will cause you to be un-insurable with some companies.  Every company evaluates health issues differently and it is worth it to work with a broker to find the best rates for your specific health concerns. Just because you’ve had cancer, or a heart attack does not mean you won’t be able to get travel insurance again. Time does help reduce rates, as it shows stability.

Trip cancellation and interruption insurance.

Trip cancellation and interruption insurance protects your prepaid travel arrangements from any unexpected emergencies that may cause you to cancel, delay, or interrupt your trip and loss baggage or delay. This type of coverage is usually offered by most travel companies or on-line booking sites and can be offered as part of a package with emergency medical coverage. Trip cancellation is usually more cost effective to purchase separately rather than bundling it with the health coverage. This is dependent upon your age, and you should look at all options and compare pricing. There is a stability period with trip cancellation coverage too, so ensure you understand the policy before purchasing it.

As Canadians, there are travel warnings for certain countries like Australia right now, and this could affect your travel insurance. Before traveling to any foreign country, it recommended to visit www.travel.gc.ca for full details on travel advice and advisories.

Traveling creates amazing memories, so let’s keep it safe and understand exactly what your travel insurance covers you for. Education is the key.

For more information, contact Stacey Aarssen at support@bettertravelinsurance.ca