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Think You Don’t Need Travel Medical Insurance?

Think You Don’t Need Travel Medical Insurance?
If you travel and rely on your provincial health care coverage, medical coverage through your workplace or from your credit card, please consider that there are many misconceptions when it comes to medical coverage when traveling out of the province.  

Don’t Count On Your Provincial Health Coverage 

Your provincial health care plan may only cover a tiny fraction of expenses if you require medical services outside of the province. With our southwestern Ontario location providing such easy access to the states, many of us pop over stateside without a second thought about what might happen in the event of a medical emergency. 

Here’s a real-life example: 

67-year-old Carlos and his wife, Jane, traveled to Palm Beach for their annual winter getaway, where they planned to soak up the sun and visit friends. A few weeks into their trip, Carlos woke up in the middle of the night feeling like something was stuck in his throat. After gargling with warm water and drinking herbal tea, the feeling persisted, and Carlos began coughing uncontrollably. 

Alarmed by his condition, Jane took him to the ER for evaluation. Tests revealed Carlos didn’t have anything stuck in his throat but his vocal cords were inflamed. Carlos was advised to continue drinking fluids and rest his voice. 

Hospital fees: $21,782.75 
Doctors’ fees: $4,039.38 
Radiology fees: $621.98 
Amount covered by provincial healthcare: $353.65 
Amount paid by Travel Medical Insurance: $26,090.46 

Beware: Relying on Medical Coverage Through Your Credit Card 

When you are issued a credit card which offers travel insurance, no medical questions are asked or answered. Therefore the underwriting process occurs in the event of a claim. 

Your credit card’s claims department will then review your medical history and may deny your claim based on a pre-existing condition. Always read the fine print to learn of coverage limitations. 

Depending on Your Employer-Sponsored Health Benefits? 

Many people believe that they have travel medical coverage through their employee health benefits plan. If so, it’s again important to consider that your health status may have changed since the policy was initiated, which may affect coverage in the event of a claim. It’s essential to fully understand coverage limitations. 

Before you travel, review with an insurance professional: 

  • Coverage limitations Restrictions based on travel duration and pre-existing conditions
  • Who to contact in the event of a medical emergency 
  • The forms and documentation necessary to successfully submit a claim 
  • If you’re going to be participating in an activity deemed to be “risky”, such as skydiving, surfing or even hiking! 
One misstep could cost you thousands! 

Two final thoughts: 

  1. Purchase the best travel medical insurance you can afford is your best bet to ensure you are completely covered. 
  2. To avoid potentially financially devastating medical bills, be one hundred percent certain of your travel medical coverage before you go! 
Please reach out to Gibb Insurance Brokers to discuss flexible and affordable travel medical insurance options: 519-736-8228