OHIP No Longer Providing Out-of-Country Medical Coverage.

Effective January 1, 2020, the Government has made significant changes to OHIP’s Out-of-Country medical coverage. The provincial government is no longer providing emergency medical coverage, shifting 100% of the risk on to Ontarians. Protecting yourself with the right Travel Insurance has never been more critical.

Below is an example of some of the costs that could be associated with a broken leg while travelling in the USA:

  • $2,500 – Cast and Fracture Clinic Fees
  • $17,000 – $35,000 – Surgical treatment for setting of bones
  • $2,000 – Additional surgeon fees
  • TOTAL: $21,5000 – $39,500

For most Canadians, a medical emergency while abroad represents a significant financial risk. A typical U.S. hospital stay often exceeds several thousand dollars, and it is common to see claims for certain situations run into the hundreds of thousands, and beyond.

Understanding your options when it comes to travel insurance can be very complex and often frustrating. Searching online for travel insurance leads to an overwhelming number of options and policies, each with its own specific conditions, rates and requirements. Many people also have existing coverage provided by their Credit Cards, Group Benefit Plans, Associations or other affiliated programs.

At SC Insurance, Travel Insurance Specialist Lori Field, helps clients understand their own situation, and helps them find the right solution.

Clients can no longer rely on OHIP, so we are advising everyone more than ever to be proactive in insuring their travel.

Lori Field, Travel Insurance Specialist

Here are Lori’s top 3 tips for how you can find the right travel coverage:

1. Review Existing Coverage

Review the details of your health plan at work, or any plan associated with your credit card and identify the coverage details. Determine any gaps you need to fill with a private policy.

Many Premium Credit Cards and Group Benefit Plans provide coverage; however, you need to understand the limitations and maximums that exist and how they might impact you.

2. Identify the limitations and restrictions

Whether you have existing coverage or need to buy additional insurance, it is important to understand the impact of pre-existing conditions and stability of health and how they impact your coverage. Below are some of the key terms included in most policies. These can vary between policies, and misinterpretation of them is the primary reason for most denied medical claims.

Pre-Existing Condition
Typically defined as any sickness, injury or medical condition for which you consulted a physician, had symptoms, were hospitalized or prescribed medications within a certain period prior to the effective date of coverage. The period may vary from weeks, months and beyond.

Stability
Some plans can cover a Pre-Existing Condition if it is considered “Stable” for a certain period before your trip. To be considered Stable, there can be no change in medication, no outstanding tests or results, no new or worsening symptoms, and no new diagnosis.

Stability Period
This refers to the timeframe when the above changes took place. It is typical to see this period look back several months, and even as far back as one year. However, there are specialized products that offer a shorter stability period, even as little as 7 days.

3. Be Honest!

When applying for coverage, or asking for a coverage opinion, be sure to disclose any pre-existing conditions and medications. Otherwise, your coverage may not be valid. When in doubt, speak with your doctor on how to answer medical application questions.

The changes to OHIP’s out-of-country coverage should open everyone’s eyes to the importance of understanding your coverage and your own risks. It has never been more important to find the right protection.

SC Insurance provides clients with personalized support and assessments from our experienced team.

Contact us to discuss your travel insurance needs

travel@scinsurance.ca
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Our priority is ensuring that our clients know that we are available to help with recent developments as they pertain to your insurance needs. In order to ensure the safety and comfort of our staff, effective March 23rd all staff will be working remotely but we are always just a phone call or email away. We want you to know that we have measures in place at this time to ensure minimal business disruption and we are working with all insurance companies to understand the full effect on group and personal insurance plans.

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