Orion Travel Insurance, a CAA-owned company, is urging Ontario travellers to take a closer look at their travel and medical insurance coverage. As of Jan. 1, OHIP will no longer cover any portion of out of country medical expenses.
Kellee Irwin, vice-president, Orion Travel Insurance Company, said that, “We know that 25% of Ontarians travel without insurance and that’s the reason for concern. Medical emergencies can happen anytime, anywhere.”
Irwin continued, “It’s critical that people are aware of the upcoming changes to OHIP. Knowing that they have coverage that meets their needs, whether it’s for a long international trip or a quick cross border trip, will give them peace of mind.”
Right now, OHIP offers a maximum of $400 a day for emergency in-patient services outside of Canada and an additional $50 a day for emergency outpatient services as well as doctor’s services, but this will end on Dec. 31.
Going forward, the provincial government will continue to cover $210 per treatment for kidney dialysis patients abroad, which can cost up to $750 a day in the United States. Any other medical coverage outside of the country will need to be paid by the traveller.
Elliott Silverstein, director, government relations, CAA Insurance, noted that, “Depending on the situation, medical bills and any associated emergency travel can be very costly for travellers, and can often cost more than the trip itself,” says. “Even if you think you are covered under your credit card or your private insurance, now is the time to take a closer look at the fine print. Travelling protected means understanding what you are covered for.”
Questions to ask before you buy travel insurance, include:
- What are the eligibility and exclusions?
- What is the pre-existing and stability clause?
- What are the benefit limits?
- How many days am I covered?
- Is there a deductible?
- Do they offer upfront payment if a claim occurs?
Orion Travel Insurance is urging travellers to be aware of their up-to-date medical history and to be honest about any pre-existing conditions.
Said Silverstein, “Many people are under the false impression that they won’t have insurance coverage due to pre-existing conditions. Medical conditions won’t disqualify you, they will just help to ensure you have the right coverage, so be clear and honest when shopping around for insurance.”