OHIP Travel Medical Coverage Changes Come Into Force

Passengers wait to check-in at Trudeau Airport Wednesday, July 19, 2017 in Montreal. Enhanced security measures affecting flights to the U.S. take effect today and airlines are advising passengers to arrive at airports at least two hours prior to scheduled departures to allow for additional screening. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

THORNHILL: As of January 1, 2020, OHIP will no longer cover any portion of out-of-country medical expenses for Ontario residents.

CAA South Central Ontario (CAA SCO) is reminding travellers that changes to out-of-country medical coverage in Ontario are now in effect, prompting the need to review travel insurance coverage.

“We are working to educate travellers to make sure they know what they are buying. We are an organization founded to help keep our members safe, and coverage while travelling abroad is a big part of that,” said Elliott Silverstein, director, government relations, CAA Insurance.

“Travel insurance protects from unexpected and costly emergencies and it’s important to evaluate available coverage, based on personal needs, to determine how to best safeguard you and your family. This is even more important now that there is no coverage through OHIP.”

Some of the key things to consider when it comes to buying travel insurance are how many trips you are taking a year; if you want comprehensive coverage or medical-only insurance; and whether or not the insurance provider offers additional assistance such as interpreters, hospital recommendations and other coordination services.

Additional tips to consider when buying travel insurance

• Ask questions.”Speak to a good travel insurance advisor who understands your needs.

• Be honest. It is important that you answer any questionnaire accurately to disclose any pre-existing conditions, and ensure you have the proper coverage suited specifically for you.

• Build travel insurance into your travel plans.”Purchasing travel insurance must be done in your home province. As you consider your destination, add travel insurance to your “to do” list.

• Don’t base your decision on price alone.”Look at what coverage is most appropriate for your circumstances and consider all different types of plans.

Questions to ask:

• 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?

It’s important to remember that the intent of travel medical insurance is to treat emergency conditions, and return you to your home province for ongoing treatment once your medical condition is stabilized.”“

Emergency travel medical insurance may require completion of a medical health questionnaire depending on age. Medical questionnaires determine premium, NOT coverage.

◦ Always answer questions related to your health accurately

◦ If you aren’t sure how to answer, ask your physician.