FAQ - Travel
- 1. Is travel insurance really necessary? Doesn't OHIP cover my medical costs?
- 2. I am travelling in Canada. Why should I purchase travel insurance? Isn't health care covered for Canadians across Canada?
- 3. I have a chronic illness. Am I still covered?
- 4. Is it really necessary to read my contract? Aren't all travel insurance policies the same?
- 5. Why are there always exclusions?
- 6. Do I have to complete a medical questionnaire?
- 7. I am 61-years-old and I can no longer buy my travel insurance on the Internet. Why?
- 8. What is a pre-existing condition?
1. Is travel insurance really necessary? Doesn't OHIP cover my medical costs?
Medical insurance is essential the moment you leave Ontario. The Canada Health Act requires the Ontario Health Insurance Plan to cover your medical costs in Ontario only. OHIP is not required to cover any medical costs outside of the province. In fact, OHIP only covers a small portion of medical or hospital costs incurred outside of Ontario. Some examples of costs covered are: $50 for a medical consultation and $100 a day for hospitalization. Because medical costs are significantly higher abroad – particularly in the United States – without travel insurance your financial security is at risk. For examples of foreign medical costs, Click here.
If you become sick or injured while away, your travel insurance can cover:
- Accommodation costs and meals for your spouse or travel companion
- Transportation costs if your return is delayed due to accident or illness
- Cost of medical evacuation, by land or air ambulance, or by commercial flight
- Repatriation costs for your children if you are hospitalized
- Transportation costs to bring a loved one to you if you are hospitalized for seven days or more
- Vehicle Return costs to drive your vehicle or motor home to your home if you cannot drive due to accident or illness
- “Lifeline” costs (clothing, toiletries) if your baggage is delayed
These are costs OHIP does not cover and that you would be
responsible for if you do not have travel insurance. Is
travel insurance essential? Absolutely. Take
a look at the many products we have to offer.
2. I am travelling in Canada. Why should I purchase travel insurance? Isn't health care covered for Canadians across Canada?
That’s only partially true. Medical costs are covered across Canada, however our provincial health plans:
- Do not offer the same services to non-resident travellers as they do to residents (even though you are Canadian, you are considered a non-resident even when living in a neighbouring province)
- Vary from one province to another meaning they do not pay the same rates in all provinces
Examples of some costs you may be required to pay in a neighbouring province are:
- Return of Vehicle
- Air Ambulance
- Relatives visiting in hospital
There are billing agreements between certain provinces, but not
all. Since Medical costs vary from one province to another, what
may be sufficient to cover a medical service in one province may
not be enough to cover the same service in another.
3. I have a chronic illness. Am I still covered?
It depends on the illness, its seriousness and its stability. Some illnesses are easily covered, while others require a three or six month stability period, depending on your age. Blue Cross offers our customers over the age of 61 the option of possible coverage for their illness by having a medical questionnaire completed by your treating physician. Blue Cross’ medical director will then evaluate your condition. If your request has been approved, you can travel worry-free: your chronic illness will be covered under your insurance policy.
4. Is it really necessary to read my contract? Aren't all travel insurance policies the same?
A) Yes, reading your travel insurance contract is very
- Your travel insurance certificate - to ensure the benefits listed are in fact the ones you selected.
- Your travel insurance policy - a contract is
an agreement between two parties. You must know your
responsibilities as well as those of the insurer. Above all, you
must know when your coverage begins and ends and understand what is
covered and what is not. Pay particular attention to the following
- What is covered
- What is not covered
- Exclusions and reductions of coverage
If you review your travel insurance policy thoroughly, you will
be aware of what is and is not covered should you have to file a
B) No, not all travel insurance plans are equal. Policies and insurers can differ on many levels. Unfortunately some individuals only become aware of these differences in an emergency situation, when you need the best service available. Blue Cross is the most recognized insurer worldwide, and is part of the largest and most respected medical network, ensuring you the best possible coverage, no matter where you travel.
5. Why are there always exclusions?
Every insurance contract carries exclusions. An insurer cannot cover certain risks and still maintain affordable insurance premiums. The most common exclusions are:
- A pre-existing illness, diagnosed prior to departure
- A trip taken against your doctor’s advice
- Risks taken by the insured that surpass those considered insurable, such as taking part in a race, an extreme sport, an illegal act or using drugs
- And others, the details of which can be found in the What is not covered section
Always read your contract so that you are properly prepared. You
will find that almost all exclusions are based on common
6. Do I have to complete a medical questionnaire?
No, you are only required to complete a declaration of health.
This declaration will help determine your insurance premium.
Premiums are based on age-inherent risk and state of health,
similar to other types of personal insurance.
If you suffer from a chronic illness, depending on its nature, you may be required to pay a slightly higher premium than someone in perfect health. The option of a medical questionnaire is offered for individuals 61 and over to evaluate the stability of a chronic illness that may be covered. You are under no obligation to fill out this questionnaire. It is at your discretion.
7. I am 61-years-old and I can no longer buy my travel insurance on the Internet. Why?
Insurance premiums are determined by risks
associated with the length of the trip, health and age. As people
age, illness becomes more common. Determining the applicable rate
involves many factors. It is preferable for everyone involved, that
you speak with a customer service agent. If you are in perfect
health, you will pay less than someone who is afflicted with a
risky chronic illness.
For more information or to speak
with one of our agents
In Toronto: 416-646-2585
Outside Toronto: 1-866-732-2583
Or email – email@example.com
8. What is a pre-existing condition?
A pre-existing condition is a health condition that exists when you buy your travel insurance plan, prior to departure. It may be a chronic illness, such as high blood pressure, a cold or a recent surgery. If the Insurer considers this condition as an increased risk, your premium may be slightly higher than that of someone who is in perfect health. However with a medical questionnaire (offered to persons of 61 years of age and over) this condition may be covered if it is determined to be stable by your treating doctor and the Blue Cross medical director.