Greetings once again and I am going to pickup from last week’s topic of the need for travel medical and dental insurance – this time looking at things outside Canada.
First, of course, the quality of emergency medical and dental care varies widely around the world – particularly outside North America, the European Union, parts of the Pacific Rim and Austral-asia areas. With that as a given, let’s look at coverages.
Many plans have exclusions or limited benefits payable if you have a flare up/emergency related to an existing medical condition – such as a history of heart problems, diabetes, stroke, etc. READ THE LIMITATIONS BEFORE YOU BUY! I am not aware of any travel insurance policies that cover costs incurred on a “medical” vacation or for cosmetic procedures or treatments.
The questions on the application must be completed with 100% accuracy – if you are not sure how to answer them, go and see your doctor – do not “guess” at the answers – this can easily result in your claim be denied or severely restricted. Listing of your medications, dosage and duration of treatment or use of that medication will also be required. Check if the plan has a toll-free number for emergency personnel to call and get approval for treatment. Check if you have to pay the bill yourself first and then submit a claim to the insurance company or if the medical providers can bill the insurance company directly.
If you travel regularly out of Canada, you may be better off purchasing a multi-trip plan that gives you coverage for a full year for a number of trips of varying durations.
To quote the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care: “You are strongly advised to purchase additional health insurance every time you leave Canada and ensure that the supplementary insurance you have purchased provides adequate coverage.”