Whether it’s travelling Canadians, visitors to Canada or students travel insurance is an important tool of protection from emergency medical services away from home.
Selecting travel health insurance
Carefully research your needs and verify the terms, conditions, limitations, exclusions and requirements of your insurance policy before you buy.
When assessing a travel health insurance plan, ask lot of questions. Does the plan provide continuous coverage for the duration of your stay and after you return? Does it offer coverage that is renewable from abroad and for the maximum period of stay? Does the company have an in-house, worldwide, 24-hour/7-day emergency contact number and/or translation services for health care providers in your destination country? Does it pay for foreign hospitalization for illness or injury and related medical costs and provide up-front payment of bills or cash advances, so you don’t have to pay out of your own pocket?
Be sure to ask whether the plan covers pre-existing medical conditions. Ask the company to explain the definition, limitations and restrictions of any pre-existing conditions and tests and treatments you may have undergone.
- Make sure you get a written agreement that your pre-existing medical condition is covered, or you could find your claim “null and void” under a pre-existing condition clause.
- Be aware that the agreement must also include a stability clause stating that for you to be covered for any pre-existing medical conditions you must have no changes to or new medical conditions, symptoms or medications during the stability period prior to your trip.
- The agreement should include a compassion clause stating that an inaccurate statement may not invalidate the entire policy, and a change of health clause.
And ensure that the plan provides for medical evacuation to Canada or the nearest location with appropriate medical care and pays for a medical escort (health care provider) to accompany you to and from your destination.
Ensure that deductible costs are clearly explained in the plan. Plans with 100-percent coverage are more expensive but may save money in the long run. The plan could cover health care provider visits and prescription medicines, or emergency dental care or emergency transportation, such as ambulance services. Check whether it excludes or significantly limits coverage for certain regions or countries you may visit.
Finally, ensure that the plan covers the preparation and return of your remains to Canada if you die abroad.