Travel Insurance For Snowbirds and Retired Canadians
Whether you are one of the millions of Canadian Snowbirds who flock to warms of southern climate during the winter months, or planning a trip that takes you out of your home province, you need need to supplement your provincial health insurance plan’s out of province coverage. If you suffer a medical emergency through illness or injury while away you will need to pay for the medical costs. The costs can be enormous with daily hospital costs reaching US$10,000 in some American hospitals.
Emergency Medical Travel Insurance Will Cover The Costs Of Emergency Medical Care!
Private medical insurance is designed to protect you from these unexpected medical costs. Most Canadian insurance companies provide coverage designed for Canadian Snowbirds and Senior Canadian Travelers.
Emergency medical travel insurance plans are normally issued with fixed coverage amounts being $1,000,000, $2,000,000 or $5,000,000. If you incur medical expenses due to sudden and unexpected sickness or injury then your medical expenses will be covered by your emergency medical travel insurance.
Wise Purchase Tip -You may think that it would be less expensive to buy a $1,000,000 policy than a $5,000,000 policy but this is not always the case.Travel Insurance companies have cost control measures to ensure that they minimize their payouts. Emergency medical insurance policies will rarely need to pay high claims. This means the premium difference will be negligible and we recommend that you always choose a $5,000,000 coverage for your ultimate peace of mind.
Plan holders can choose optional deductible amounts. Most emergency medical travel insurance policies are issued with a standard deductible (ranging from $100 to $500). This deductible can be bought out by paying a premium surcharge (ranging from 10 – 15%).
Wise Purchase Tip – The insurance companies use wording in their deductible statement like per claim or per policy. If you decide you want to purchase a travel insurance plan with a deductible then make sure your deductible is per policy. This will ensure that the deductible will only be charged once. Per claim policies will charge a new deductible each time you make a claim.
If you are 55 or older you wil, most likely, be required to answer a medical questionnaire prior to purchasing emergency medical travel insurance. The medical questionnaire is important to determine you rate category. Your premium rate category will be determined by health issues such as;
- Heart conditions
- Lung condition
- Illnesses that require aggressive medication
- High blood pressure
- Smoker Status
Once the medical questionnaire is completed a health category will be assigned. Each health category will specific exclusionary policies related to pre-existing conditions.
Wise Purchase Tip – Although we all want to get the cheapest coverage possible, be very careful to complete the medical questionnaire as accurately as possible. If you are not sure how to answer the questions then you should request that your Doctor help complete the questionnaire.
Pre-Existing Condition Clauses
Once you have been given a health category your will know how the insurance company defines a pre-existing condition. Typically, your condition is deemed to be stable if you have not changed medications, dosages or treatments, for your medical condition for a set number of days.
For example, an applicant with only high blood pressure may be deemed stable if their condition is controlled and no change in treatment has occurred in the prior 180 days. If this condition is satisfied then any illness that results from the applicants high blood pressure condition would be covered under the emergency medical plan.
Wise Purchase Tip – Each travel insurance company has unique definitions of stability and pre-existing condition, we highly recommend that you apply for your coverage early (not more than 180 days prior to departing on your trip) and review the policy wording before you depart.
If you suffer a medical emergency while on your trip you are encouraged to call the insurance companies claims centre immediately! They will coordinate with the care facility to ensure your treatments will be covered. In many cases, the billing will go directly to the insurance company.
If you go to a small clinic or doctors office, they may not be equiped to handle such billing. You may be required to pay the bill and submit your receipts to the travel insurance company for reimbursement.
Wise Purchase Tip – You will be issued a wallet card when you purchase your coverage. Make sure and keep this on you at all times. The hospital staff will need this if you are rushed to the Hospital Emergency incapacitated.