By Sarita Harbour • Published January 14, 2020 • 3 Min Read
Wondering how the proposed OHIP changes will impact your coverage when you travel outside of Canada? Here's what you need to know about the potential upcoming out-of-country medical insurance changes and what you should do to protect your family and finances.
Are you an Ontario resident who travels outside of Canada? If so, you might have questions about the planned changes to the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP).
As of October 1, 2019, OHIP will no longer cover Ontario travellers facing emergency medical expenses outside of Canada.
Q1. What does OHIP currently cover for out of country travel?
A. Ontarians covered by OHIP currently qualify for limited medical benefits while travelling outside of Canada. If you are travelling before October 1, 2019 your coverage includes in-patient and out-patient services for emergency medical situations that arise while you are out of the country.
According to a recent CBC news report, U.S. hospitals charge 10 to 15 times the amounts currently covered by OHIP Out of Country Services. The cost of treatments will differ depending on the type of emergency.
Q3. Will the OHIP change have a large effect on snowbirds?
A. Possibly. Snowbirds with private health insurance should check to see what coverage is included in their policy when they are outside Canada.
Q4. Does the travel insurance on my credit card cover me?
A. Some credit cards offer out-of-country medical insurance. But there are often restrictions. Your credit card’s emergency medical insurance might only be valid for a certain number of days within a specified period. This may leave you without coverage if you take an extended trip. Be sure to review the term and conditions of your insurance policy or speak to your credit card company to confirm coverage.
Q5. Will my employer benefits cover me when I travel?
A. Many Canadians have some out-of-country coverage through their employer benefits. However, this might include restrictions such as limitations on days, number of family members covered and the total coverage amount. Check your benefits plan or contact your plan administrator to find out exactly how much travel insurance you have.
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