If you are planning on travelling abroad in the near future, it’s essential to be aware of how expensive medical bills are in other countries. Even for seemingly minor illnesses, costs can stack up pretty quickly. Provincial Medicare (OHIP in Ontario) may contribute a small portion of the cost, but the rest will be your responsibility.
Take this article from the Business Insider for example. Titled “This $55,000 Bill Is The Perfect Example Of Our Broken Hospital System”, the article outlines very high medical bills in the United States for treatment of appendicitis. Even though the individual had private health insurance, he still had to pay $11, 199.53 of his $55, 029.31 bill. Ouch.
If this had happened to someone travelling from Canada without out of country protection, the individual may have been required to pay the entire sum remaining after provincial Medicare pays their share. You never know what medical emergency may come up while you are travelling, which is why it is always essential to have travel medical insurance – even for day trips.
You can do research before your trip to ensure that you know the way the medical system works in the country you are travelling to. If you do incur a medical bill while abroad, make sure you go over the bill and inquire about any charges that don’t make sense.
Before you go away, call your benefits plan provider and ask if your benefits plan includes travel medical insurance, or “out of province” coverage. Bring your travel assist card with you on your trip so you will have access to your insurer’s travel emergency phone number should you need it. It’s important to call the travel assist number as soon as possible at the time of incident, so that expenses can be approved and the claim process goes smoothly.
If you don’t have travel medical insurance through your group benefits plan, you can purchase it directly for the duration of your trip from most travel agents, associations like CAA, and specialty insurance companies.
Don’t get caught abroad without your out of country protection – and have a stress-free trip knowing you have coverage if something unexpected happens.
>> If your benefits plan is provided by The Benefits Trust, we can help you understand your travel coverage and provide you with your travel assist policy number. Contact us now to get the information you need!