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Ontario will no longer cover the medical costs of Ontarians travelling abroad

by

Aurélia Morvan

May 17, 2019 11:00

The government of Ontario has decided that theOntario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP), the equivalent of the RAMQ in Quebec, does not cover the emergency medical expenses incurred by residents traveling abroad. This decision could enter into force from the 1st of October next.

Thecanadian Association of financial institutions in insurance (ACIFA) request a delay to allow the industry to adapt and for the people of Ontario to be well-informed.

A threat to the industry and consumers

Many Ontarians could travel abroad without suitable insurance if the change is implemented “too quickly, and without effective communications plan,” says the association.

“This communication campaign aimed at Ontarians should emphasize the importance of having a private health insurance for travel outside of Canada, so that they themselves and their loved ones have immediate access to emergency medical care and aid related, and that they can avoid being exposed to costs of financial potentially catastrophic and shocking,” said Keith Martin, co-general manager of cafii.

The association considers that the industry of travel insurance, which has “need for a transition period of at least one year” in order to be able to offer consumers “a high level of protection” when they are travelling outside of Canada.

Opposition of the association of the snowbirds

Even before the government reaches its decision, the Canadian Snowbird Association (CSA) had expressed its opposition to the project.

The association, which represents the canadian voyageurs wintering, estimated that such an elimination would lead to higher travel insurance premiums private of the order of 7.5 %. An increase that would affect not only the snowbirds who go south for the winter months, but also Ontarians who are planning for a family vacation and consumers border with the United States, said the CSA.

Refunds limited

For the moment, when a Ontario needs to seek treatment while travelling abroad, the provincial health insurance reimburses the medical consultations without exceeding the amount it would have paid if the same consultation had taken place in Ontario. OHIP also covers emergency services in a certain limit : up to $ 50 per day for patients not hospitalized and up to $ 400 per day for those whose condition requires a hospitalization.

In the framework of this program, Ontario spends $ 2.8 million every year to ensure the administration of approximately $ 9 million of claims. The government explained its decision to terminate his health insurance abroad by the fact that the latter would be expensive, while being of little benefit.

“People should ensure that they purchase by themselves this cover, it can be obtained at a lower cost and provide them with full compensation if they suffer health problems outside the country “, said the minister of ontario Health Christine Elliott, reports The canadian Press.

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