OHIP changes to out-of-country medical coverage

Whether it’s a long trip or a short trip outside of Canada, Ontario’s Ministry of Health has always recommended that travellers carry travel medical insurance to help cover emergency medical expenses incurred out-of-country. This is going to be even more important when OHIP’s Out-of-Country Travellers Program ends on January 1, 2020.

Ontarians who travelled outside of Canada had limited coverage under OHIP for emergency medical expenses, including doctor’s visits, emergency outpatient and inpatient services (i.e., hospital care). As of January 1, 2020, this coverage will no longer be provided, which means that Ontario travellers will need to take steps to ensure they are protected from the unexpected costs of medical emergencies when travelling abroad.

What you can do to travel protected in 2020

Review your existing travel medical insurance coverage

If you’re already making plans to travel abroad, include time to look at your existing travel medical insurance coverage and understand your policy.

When reviewing travel medical insurance coverage, it is important to focus on:

  • Eligibility requirements
  • Exclusions and conditions
  • Benefit limits
  • Pre-existing medical conditions
  • Stability period for pre-existing medical conditions

Also, determine whether this provides enough coverage for you and your loved ones.

Learn more about the different types of coverage out there

Research to learn more about coverage options out there based on your travel needs. Are you travelling with family and children? Are you taking more than one trip this year? Do you want or need different services, such as translators or telemedicine and house calls? You may find options that you didn’t know existed and may make it easier for you to travel protected.

Talk to a travel insurance professional

A travel insurance professional can help you in so many ways. They are a great resource for travel insurance options and answering any questions you have about travel insurance. Some questions you could ask include:

  • How much travel insurance should I carry on my trip?
  • What are benefit limits?
  • How many days am I covered for?
  • How could eligibility requirements, exclusions, and conditions affect my travel plans?
  • What is the pre-existing and stability clause?
  • Does travel insurance offer upfront payment?
  • Is there a deductible option available?
  • Can travel insurance help not only me, but my family back home?

Learning more about travel insurance can help you to better determine what coverage works best for your travel needs, and help you travel with confidence.

Have more questions about travel insurance or changes to OHIP in the new year? Contact your nearest CAA Club for assistance.

Wishing all a happy and safe holiday season and the very best in the new year!

Note: Interprovincial travel isn’t affected by this change. OHIP will continue to provide coverage for interprovincial travellers. Keep in mind that you’ll also need to continue to travel protected within Canada as not all medical expenses incurred in other provinces are covered by OHIP, like ground or air ambulance transportation.

As a CAA-owned company, Orion Travel Insurance is available through our partnerships with CAA Clubs. Learn more here.