If you are from Ontario and take a trip to Alberta to enjoy the classic Canadian scenery of the Rockies, but slip on a trail during a hike and experience a serious leg injury, who would pay for the cost of airlifting you off the mountain? If you answered the Canadian universal health care system, you’ll be disappointed. Especially when you receive the bill.
As it turns out, provincial health care benefits (such as OHIP in Ontario) will not pay for any type of emergency transportation, whether it’s for a simple ground ambulance or complex air evacuation.
Most Canadians don’t realize that their provincial health care benefits don’t travel with them outside of their province or territory. This is why travel insurance is an important consideration for any Canadian who enjoys domestic travel, whether their trips take them on a brief ski getaway to Tremblant (QC), a week at the Calgary stampede (AB), or a weekend away in Vancouver (BC). Whenever you leave your province of residence, consider augmenting your provincial health care plan with travel insurance.
Travel insurance is designed to pay in excess of provincial health plans. Think of it as a “top-up” that can offset any additional medical or financial risks for you when you’re travelling within Canada. In addition to the emergency medical benefits, plans offered by Allianz Global Assistance provide you with access to responsive 24/7 emergency assistance and a host of valuable benefits and coverages if you’re hospitalized, such as bringing a family member to your bedside, returning your rental vehicle on your behalf, or even helping with the cost to return your pet.
Moreover, as a service to its customers, Allianz Global Assistance, acting on behalf of the insurer, has arrangements with all provinces and territories to pay claims first, and then submit your receipts and original bills to your provincial health plan for reimbursement. This takes significant paperwork out of your hands during the claims process.
Beyond medical benefits, Canada is vast in size, so pre-paid trip expenses for flights, accommodations and other activities can quickly add up. Canadians travelling outside of their province of residence but within the country can also take advantage of plans that include benefits for Trip Cancellation, Interruption and Baggage for added reassurance in case an unexpected event derails your plans.
Remember, government health care plans aren’t “mobile” like your smartphone, so consider travel insurance every time you’re travelling outside your province of residence, even when staying within Canada’s borders.