Most Canadians are aware of the importnce of buyng travel insurance when travelling abroad, however they may not be aware of the limitations their Government Health Insurance Plan (GHIP) may have in the case of an unforeseen mishap, while travelling to another province or territory. This is where buying a travel insurance plan
may help cover these limitations.
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 aren't aware that their provincial health care benefits do not fully 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 out-of-province 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 to avoid expensive medical expenses or other non-medical expences experienced due to a trip interruption or trip cancellation.
Your health care plan may only cover the same amount that can be charged in your home province, which means that you would have to pay the difference. Other costs include ground and air ambulance, medical devices such as crutches and splints, emergency dental care, repatriation to your home province, and flying a family member if you require assistance.
Allianz Global Assistance offers emergency medical benefits access to responsive 24/7 emergency assistance and a host of valuable benefits and coverages if you’re hospitalized. These include bringing a family member to your bedside, returning your rental vehicle on your behalf, or even helping with the cost to return your pet.
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.
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 insurance plan for reimbursement. This takes significant paperwork out of your hands during the claims process. 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.
- As of June 20, 2022 travellers are no longer required to be vaccinated while departing, travellers will need to qualify as fully vaccinated travellers when departing from Canadian airports or travel on VIA Rail and Rocky Mountaineer trains. However, make sure that you are aware of any pre-trip requirements, before leaving on your trip while travelling within Canada or to another country.
- Check provincial or territorial travel restrictions and advisories of your destination.
- Stay on top of local media to stay informed of the situation at your destination.
- Follow the advice of local authorities, including public health advice.
- Bring all necessary travel documentation such as proof of vaccination, or a negative COVID-19 test if applicable, as well as your provincial health card.
For additional COVID-19 information for travellers within Canada check out the Government of Canada’s site.
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