Out of Country Travel Coverage

Nov 19, 2012

Out of Country travel coverage is one of the most misunderstood items within an employer benefit program.  Most extended healthcare plans include travel coverage within the contract but many employees purchase addition coverage when traveling abroad.  Furthermore, travel policies normally only cover sudden and unexpected emergencies which causes even more confusion for employees and employers.

To help you understand your policy better and to expedite a claim, we recommend completing the following steps.

  • Read your policy: Every travel insurance policy is different so it is important to read it so you can understand any limitations and exclusions. For example, how many days coverage do you have or do you have coverage if you are traveling in the third trimester of your pregnancy? 
  •   Leave your travel information with someone back home: Should you need immediate help, it is good to have someone back home who has your travel details along with your travel insurance information.
  •  Pack your travel insurance papers and emergency help numbers: If you have travel coverage through your employee benefit plan, the toll free numbers will be listed on the back of your drug cards/ travel assistance card.
  •   In the event of an emergency, call the toll free number: Most group benefit plans offer travel assistance that is separate from the out of country insurance coverage. Travel Assistance will provide you with useful information such as directing you to a healthcare facility or assisting you with travel. The toll free number will also help you coordinate out of country payment with the Canadian government (ie. BC MSP).

Having a medical emergency in a foreign country can be frightening; however, following the above steps will help create a positive “claim experience” for you and your family.

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