3 Ways to Keep Your Children Covered When Studying Abroad

Aug 31, 2016

Tips for Overage Dependent StudentsSummer’s nearly over and your child has just dropped exciting news that they’ve been accepted to study abroad! The next few weeks will be a whirlwind of organizing passports, visiting consulates for visas, downloading maps, and…..oh yes, what about health care?  Long before that trip to the airport and even before you drag out the suitcases, dust off your benefits plan booklet and read it. Carefully. Because failure to do so could cost you. A lot.

But don’t be too alarmed. It’s actually quite simple as long as you keep in mind three things: What, Where and When. So let’s dig in and uncover some surprising myths about insurance and then look at a strategy to save you time, trouble and money.

 

WHAT

MYTH: Your group insurance will continue to cover non-emergency and emergency care for your child while they study abroad and will assume continued student status.

FACT: Group insurance coverage distinguishes between emergency and non-emergency care with varying coverage amounts. Continued coverage as a student needs to be regularly confirmed.

SOLUTION: Clarify coverage for non-emergency and emergency care. Confirm student status for your child.

 

WHERE

MYTH: All out-of-province/country health insurance coverage is the same.

FACT: Each province/country has its own domestic healthcare requirements which may or may not be covered by your benefits plan group travel insurance. For example, if your child is studying in the US, some plans do not meet Obamacare requirements for coverage (also known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act). In this case, your child is deemed an international student and will be required to purchase additional medical coverage through the destination school.

SOLUTION: Check with the destination school to see if the cost of this ‘extra’ coverage is already included in their fees. If it is, note the amount, because it is likely more expensive through the school than buying coverage before leaving Canada.

 

WHEN

MYTH: Our provincial and group health benefits plan will continue to offer regular medical coverage for however long my child is studying abroad.  

FACT: Well yes, they do cover your child outside the country. BUT most provinces limit coverage after a specific period of time and it can vary. For instance, in BC coverage stops after six months out of the country. AND group health benefits insurance companies impose their own time limits that are often referred to in days, ie., 60, 90, 180 rather than months like the provincial insurer. So it’s important to make sure all the dates line up between the program duration, provincial health coverage and group insurance coverage.

SOLUTION: First, check the last date of your child’s program. Then check with your provincial health care provider and simply ask for a coverage extension beyond the allowable limits. Not all provinces will do this but you may be lucky. Then check the specific day limits on your group insurance and apply to extend coverage on an exception basis if necessary.

 

Education can be expensive already and unexpected health care costs can add to the challenge so a little preparation goes a long way. Some things going in that suitcase will be one size fits all, but don’t assume  health care coverage is one of them.

And if your child announces they’re going traveling AFTER their program finishes and AFTER their health coverage ends well, then you have to start all over again.

blog rss subscribe button

GET TO KNOW JOE

  • Phone:

  • 604.714.4406
  • Email:

    • jdemelo@trggroup.com

Jump to:

Place content block here for staff contact info
Place content block here for social media links

PREVIOUS BLOG

Does Your Benefits Plan Cover Children Who are Studying Abroad?

By Joe Demelo on September 29, 2015

NEXT BLOG

Why You Should Pool Your Benefits Plan. Or not.

By Joe Demelo on July 20, 2017

sectionHeaderImg-Blue 

JOE'S LATEST BLOG POSTS

Place content block here. Add accent and heading in editor.

Why Have an HCSA?

By Joe Demelo on March 9, 2015

Reasonable and Customary Reimbursement Limits

By Joe Demelo on December 8, 2014

MSP Replacement Coverage

By Joe Demelo on March 10, 2014

Survivor Benefits

By Joe Demelo on November 12, 2013

Insurance Trend and Inflation Factors

By Joe Demelo on October 28, 2011

GET IN TOUCH WITH JOE

Learn how Joe can help with your group benefits.

Phone 604.714.4406, email jdemelo@trggroup.com or send a message.

Message for Joe