Do you know enough about your benefit plan travel coverage?

TravellingChances are…YOU DON’T.

It is very nice to have emergency travel coverage as part of your benefits plan, but prior to any travel, you should understand any restrictions and limitations associated with the travel coverage. Although many people may think that they are completely covered, this isn’t the case. Plan booklets are often vague and do not offer detailed information about the travel coverage that you should know to protect yourself while traveling abroad.

A few things to be aware of prior to any travel (by calling the designated travel line or claims line of the insurance carrier):

  • Know the carrier’s definition of medical “stability”, especially if you take any sort of maintenance medication
  • Know what qualifies as a pre-existing condition…. yes, there are some restrictions here…remember it is “emergency” coverage only
  • Know what qualifies as an “emergency”
  • Know what countries would be considered “unsafe” for travel

A couple of other items that are not considered as part of your benefit plan travel coverage would be trip cancellation and lost baggage insurance. These items might be covered by your credit card, or you can purchase this coverage separately.

The last thing any traveller wants, is a large bill associated with an unexpected medical claim while travelling outside of Canada. Be sure you understand how you are protected, what’s covered, with which company and who is your contact, just in case. If you have a travel insurance be sure to pack it. Happy holidays!

Sean Ross

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