The news that the Ontario government planned to eliminate the OHIP program that offered coverage for basic out-of-country travel medical expenses back in May of this year has put some travellers on alert. However, despite the limited reimbursement still currently available under OHIP, the proposed change to provincial coverage for medical expenses incurred while travelling abroad provides a valuable opportunity to remind all Canadians about the importance of purchasing travel insurance, according to one expert.
“The Ontario government’s plans to remove OHIP coverage for emergency medical services required while travelling outside of Canada may seem alarming, but in reality it is not very impactful,” said Dan Keon, Vice President of Market Management for Allianz Global Assistance Canada. “Some Canadians may still be under the false impression that their provincial health plan will cover most or all of their out-of-country medical expenses. However, prior to the upcoming changes in policy, OHIP had only provided reimbursement for roughly 5% of out-of-country medical expenses. The necessity for Canadians to secure some form of out-of-country medical travel insurance before travelling abroad is as important now as before the upcoming changes. This is why the federal government issued a statement reminding Canadians to obtain travel insurance before leaving the country in January, even before the changes to OHIP’s policy were communicated.”
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