Next year, Ontario will drop basic emergency healthcare for residents travelling abroad.
The discontinuation of the province’s health plan, Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP), takes effect January 01, 2020. The cancellation was originally planned to go live on October 01, 2019, but the implementation date was later pushed back.
The decision to scrap the OHIP was motivated by the high administration costs of the program, which costs the government $2.8 million annually.
Yahoo News Canada reported that until the end of this month, the OHIP will continue to provide coverage for inpatient treatments outside of Canada. The rate is capped at $400 a day for higher tiers of care, with an additional $50 a day for emergency outpatient and doctor services.
Once the health plan is dropped, the provincial government will continue to only cover $210 per treatment for kidney dialysis patients abroad. Treatments in the US typically cost up to $750 a day.
Dan Keon, vice-president of market management at Allianz Global Assistance Canada, believes that while the removal of OHIP might seem alarming, it is not as impactful as most fear.
“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,” Keon said in a previous statement.