Visitors to Canada insurance is a smart way to protect you and your family from the potential devastating costs of an unexpected medical emergency. There are many options out there, so here are some tips to help you choose a plan that is right for you:
Check your credit card benefits: Many credit cards have travel insurance as a benefit, so check your cards to make sure you are not buying coverage you may already have. However, review your card’s travel insurance exclusions carefully. For example, some cards do not provide coverage for people over the age of 65. Only a few cards (typically the ones with high annual premiums) offer coverage that is comparable to stand-alone plans.Don’t wait to the last minute to buy your insurance: Yes it is true: Insurance questionnaires are long and often confusing. To fill out the questionnaire fully and accurately, you may need to consult your doctor, pharmacist, or a family member who knows more about your medical history. You need time to do all this properly, so it’s wise to start the process several weeks in advance. Most claim denials are a result of people rushing through the questionnaire, or not inquiring about items they were unsure of.
Don’t choose a plan based on price alone: Price is definitely a big consideration, but your policy should first meet your needs. Different insurance providers offer different plans (sometimes a lot different), so choose a plan that fits your specific needs given your health profile.
Consider a deductible to keep costs down: Deductibles are the costs you agree to cover before your plan’s coverage kicks in (typically the first $500 or $1000 in emergency medical costs). The higher the deductible, the lower your premium. If you feel comfortable with a higher deductible, this is an excellent way to reduce insurance costs and your overall costs of travel. Paying the first $500 of a medical emergency will sting, but it will probably not ruin you financially. Just make sure you can pay the deductible to the hospital, doctor, or clinic if and when you have to.
Go with a Canadian insurance company: Canadian insurance companies and Canadian health care providers have an established infrastructure which includes an integrated direct billing system. The claims process with a Canadian insurance company is typically quicker and easier compared to non-Canadian carriers. Using a non-Canadian insurer may also result in you having to pay for care prior to treatment, which adds a layer of complexity and aggravation to a claim.
Understand pre-existing terms and conditions: Just because you have a pre-existing condition doesn’t mean you can’t get insurance. Many plans cover pre-existing conditions that are stable and controlled, but you have to understand what “stable and controlled” means. For example, if you changed you medication in any way recently, your condition will not be considered “stable” with many plans providers. If you need to complete a medical application, do it completely and accurately and get your doctor to help if needed. Speak to your insurance company directly if you have questions. Non-disclosure of medical information can void your coverage even if the non-disclosed conditions or symptoms have nothing to do with the conditions causing your claim.
Advise the insurer of any medical changes prior to leaving: If you’re an early shopper and your health changes in any way between the time you buy your insurance and the date it goes into effect, you must notify your insurer. A health change in the interim might invalidate your coverage.
Read your policy: Once you have selected a plan, make sure to read the policy. If there is a term you are not sure about, ask your agent to clarify or have them contact the insurer directly. Make sure you know who the assistance company is, and that they provide you with a contact number, when and where you need help, on a 24/7 basis.