Health: Emergency Health Care For Vacations in Canada

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By Larry Jackson
Director Communications
PrimeLink Lifestyle Association of Canada

You and your immediate family are on your annual vacation somewhere in Canada. That somewhere is not in the province you call home. Without warning, something happens to one of the people on the trip and they develop an urgent need for emergency medical assistance. It could be a broken bone. It could be a heart attack, a stroke, or worse. As you head into the emergency room at the hospital you wonder to yourself, who is going to pay the medical bill for the medical help you are about to receive?

It’s a question that you should consider before you leave on any trip out of province or out of country because if you haven’t thought it through, you could be stuck with a big bill you aren’t prepared to pay.

Rachelle Dubeau, an emergency health insurance specialist at Broker Advantage in Burlington Ontario, says the first thing to consider is whether you have already been accepted in the one of provincial health insurance programs. “If you have government coverage they likely will cover the costs of the emergency itself. What they may not cover are the extras. Let’s say you have to be airlifted from Calgary to your home in Toronto. The rest of your family members have to get home on their own. It’s even worse if you’ve left a car out there, without a licensed driver. It can be expensive to have your car returned.” According to Ms. Dubeau the solution is an inexpensive emergency medical insurance plan that will pay for the extras the government doesn’t cover. “For a few dollars a day you can protect yourself from paying out thousands.”

The situation is even more complicated if you have not yet qualified for your province’s government health insurance plan. “These people have no protection”, says Ms. Dubeau. “They absolutely need an emergency medical insurance plan that will provide coverage for both the emergency expenses and the extras as well.”

There are two types of plans commonly available. If you are planning one trip out of province during the year you may be best served by a “Visitor to Canada” product like PrimeLink Emergency Medical Insurance for Immigrants and New Canadians. If you think you will be traveling more than once, an annual plan that provides year round coverage may be more appropriate.

So as you are putting together the checklist of things to prepare as you plan for your summer trip remember to ask yourself the question about emergency health insurance. It is an essential that should not be overlooked or forgotten.

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