The Ontario government is considering cutting off OHIP coverage for travel outside Canada.
The proposal would mean countless Canadians would lose out on the maximum $400 per day for a higher level of care, such as a visit to the hospital's intensive care unit, as well up to $50 per day for emergency outpatient services, and doctor services, City News reports.
The proposal was posted to Ontario's regulatory website yesterday morning (Apr. 24), giving the public just six days to comment on the matter.
Protect yourself abroad
Speaking to PAX, Dan Keon, vice president, market management, Allianz Global Assistance noted that despite the proposed cuts, Canadians are still a bit in the dark when it comes to understanding the limits of their provincial coverage.
“With any outbound travel, what a surprising number of Canadians don’t realize is that their provincial health insurance doesn’t travel with them, which is why the Canadian government recommends that all Canadians have travel insurance when they leave,” Keon said. “Sometimes, when Canadians are going on a shorter trip, or they’re healthy, they just assume that they don’t need the travel insurance, but from what we’ve seen historically, regardless of age, destination or length of trip, emergencies do happen.”
In a statement posted to Twitter, Ontario's Premier Doug Ford seems to disagree, saying:
Here’s a fact: Ontario is protecting health care at home, while getting rid of bloated bureaucratic programs that serves those already protected by travellers insurance. This comes from a report from the independent Auditor General. #onpoli— Doug Ford (@fordnation) April 25, 2019
According to City News, every year, the province of Ontario spends $2.8 million to administer approximately $9 million in claim payments through the program.
"While we can’t comment on government policy, the current coverage through OHIP and other provincial health plans for medical emergencies experienced outside of Canada is already very limited, with approximately five per cent of costs incurred abroad covered through OHIP," Keon explained. "Allianz Global Assistance continues to encourage every Canadian to arrange medical travel insurance before they leave their home province or the country. This recommendation is consistent with reminders recently issued by the Government of Canada on the importance of travel insurance. Ultimately, the provincial government’s announcement does not change the need to protect yourself with adequate travel medical insurance coverage before leaving Canada.”
If approved, the budget cuts will come into effect on Oct. 1 of this year.
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