FISCAL AGENTS: Financial Services Group


Open the QuickNav window
Home
Search
Site Map
Contact

The Knowledge Bank

The Money Centre

The Learning Centre

Financial Tools

The Money Management Newsletter
General Interest
GICs / Fixed Income
RIF Planning
RSP Planning
Savings
Managing Money
Choosing Fin.Services
Insurance Products
RESP Savings
Taxes / Estate Matters
Home Ownership
Companion Advisor
Product Reviews
E-Newsletter Archive
Front Page Archive
Subscription Services

Products and Services

About Us




Google

FiscalAgents.com
World Wide Web

Glossary of
Financial Terms
Find out more
Click above to find out how Fiscal Agents can assist you in insurance matters.
Now Quick-Nav enabled!
Use this link to connect you directly to additional useful information related to Insurance.
Revocable and Irrevocable Beneficiaries
Travel Insurance
Survey
Travel Insurance
options available at
Ingle International

 

The Money Management Newsletter: Insurance Products
Travel Health Insurance:
If you get sick unexpectedly or have an accident while you are away, knowing your coverage before an emergency occurs will ease the pain

Buying travel health insurance is an important step for sufficient medical coverage while outside Canada, but it is only the first step. To make your policy work, there has to be a co-operative relationship between the policyholder and the company.

Indeed, the range of medical treatment around the world is so broad and varied, home-based insurance companies will provide booklets outlining what they will, and will not cover. Therefore, an equally important step at the time of purchase is for the traveller to become as familiar as possible with the basic guidelines of the policy before an emergency occurs. Decisions on the reimbursement of expenses are not likely to be the first thing on your mind in an urgent situation.

So how do we ensure financial coverage during a medical emergency? Here are a few guidelines.

Obtain authorization

As soon as possible, call the emergency service centre telephone number provided with your policy. The service centre's role is to manage your medical care and make the claim process fast and efficient. The centre provides claim administrators, on site doctors, nurses and other medical professionals to arrange care and monitor treatment. To ensure coverage, if possible, don't proceed with any medical treatment without full authorization.

You can assist the claims process more efficiently, if you:

  • Supply all the facts and information accurately.
  • Keep a log of the contacts at both the service centre and your insurance company, including the names of people assisting you, the date of the contact, and what was discussed.
  • Keep a detailed record of all medical transactions. Get receipts for the medical care including tests, treatments, and prescriptions. Receipts are a must when making a claim. Also, observe the time limits of your policy.
  • Complete the forms supplied and enclose all original bills signed by the attending physician, plus receipts and supporting claim documentation. Be sure to include your policy identification number, health card number and date of birth. Keep copies of all documentation submitted to the company.

Make your health policy work for you

When buying your insurance, it is important to take all the time needed to fully understand the coverage as well as the limitations of the policy. Travel insurance specialists counsel - Be sure to determine your own needs first, then read the policy thoroughly to be sure those needs are covered.

It is not enough to simply buy travel health insurance; travellers must also know how the policy works and how to use it. It is important for example, to compare the policies offered by different companies, not just for price, but also for the amount of coverage, pre-existing conditions, deductibles, limitations and exclusions. Your health, age, the medication you take, the length of your trip and the destination are all factors that affect the price of a policy and the types of medical costs your insurer will cover. In some cases you may have to find an insurer willing to write a policy tailored to your circumstances.

  • Compare the maximum each policy will pay above Ontario health plan limits.
  • Look for age limits or medical criteria that might apply to you.
  • Compare how the policies define terms such as pre-existing condition, or a medical exclusion. Do they affect your coverage?
  • Compare deductibles and/or co-payment clauses to understand your own obligation.
  • Compare payment procedures. Do you pay for the medical services first, followed by a reimbursement, or is the payment made directly from the insurer to the facility?
  • Check if policies require you to use "preferred" doctors and hospitals.
  • Are you covered for participation in the sports and activities you have planned, or are they excluded?
  • Can you buy extra coverage if you extend your trip?
  • What is the full package cost of each policy?

Don't forget, you may already have sufficient coverage from your credit card company or employee benefits plan. Don't buy more insurance if you are covered.

Reimbursement depends on following the rules

As we’re all aware, travelling, whether for business or pleasure, involves risk. A personal emergency may necessitate an early return, or you may need hospital treatment or air evacuation due to a medical problem. Travellers should be aware that the most government health plans are rarely enough when it comes to medical treatment outside the country, so without supplementary insurance during an emergency, you could be exposed to considerable financial obligations.

Always pay special attention to the definitions, pre-existing condition clauses, deductibles, as well as the limitations and exclusions sections of the policies. If your unsure, ask for clear explanations of each and once you are satisfied, make your insurance purchase. But even then, there is a bit more work for you to do — as follows:

Read the policy: Before leaving on your trip, read and become familiar with your policy and the coverage. It is your responsibility to know what you have purchased.

Take it with you: Include the policy with your travel documents. Keep both the emergency contact phone number available, as well as the number for your insurance company. Compile and include a list of current medications.

Get authorization (if possible): If a medical problem arises, the toll-free phone number provided will connect you to an emergency service centre. Be ready to supply all the facts and information and ask for clarification if you do not fully understand. Again, service centres manage and monitor your treatment and make the medical referrals. Before you go ahead with treatment however, be sure the service centre has obtained authorization from your home-based insurance company. If not, you may be personally obligated for medical services not approved.

Follow the payment process: Under some policies, you pay the hospital and are reimbursed later by the insurance company. Other policies provide payment directly to the medical facility or practitioner. The policy will tell you which procedure to follow.

More…

With files from News Canada, The Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO).

* * *

Use this link to load a printer-friendly
version of this document.

Do you want to share this page with someone else?
Send this page to
Sending
Format
Text
HTML
Your email address

Have a question regarding this article? Use our feedback form to send us a note.
BACK

© , Fiscal Agents Money Management Newsletter
25 Lakeshore Road, Oakville, On L6K 1C6.
(905) 844-7700

 





Fiscal Agents Home

Knowledge Bank Money Centre
Learning Centre Financial Tools
Newsletter Products & Services
About Us    

Legal | Site Map | Home | Search

Copyright © 1984 - Fiscal Agents Financial Services Group


Questions? Comments?
Use our Feedback page to contact us.

 
Insurance Products
Tailoring your car insurance to suit your needs

Gradual Inheritance Transfers

Understanding the different Life Insurance class assessments

Term Life insurance makes protecting against larger risks more affordable

Getting sick while outside of Canada: A look at the cost of travel insurance

Travel Health Insurance

The Luck of the Draw - and making a difference

Designating a beneficiary for a RSP/RIF or a life insurance policy

The do's and don'ts

Purchasing Life Insurance: Are medical tests necessary?

Life Insurance: Term vs Permanent

Term coverage and the myth of self insurance

Critical Illness Insurance - A growing need


Charitable giving through insurance

A word to single parents about their Life Insurance

Is Mortgage Life Insurance worth it?



The Companion Advisor:
w
Insurance