Travel insurance is a must. It cannot be overstated.
If you are in medical distress or injured while travelling outside the country, you need to know there is full coverage for your emergency and medical expenses.
Travel Insurance or Travel Medical Insurance is purchased to cover emergency medical expenses when travelling outside BC or outside of Canada. Some persons have travel coverage through group plans at work. Others purchase a policy when booking their travel.
Medical services may be very expensive and such are paid in the currency of the country you are visiting.
When applying for insurance, it is best to seek advice from a trusted insurance broker who may review the complicated application form and policy wordings with you. The broker ought to review with you various plan wording and options.
Be accurate when completing the application form.
When applying for any insurance coverage, all information must be accurate and complete.
If the answers and information you provide are incorrect, even if only by mistake, your coverage and policy may be voided once the mistake is uncovered in your past medical records.
Once you purchase your travel insurance policy, review the complete policy wordings within 90 days of booking a trip and before departure to ensure coverage is in place when you leave the country.
For ongoing medical conditions, you may need your family doctor to approve travel and confirm only regular monitoring is required and no irregular test results or future procedures or treatments are likely to ensure coverage is in place after you leave.
In reviewing the policy, note exclusions for:
- A pre-existing medical condition that was unstable in the 90 days before your left on your trip;
- Injury while impaired; or,
- Injury while participating in high risk sports or leisure activities.
Discuss the exclusions with your broker before purchasing the policy. Make sure you understand how the coverage works.
BC Medical Plan may cover certain emergency medical expenses or a portion of same. You must submit your claim form within the mandated timeline, usually within 90 days of the service provided, or within 6 months for in-patient hospital claims.
Ask your travel insurer to submit your claim to BC Medical for you and confirm in writing that they have done so within time limits. If they do not confirm in writing with you, submit the claim directly yourself to avoid loss of any total or partial coverage by the BC Plan.
For general information, visit BC Heath website under Medical Service Plan, Out-of-Province Emergency Medical Coverage or Out-of-Country Emergency Medical Care at www2.gov.bc.ca.
If denied coverage, contact the writer for an initial legal consultation. Do not delay! There are time limits running for bringing an action in court.