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Covid insurance for Ontario travellers

Newmarket
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770 posts
56 reviews
146 helpful votes
Covid insurance for Ontario travellers
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Hubby and I are planning to come to Alberta from Ontario Sep 8-17. (Calgary/ Banff/ Jasper. We are 60 but relatively healthy and both doubly vaccinated. Originally, we were more worried about travelling during this latest Covid outbreak for the possibility of restaurants/shops being closed versus worried about our health. However, we are starting to wonder if we are in denial. So, my questions..

1. If we end up hospitalized, will our OHIP cover our costs?

2. What is the most recent discussion regarding restrictions, potential shutdowns and vaccine passports? I know B.C. just implemented a passport, beginning Sept. 13.

3. Should we cancel? Aaargh!!!

15 replies to this topic
Calgary, Canada
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10,228 posts
23 reviews
8 helpful votes
1. Re: Covid insurance for Ontario travellers
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OHIP will cover the cost of what the medical coverage pays in Ontario, if AB charges more for the same procedure you have to pay the difference. It’s always wise to get travel medical coverage even when staying in Canada.

No talk taking place about more shutdowns. Some business's have announced that only fully vaccinated people will be allowed in so bring your vaccination record.

Only you can make that decision.

Penticton, Canada
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29,767 posts
27 reviews
11 helpful votes
2. Re: Covid insurance for Ontario travellers
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Cancelling is your call - nobody can get you guarantees.

Alberta has rarely followed what BC had been doing on this file so BC passports are really not relevant to what they might be doing.

OHIP covers medical cost if you are sick and need to see a doctor as an emergency but they pay Ontario rates which may differ then Alberta rates. It is a good idea to have travel insurance anyway to cover stuff not included in what OHIP might pay - travel credit cards with travel insurance might be enough but you need to check with OHIP to see what they cover.

FYI the restaurants went to take out at the worst of the pandemic; so they know how to do that and some prefer that as there are staff shortages.

Alberta, Canada
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11,534 posts
33 reviews
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3. Re: Covid insurance for Ontario travellers
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OHIP will cover you as stated, but may fall short of what Alberta charges.

But…. If one of you is in hospital it won’t pay for repatriation, it won’t cover the other’s expenses for staying longer in a hotel to be supportive, it won’t give you cash in hand for extra day to day expenses. It won’t pay for an ambulance, and here hospitals are farther apart so that bill is going to be larger.

Travel insurance for medical care will, cover all those expenses.

Canada
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2,157 posts
30 reviews
87 helpful votes
4. Re: Covid insurance for Ontario travellers
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If you booked airfare with a credit card that has travel insurance coverage, you may be covered. Otherwise, there are policies available for travel within Canada that would cover what others have mentioned in previous posts, unanticipated costs that can add up for sure.

I know of one travel insurance provider whose policies cover unlimited trips within Canada when an out of country policy is purchased, even for as little as a four day policy period . All provinces health care plans cover different things, it is sometimes surprising what is NOT covered. Also, interestingly QC does not have reciprocity with any other province, which is irrelevant to your trip but a nasty surprise for some.

Its a good thing that you have considered travel insurance before your trip! I am often in BC for extended periods and have a 30 day coverage policy. Just one emergency airlift off an island runs $4000, of course not covered. Travel health insurance for Canadians travelling within Canada is a good idea.

Canada
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30 reviews
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5. Re: Covid insurance for Ontario travellers
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Too late to edit, IIRC OHIP used to cover out of country health expenses but stopped that coverage a few years back. You might need to contact them to inquire about their reciprocity agreements with other provinces, who knows what has been amended with those agreements.

Jasper, Canada
Destination Expert
for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
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27,836 posts
124 reviews
185 helpful votes
6. Re: Covid insurance for Ontario travellers
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This is very interesting to me, and I would really love more information. I have always thought that *basic* Canadian health care is portable, that is, a Canadian who has valid provincial/territorial healthcare is covered (for essential medical care) no matter where they are in Canada. Does anyone have any links to info on this?

I know that not all provinces have agreements between them for payment; that is, in some cases, the patient has to pay up front and then be reimbursed. But, for example, it's seamless between Alberta and BC ... my BC resident grandkids have seen a doctor when they were visiting here in Alberta, showing their BC healthcare card and the doctor's office billing BC directly.

I have read stuff from insurance companies recommending buying additional coverage when you travel out of province, but I thought this was basically marketing (unless you want to have coverage for additional costs, repatriation etc.).

One thing to be aware of, with credit card emergency medical insurance, is that there are limits on how many days are covered, and you have to have coverage for your entire trip, including the day you leave and the day you return. So if the limit is 15 days and your trip is 20, you need to buy 5 days extra coverage to have the 15 days' coverage. Also, with the coverage I have with my Visa Infinite card, the number of days of included coverage drops sharply once you turn 65. Without pulling up the policy to read it, I believe it's 15 days under 65 and only 4 for those who are older. I have priced out additional coverage several times in the past for international trips, and the credit card coverage is always the most expensive, even just for a "top up". The cheapest we have ever found is through the company that offers DH's employer's extended health care.

@familyof4Nkt - I would suggest you contact OHIP for further information - and if so, could you please report back?

Also, in terms of a vaccine passport in Alberta - the provincial government here is extremely opposed to doing that, and has a strong philosophical stance against imposing restrictions. Alberta has often been one of the last provinces to do so and you may recall that we were the first to really open up (which, by the way, is not supported by all Albertans!) The result is seen in the covid numbers, past and present, here in Alberta, which have been higher, on a per capita basis, than many other provinces.

I have no particular insight into what will happen in a couple of weeks, other than to say that our numbers in Alberta are trending upwards in a very worrying way. I suspect that if they do bring in restrictions, it might be on a regional basis, where the infection rates are highest. This might impact your vacation, because Banff is one of the hotspots in Canada right now. Jasper's numbers were declining, but yesterday there were several new cases reported, so now I wait with bated breath to see if we're on the cusp of a similar surge here in Jasper too. :(

SE Ontario
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35,212 posts
16 reviews
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7. Re: Covid insurance for Ontario travellers
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It's all right there on the Ontario government website:

https://www.ontario.ca/page/ohip-coverage-across-canada

Canada
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2,157 posts
30 reviews
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8. Re: Covid insurance for Ontario travellers
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https://www.alberta.ca/ahcip-coverage-in-canada.aspx

QC specifically mentioned in the above link.

On another note, when I inquired about my AMEX travel insurance prior to covid, I was specifically told that the coverage was tied to the purchase of airfare on my AMEX card.

Anecdotally, I was talking to a Manitoba acquaintance recently who happened to injure himself while in SK. He went to a local hospital for Dx and treatment. He was told to go home to MB for treatment. He drove home to MB in considerable pain, presented at a hospital at home. His ankle was literally smashed and required extensive surgery involving rods, pins, etc. I could not believe that he was turned away from a SK hospital with little assistance except for the instruction to go home.

Canada
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2,157 posts
30 reviews
87 helpful votes
9. Re: Covid insurance for Ontario travellers
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I stand corrected. Apparently, ON and QC have a reciprocity agreement.

Jasper, Canada
Destination Expert
for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
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27,836 posts
124 reviews
185 helpful votes
10. Re: Covid insurance for Ontario travellers
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Awesome, thanks for the links! @phpr and @Love2vacation

And yes, Love2vacation, I forgot to mention that the emergency medical coverage included with my Visa card requires booking the airfare on the card.

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