Every year Canada welcomes roughly 30 million visitors who come for various reasons under a variety of visas. Visitors to Canada are not covered under our country’s universal health care system, and without adequate emergency medical insurance, they may be left with unexpected medical bills that can be financially crippling. That is why all travellers are urged to purchase the appropriate emergency medical coverage they require while visiting. THIA member Travelance Insurance has been sharing some real-life claims that it has received so that you, as a consumer, can understand how travel health insurance can support you in an emergency and the limits of its coverage.
A 64-year-old visitor to Canada who purchased a plan with coverage for $25,000 was a passenger in a car when it was T-boned by another vehicle. The insured sustained multiple fractures and internal injuries. She underwent multiple assessment scans, had surgery to repair a broken leg and was hospitalized for a week.
Outcome: The insured’s policy was secondary to other coverage, including auto insurance coverage. The claim was first submitted to the auto carrier as the primary insurer. The assistance company stayed in touch with the family during the hospitalization and, after discharge, the family followed up with claims documentation. The Claims Department confirmed that the insured was eligible for the policy and provided coverage for expenses that were not covered by the auto policy, including scans and tests up to the policy maximum of $25,000.
A 64-year-old visitor to Canada was diagnosed with COVID-19/pneumonia during his coverage period. He was hospitalized, transferred to another hospital for ICU care, and returned to the original hospital when he was stable. He was insured for coverage of $100,000 and his family contacted the assistance company, which oversaw his care ensuring it was appropriate.
Outcome: The insured stayed in hospital for 24 days. His hospital rate—excluding lab work, tests, and investigations—was $4,100 per day. The resulting bills exceeded $200,000. The insured was eligible for the policy he purchased and his claim was paid to the maximum of $100,000.
A 68-year-old visitor to Canada who had initially purchased coverage for six months extended her policy before the expiry date for an additional three months. Three days after her extension, she experienced difficulty breathing and was diagnosed with a spontaneous pneumothorax. The assistance company obtained her medical history and determined that she had no symptoms of this condition when she extended her policy. The assistance company followed her care during her three-day hospitalization.
Outcome: The insured’s hospital stay in a ward bed cost $5,100 per day. She submitted claim documentation and it was determined that she was eligible for the policy so the following expenses were paid:
- Hospitalization at $24,000.
- Follow-up care to the maximum benefit of $3,000.
Visitors to Canada can financially protect themselves against sudden and unexpected medical expenses by purchasing adequate Visitors to Canada insurance coverage from a reputable Canadian insurance provider.
Purchasing minimum insurance may also be a requirement for Canadian super visa holders and applicants.