Retirement » Health and Wellness

Basics of Emergency Travel Insurance

When you’re traveling across Canada or to another country you could face an unexpected medical emergency. Emergency Travel Insurance is part of most group benefit plans and is designed to make your business or pleasure travel worry-free.

Many plans will cover items such as:

  • Medical & Hospital Benefits (referrals, in-patient, and out-patient services, etc.)
  • Emergency dental treatment
  • Medical Transportation to a local medical facility or one in your home province
  • Return home of dependent children if a parent is hospitalized
  • Return of a deceased traveler
  • Pre-trip planning and consultation
  • Lost or stolen document and ticket replacement
  • Legal referral if you require legal assistance
  • Telephone interpretation service

The items covered vary from plan to plan so it’s important to check your benefits booklet or contact your plan provider to confirm what (and who) is covered under your Group Benefits plan and if there are any limits, maximums or restrictions you need to be aware of.

Benefits of Emergency Travel Insurance

Like any insurance plan, having Emergency Travel Insurance gives you peace of mind. Some of the benefits of Emergency Travel Insurance include:

  • Around the clock, access to help through your provider’s Medical Assistance call center. You can find the numbers listed on your benefits card.
  • Information on Local Medical Care: The medical assistance call center can refer you to a local doctor, dentist, pharmacist or other appropriate medical facilities.
  • Monitoring of your medical care: The medical assistance staff team will monitor your care, the services you are receiving and will maintain contact with you, your attending doctor and your Canadian doctor.
  • Limited out of pocket expenses: When contacted in advance if possible or immediately after receiving assistance your medical assistance team can manage and pay for your eligible medical expenses whenever possible.

Tips before you leave

Good practices also create peace of mind. Here are some key items to include on your pre-travel checklist:

  1. Make sure you’re aware of all the passport, visa, vaccination and inoculation requirements for your travel destination.
  2. Leave a copy of your travel itinerary at home or with family and friends.
  3. Leave a copy of your passport at home or with family and friends. This can help speed the process in the event your passport is lost or stolen while traveling.
  4. Make sure that your travel companions are aware of all your necessary personal information so they can call the medical assistance call center on your behalf if a medical emergency arises.
  5. Familiarize yourself with your coverage by reviewing your benefits booklet.
  6. Make sure you know where to find the phone numbers to call in the event that you need assistance.
  7. Keep your emergency travel assistance benefit card with you at all times just in case you need it.

By making sure you understand what and who is covered by your group benefits plan, you can ensure you have the coverage you need before you leave which will reduce the stress (and expense) if you do have to deal with an unexpected medical emergency and give you peace of mind while you are away. If your group plan is not quite adequate, you can enhance coverage through personal plans.

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