After a six-day consultation the Progressive Conservative-led Government in Ontario has confirmed it will cut the out-of-country coverage previously provided under the province’s health plan. The Ontario Health Insurance Plan currently provides up to $400 per day for out-of-country inpatient services and up to $50 a day for emergency outpatient care. The Government says the plan costs around $2.8M to administer and pays out around $9 million a year in claims.
However, the claims paid out only represent about five percent of the average out-of-pocket costs for travellers, and has never fully replaced personal travel insurance.
In its April 24 proposal the government said, “this change will have no impact on 99.5% of Ontarians. OHIP data suggests, of those 40,000 Ontarians who do travel outside of Canada each year and require health services, over 90 percent obtain private travel health insurance.”
During the May 2 announcement confirming the PCs will move ahead with the cuts, Health Minister Christine Elliot said the plan was not good value for Ontarians, and encouraged travellers to find private travel insurance. “People should be making their own plans to obtain coverage, which can be obtained quite inexpensively and provide them with full compensation if they sustain any health problems while out of the country,” Elliot said.
The government-provided coverage was a drop in a bucket compared to the massive costs of health care in other countries, especially the USA where the vast majority of claims generate from.
With potential hospital bills in the thousands, it is vital that travellers are protected when they are out of the country.
That starts with a search for the best travel insurance rates on RateSupermarket.ca.