Health Benefits – Are You Covered Abroad?

For many Canadians, travel insurance is more than necessary when heading abroad. It protects not only our health, but also our wallets – or at least in theory it does. We have all heard stories of individuals facing hefty bills as a result of unexpected medical emergencies the occurred while on vacation. After paying premiums and filling out the required paperwork, there is an assumption of protection for Canadian travellers. However, simple oversights, like form errors or undisclosed conditions, can result in the invalidation of a travellers insurance policy.

Bill and Tracy Jennings recently discovered how vague some insurance policies can be. Before leaving for a trip, the Jennings’ filled out the necessary medical questionnaires and applications. They did everything required of them, or so they thought. They departed for their vacation with the assumption that they would be covered in the event of any medical emergencies that might occur during their trip. While away, Bill suffered from a heart attack and was unable to fly home. He also needed emergency surgery to remove five blockages in his heart. Much to their surprise the cost of this was not covered by their policy, and six months later Bill received a letter from his insurance company explaining that he owed $346,000 US in medical bills. Bill was charged because he incorrectly answered two questions on his insurance forms. He failed to disclose that he had a diverticular disorder or that he had experienced gastrointestinal bleeding previously. As a result, his policy was deemed invalid.

Anna Friessen had a similar experience with her travel insurance. When asked if she had any received treatment for a kidney disorder, she said no. In this instance, the question was in reference to chronic kidney diseases that had been investigated, but received no treatment. As a result of a misleading question, Friessen’s policy was also deemed invalid. This type of confusing wording on medical forms can have serious implications for individuals who do end up in an emergency situation while travelling.

Now it's obvious that you must thoroughly read through each question and ask for clarification from your healthcare plan provider before submitting your forms, however there is an easier way with CustomCare. Travel insurance plans for Canadians do not have to be so confusing. Travel insurance forms can be simple, neat and to the point. Find out how you can get hassle-free travel insurance here.