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BC Federation of Retired Union

BC FORUM News - From The Advocate, Winter, 2021


Thinking of “Travel”

Looking for Out of Country Medical, make sure to read the fine Print

By David J.A. Porteous EPC

Yes, after 20 months many have decided to Travel. While the COVID-19 Pandemic is not over and the risk is still here, most of us have been house bound for so long and the “need” to travel is great. For those of us who have decided to travel, the risk has been mitigated to a certain extent by having been vaccinated.

The good news is most Insurance companies are now selling out of country Medical Insurance to fully vaccinated travelers (and children under 12). Many are now quoting $ 10,000,000 - that’s right TEN Million! To some this may sound high but if you ended up in a US hospital with COVID or for some other reason, the $10,000,000 would probably be needed.

If you are fortunate to have a Group Travel Plan, make sure to purchase a Top Up out of Country Plan especially if your Group plan has a low limit as most do. You should at least get a top up to $5,000,000. But $10,0000. Is preferred if traveling to the USA. Top Up plans are usually cheaper, because depending on the amount of coverage your Group plan has, the Top Up will most often become a second payor. This means your group plan limit is used up first and then if money is still owing it’s paid under the top up plan. There is one exception: if your Group Plan is with Pacific Blue Cross and you purchase a top up travel coverage through PBC the travel insurance policy becomes the first payor and a claim on the travel policy does not touch your group benefits.

Finally, be careful if you decide to purchase on line. We find most medical denials are with individuals who decided to purchase on line! Our recommendation is to call a licensed advisor who can shop the market and make sure your medical information will not jeopardize a claim.

David is a Licensed Insurance Nominee, Elder Planning Counselor, and a charter member of the Canadian Initiative for Elder Planning Studies. (CIEPS)


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