Canadians Health Insurance

by Rigamarta, Sunday, October 11, 2020, 07:33 (10 days ago)

In one of the threads below, I see a number of reasons, Covid related, why a number of regulars have cancelled or postponed an annual trip to Mexico. Does health insurance for Canadians play into this, if at all?

Canadians Health Insurance

by islandgirl @, Cowichan Valley, Sunday, October 11, 2020, 08:28 (10 days ago) @ Rigamarta

I don't think it does. Like everyone else, we need (or should) have travel insurance to cover us in other countries. Not sure what you are wondering about? If we get sick abroad, once we get home, we are covered.

Canadians Health Insurance

by el vagabundo @, Sunday, October 11, 2020, 09:12 (10 days ago) @ islandgirl

Cover coverage is obtainable but so far the limits per person seem to be around $200,000.

Canadians Health Insurance

by Ironwood @, Sunday, October 11, 2020, 13:54 (9 days ago) @ el vagabundo

Cover coverage is obtainable but so far the limits per person seem to be around $200,000.

....and many travel advisers are commenting that the COVID policies the airlines are including "for free" are too restrictive, both in the amount of coverage (yes, generally $200,000) and time limitations (21 days max?). Twenty-one days coverage isn't much use to Zihua long-termers.

(That $200,000 limit will buy you a fancy bedpan or two in the dog-eat-dog US healthcare system, but I digress).

The biggest problem for all foreign travellers is contracting COVID while away. How do you get home? The airlines won't let you board if you have any symptoms. Those depending on their insurance policies to fly them home are, IMHO, dreaming. If you can't board a flight, and the "medivac" coverage you thought you had doesn't pan out, then what?
For Canadians, the current mandatory 14 day quarantine on return presents many difficulties beyond the fact that it virtually prevents anyone still employed from travelling.
In our case, we have to fly from our small city to a gateway city....either Calgary or Vancouver. So, what happens on returning from Mexico to either of those cities? Can we stay in a hotel there overnight, waiting for our next-day flight to our regional airport? Back in March, when we flew home to Vancouver, our Vancouver hotel had suspended its airport shuttle service. Obviously, we took a cab. How about now? Would quarantine regulations allow us to take a taxi from the airport to a Vancouver (or Calgary) hotel, to stay overnight, and another taxi back to the airport the next day, for the flight to the airport closest to our home? Assuming we get back that far, how about the 45 minute drive to our home? Are shuttle services working? Would quarantine regulations even allow us to take a shuttle service?
So many unknowns, and I wouldn't even know how or where to find answers.

Canadians Health Insurance

by Little Guy, Sunday, October 11, 2020, 17:18 (9 days ago) @ Ironwood

So many unknowns, and I wouldn't even know how or where to find answers.

For those who would line to know more, here is a good starting (and maybe finishing) place.

https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/publications/diseases-conditions/2019-novel-coronavirus-information-sheet.html

I am in the situation that my return flight will take me to Vancouver. I will then drive to a BC Ferries terminal, stay in my car, and when the ferry docks I will drive straight home.

Canadians Health Insurance

by islandgirl @, Cowichan Valley, Sunday, October 11, 2020, 17:23 (9 days ago) @ Little Guy

Not allowed to stay in your car on the ferries anymore. Changed a couple weeks ago.

BC Ferries and covid

by Little Guy, Sunday, October 11, 2020, 18:13 (9 days ago) @ islandgirl

That applies to the lower decks only. People on upper decks can remain in their vehicles.

Effective September 30th, 2020, passengers on enclosed lower vehicle decks will be required to leave their vehicles.

And,

Customers not displaying symptoms and under a directive to self-isolate at home may be permitted on board but should maintain physical distance by remaining in their vehicle.

https://www.bcferries.com/in-the-community/projects/covid-19-coronavirus-disease

Drivers with reservations are placed on the upper, non-enclosed, deck.

BC Ferries and covid

by La Reina ⌂ @, Sunday, October 11, 2020, 22:35 (9 days ago) @ Little Guy

Nope, not always. A couple of weeks ago, my reservation got me onto the lower deck where I had to exit my vehicle & spend the trip in one of the passenger lounges.

BC Ferries and covid

by Little Guy, Sunday, October 11, 2020, 23:46 (9 days ago) @ La Reina

Nope, not always. A couple of weeks ago, my reservation got me onto the lower deck where I had to exit my vehicle & spend the trip in one of the passenger lounges.

Hmm, interesting. I bet I have had well over 100 reservation trips and I’ve never been in the lower deck. Go figure.

I bet BC Ferries let me stay in my car when I tell them I just got back from Mexico. :)

Canadians Health Insurance

by Rigamarta, Sunday, October 11, 2020, 11:00 (9 days ago) @ islandgirl

While I have not personally check or dug into the fine print of travel insurance I'm wondering if todays travel insurance policies have coverage for covid-19 or do they contain and exclusion?

Canadians Health Insurance

by Little Guy, Sunday, October 11, 2020, 12:07 (9 days ago) @ Rigamarta

The Canada Health Act requires that provincial health insurances plans meet a minimum of five criteria.

The five conditions listed in the act are public administration, accessibility, comprehensiveness, universality and portability.

https://www.cna-aiic.ca/~/media/cna/page-content/pdf-en/fs01_canada_health_act_june_2000_e.pdf

Based on the “universality” criterion, all Canadians have health insurance. Based on accessibility and comprehensiveness criteria they enjoy access to the same health care services.

The provincial plans apply while in Canada. Some provincial plans provide limited coverage for emergency medical services while outside of Canada. For example, the British Columbia plans says,

Although the province does provide some coverage for emergency hospital care when you travel outside Canada, the province limits coverage to a maximum daily payment of $75.00, in Canadian funds.

https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/health-drug-coverage/msp/bc-residents/benefits/services-covered-by-msp/medical-benefits/medical-benefits-...

This applies to health care related to covid as well as other health care.

Canadians who commonly travel internationally know to get private health insurance. Given the nature of risk and of potential high costs related to covid illness, it is unlikely that the coverage would include coverage for covid.

I suggest that Canadians don’t generally think about risks associated with health care costs. So having to think about it with regards to covid and international travel might be a bit more jarring than for people who ordinarily live with more limited health care benefits. This might result in increased reluctance to travel internationally.

Canadians Health Insurance

by Amiga de Montreal @, Sunday, October 11, 2020, 13:34 (9 days ago) @ Little Guy

Air Canada now includes a complimentary travel insurance covering Covid (Manuvie insurance company) when you buy your tickets. Maximum coverage $200,000 Canadian dollars, no age limit.

https://www.aircanada.com/content/dam/aircanada/portal/documents/PDF/en/emergency-medical-certificate-insurance_en.pdf

Canadians Health Insurance

by Mexalberta @, Sunday, October 11, 2020, 13:42 (9 days ago) @ Amiga de Montreal

200.000 doesn't go very far on a ventilator in another country
You wouldn't be allowed on a plane to fly home

Canadians Health Insurance

by Little Guy, Sunday, October 11, 2020, 14:02 (9 days ago) @ Mexalberta

200.000 doesn't go very far on a ventilator in another country

I think how much health care C$200,000 would pay for depends on the country. It wouldn’t buy much health care in the USA. I suspect it would buy considerably more in Mexico.

I know some Canadians who own property in the Zihuatanejo area and travel to other countries. They bought annual policies for worldwide coverage. In their 70s annual travel insurance premiums started going up considerably. They shopped around and found a provider with comparable coverage at significantly lower premiums. They bought it.

A couple of years later they discovered that the “worldwide” was any country except the USA.

Canadians Health Insurance

by Mexalberta @, Sunday, October 11, 2020, 18:25 (9 days ago) @ Little Guy

Medical care will not be a bargain.
Not to mention if you survive covid you most likely will never be insurable again due to the unknown lasting health issues it causes.
Also the insurance form Air Canada and WestJet is only good for three week trips.

Canadians Health Insurance

by Quadra Paul @, Sunday, October 11, 2020, 13:43 (9 days ago) @ Little Guy

My information is that most private insurers cover covid related illnesses.

Canadians Health Insurance

by cd69 @, Winnipeg,MB,Canada, Sunday, October 11, 2020, 14:10 (9 days ago) @ Rigamarta

It is an important additional factor and everybody should look at their insurance to make sure they are covered and for how much. From what I have seen so far, the coverage is very low for what someone having a serious infection would require. In many cases you would not be able to fly and being on a ventilator requiring constant monitoring may be tricky. Zihua is not where you want to be if you are seriously sick.

Canadians Health Insurance

by Ironwood @, Sunday, October 11, 2020, 18:11 (9 days ago) @ cd69

It is an important additional factor and everybody should look at their insurance to make sure they are covered and for how much. From what I have seen so far, the coverage is very low for what someone having a serious infection would require. In many cases you would not be able to fly and being on a ventilator requiring constant monitoring may be tricky. Zihua is not where you want to be if you are seriously sick.

That's what I was referring to, in my post above. Travel experts are suggesting $500,000 coverage as a minimum. Crazy, I know, but that's what they're saying.
We would love to have the luxury to "live life, don't hide in the darkness of fear" silly machismo promoted by some, but the thought of surviving COVID, only to be bankrupted in the process, does make one pause.

Canadians Health Insurance

by cd69 @, Winnipeg,MB,Canada, Sunday, October 11, 2020, 22:58 (9 days ago) @ Ironwood

I certainly understand your thinking. Sadly it is a reality that has to be taken into consideration and a major factor.

Canadians Health Insurance

by Lilyana @, Monday, October 12, 2020, 03:40 (9 days ago) @ Ironwood

Ironwood, exactly my sentiments.