Is travel insurance really necessary? Doesn't the Quebec public plan cover all my medical costs?
Medical insurance is essential the moment you leave Quebec. The Canada Health Act requires provincial public health insurance to cover your medical costs in Quebec only; the public plan is not required to cover any medical costs outside the province. In fact, public health insurance covers only a small portion of medical and hospital costs incurred outside Quebec. For example, it may cover $50 for a medical consultation and $100 per day for hospitalization. Because medical costs are significantly higher abroad – particularly in the United States – without travel insurance, your financial security is at risk. Some fees abroad may be very costly.
If you become sick or injured while you’re away, your travel insurance can cover:
- Accommodation costs and meals for your spouse or travel companion
- Transportation costs if your return is delayed due to accident or illness when you have purchased trip interruption with medical coverage
- Cost of medical evacuation by land or air ambulance, or by commercial flight
- Repatriation costs for your children if you are hospitalized
- Transportation costs to bring a loved one to you if you are hospitalized for seven days or more
- Vehicle return costs to drive your vehicle or motor home to your home if you cannot drive due to accident or illness
These are costs the Quebec public plan does not cover and that you would be responsible for if you do not have travel insurance. Take a look at the products we have to offer.
Is there a deductible if I claim medical fees?
Blue Cross travel insurance offers several deductible amounts if you wish to reduce your insurance premium, but they are not mandatory. If you do choose a deductible, you are responsible for any costs up to the chosen deductible amount.
I am travelling within Canada. Why should I purchase travel insurance? Isn't health care covered for Canadians across Canada?
That’s only partially true. Medical costs are covered across Canada, but provincial health plans:
- do not offer the same services to non-resident travellers as they do to residents (even though you are Canadian, you are considered a non-resident even if you live in a neighbouring province)
- vary from one province to another and do not pay the same rates in all provinces
Below are some examples of costs you may need to pay in a neighbouring province:
- Return of vehicle
- Air ambulance
- Relatives visiting when you are hospitalized
There are billing agreements between certain provinces, but not all. Since medical costs vary from one province to another, what may be sufficient to cover a medical service in one province may not be enough to cover the same service in another.
I have a chronic illness. Can I still be covered?
It depends on the illness, and its severity and stability. Travel insurance may not be available in cases of certain illnesses, but some illnesses are easily covered. Other illnesses require three- or six-month stability depending on age. For some specific illnesses, Blue Cross offers the possibility of coverage with a medical questionnaire (offered to persons over age 54 who are travelling for longer than 31 days or over age 75), which must be completed by your attending physician. Blue Cross’s medical team will then evaluate your condition, and if the questionnaire is approved, you can travel worry-free: your chronic illness will also be covered.
Is pregnancy covered under your emergency medical care travel insurance policy?
Pregnancy and related medical fees for Canadian travellers are covered if:
- At the time of departure, the pregnancy was considered normal (as opposed to being at risk of complications), and
- Medical services or expenses are incurred before the last 8 weeks from the expected date of delivery.
Pregnancy and any related medical fees are not covered under the Visitors to Canada plan.
Do your policies cover hiking or rock or mountain climbing?
If the hiking route does not involve dangerous passes or is not technically challenging, it may be covered. However, rock climbing is excluded from our policy coverage, as are grades 4 and 5 on the Yosemite Decimal System.
Is alpine skiing covered under your policy?
Any emergency resulting from alpine skiing is covered as long as the skiing is not off-track and is practised in a safe manner. Also, if a high-risk or dangerous manoeuvre was involved at the time of the accident, any related claim could be denied.
Is scuba diving covered under your policy?
Scuba diving is covered as long as the diver has the proper certification to undertake the planned dive. Dives that involve a high degree of risk are not covered.
If you get injured while diving in a dangerous zone, or if you dive without proper certification, any medical fees incurred will not be reimbursed.