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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I suspect many members here will start travelling again soon.

thought we could share our experiences in finding insurance companies that cover Covid travel emergency costs.

I’m worried about the fine print stuff….like we offer Covid coverage but not if there is a travel advisory in place.
 

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A friend of mine (a US doctor) asked me about this the other day. He has family in Canada who want to come to the US, but everyone is wondering the same thing: what kind of insurance will cover in case of covid-related hospital care in the US?

Has anyone used CoverMe ?

 

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Trudeau would eliminate a lot of concern if we lifted this travel advisory against non-essential travel. The wording in most policies is troubling and the covid waiver still causes some concern. You don't get covid but you get a heart attack . Does the travel advisory deny you coverage?
 

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Lifting the travel advisory would be seen as relinquishing control over the populace. As far as I can tell PBC will grant coverage to those fully vaccinated who travel to a country with a level 3 and below advisory if they contract Covid or are delayed in returning because of a positive test. The travel advisory will never be lifted and we are sick of being afraid and are leaving the country Nov1, with a PBC policy.
 

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Here's a link to a COVID rider from 21st Century.


They distribute their policies through agents, brokers, etc. The underwriter is manulife.

I believe the policy limit for low risk travelers is 10 million. As per the above rider, the max limit for un-vaccinated would be 1 million. As always, read the wordings.
 

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https://www.www2.21stcenturytips.com/covid-19-emergency-medical-rider
They distribute their policies through agents, brokers, etc. The underwriter is manulife.
Interesting. Cruises aren't covered, since the government travel advice is: Avoid all cruise ship travel

But the official government travel advice is also to avoid all non-essential travel, period. I don't know what to make of this.

Some would say that escaping brutal winter cold and darkness is essential to their good health.
 

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We have coverage with a firm that will extract and bring you back home by air ambulance. It's not cheap but its what they do and there is no question of coverage.
Which company is that? We had thought of asking a local air charter what they would charge to come pick us up if need be and forget about insurance.
 

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I read that air lifts back to Canada are to the closest hospital, so it may not be an airlift back the home city.
 
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I read that air lifts back to Canada are to the closest hospital, so it may not be an airlift back the home city.
That may be true if the insurance covers it.

I have not checked with our local air charter operation, but a US operation quotes $11k-$14k to fly two people back from South Carolina to our city in Ontario. ( King Air 90, Pilatus PC-12, King Air 350 )

The first travel health quotation I received was $11k for 3 months! The lowest was about $6k. Coverage varies and details seem to be in state of flux. You pay for insurance whether you use it or not. In the case of the air charter, we would only pay for the charter if required. Provided medical situation was such that charter back was practical, this could be a viable option. Or perhaps a hybrid of insurance with lower limit plus the charter. There are US companies with lower limits that cover medical insurance for visitors to the USA: Visitor Medical Insurance. Visitors Insurance for USA visitors. Visitor Health Insurance for relatives visiting USA

I doubt we would choose this, but it is an interesting business option that smaller charter operations could possibly develop.
 

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The problem with counting on airlift home is that it relies on patients being stable enough to be moved or have the time to spare.

CBC news talked to a doctor in Saskatchewan and asked why they don't just move patients to ICU in Ontario.

The doc said it isn't that simple. Moving ICU patients isn't recommended and a high risk to patients.

They don't even like to wheel the patients to the elevators for tests. Any movement of the patient can cause problems.

What about a sudden heart attack or stroke ? Surgery may be immediately necessary and movement afterwards would be delayed.

I certainly wouldn't rest my travel healthcare fully on being airlifted back to Canada.
 

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I certainly wouldn't rest my travel healthcare fully on being airlifted back to Canada.
Yeah, I can see this.

If someone ends up in a US hospital, if their condition is bad, it's not like they can just be moved back to Canada. If you have an emergency condition that requires treatment and monitoring, you are going to be in the US hospital for as many days as needed.
 

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Yeah, I can see this.

If someone ends up in a US hospital, if their condition is bad, it's not like they can just be moved back to Canada. If you have an emergency condition that requires treatment and monitoring, you are going to be in the US hospital for as many days as needed.
I don't disagree, and that is why I mentioned the possible hybrid of low cost insurance plus an air lift that only has to paid for if needed.

Many (most?) travel insurance policies include air-lift home (if it is medically feasible and to the insurer's benefit!). So, they are doing this anyway. My thought was whether or not there was a DIY option to do same at lower cost. Cost not much of a factor for 30-somethings, but IS for those over 80 :(
 

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I was told by someone in the business that when a Canadian, covered by out of country medical, is in a US hospital the very first thing the insurer does is contact the hospital, the medical staff to determine how quickly the patient can be air lifted back to Canada.

What cost would insurer prefer to incur....many days, weeks in a US hospital or a one shot expense of flying someone home on an air ambulance?

This is exactly what happed to a colleague who had a heart attack in FLL two days before he was due to board a cruise ship. Three days in hospital, he was deemed stable enough to fly and that was it. Off he went home to a hospital in Toronto.

He considered discharging himself from the FLL hospital because he felt better. In order to do to his insurer wanted him to sign a waiver absolving them of any future out of country medical costs on that trip. He took the prudent route....the air ambulance home. Not to mention his spouse's insisted that he return home.
 

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A legal loophole for SK and Alberta. They have forgiven judgement legislation. This means US judgements are not accepted and enforced in those jurisdictions. The US must insitute their legal proceedings in Alberta /Sk and be successful in getting a judgement. It leaves a lot of room for a reasonable settlement. Another consideration is the debtor exemption laws. RRIFS, RRSPs, government pensions, one's principle residence and your personal motor vehicle are exempt from judgements. I am pretty sure this is the situation in those provinces. Under Texas law the hospitals cannot deny emergency treatment..I think that is the case in most states.
 

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A legal loophole for SK and Alberta. They have forgiven judgement legislation. This means US judgements are not accepted and enforced in those jurisdictions. The US must insitute their legal proceedings in Alberta /Sk and be successful in getting a judgement. It leaves a lot of room for a reasonable settlement. Another consideration is the debtor exemption laws. RRIFS, RRSPs, government pensions, one's principle residence and your personal motor vehicle are exempt from judgements. I am pretty sure this is the situation in those provinces. Under Texas law the hospitals cannot deny emergency treatment..I think that is the case in most states.
Good points. Additionally, the US hospitals are almost always willing to settle the bills for less than face value. As I understand it, very few people ever pay the total bill. It's pretty common to negotiate it down (and doesn't require legal action). I think it's pretty routine.

My grandmother is one of these people who was uninsured and ended up needing medical care in the US. She ended up in a hospital for a while. I was a kid so I don't know all the details, but I think what ended up happening was that my relative in the US (who was looking after my grandmother) got a massive bill, then refused to pay it. Eventually they paid a somewhat smaller bill and others in the family pitched in.

Keep in mind though, this was 15 years ago and US medical costs have gone up astronomically since then. So our family was able to pay the reduced / negotiated bill, but I'm not sure we'd be able to pay that today.

RRSP is extremely important as it's got creditor protection.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
in addition to manulife, seems CAA is also offering coverage during a travel advisory.

*CAA Travel Insurance emergency medical plans now include up to $2.5 million CAD if partially vaccinated, or up to $5 million CAD if fully vaccinated, for COVID-19 related illnesses that may occur when travelling at a time when the Canadian government has issued a related Level 3 travel advisory (i.e. Avoid non-essential travel”)
 
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