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Emergency travel: The hidden insurance in benefit plans
- By Katie Wray, Immix Group
- March 14, 2014
Did you know that most benefits plans include emergency travel insurance?
Most clients and their employees either don’t know of this hidden benefit, or they’ve forgotten it. And, if they do happen to remember it, they probably don’t realize just how extensive their emergency coverage is for travel outside the province or country.
In fact, this extended health care benefit usually provides 100-percent coverage for all emergency expenses incurred while travelling. These expenses aren’t just direct medical treatment and hospital expenses. They’re also the costs of such things as prescription drugs, translation services, transportation home or to a different medical facility, return of lost luggage and passports, repatriation, return of vehicle and even hotel accommodations for family members.
Generally, this emergency coverage insures you and your dependents for up to 60 days of consecutive travel. The maximum coverage amount per person varies from insurer to insurer.
If you are covered under your plan, buying additional travel insurance not only isn’t necessary; it could complicate and delay things when you make your claim.
Be aware, too, that most emergency travel plans have exclusions to coverage. Most will not cover you for travel to an area with a travel advisory or similar warning. Before you leave, always check to make sure there are no travel warnings for your destination (http://travel.gc.ca/news-warnings/warnings).
Note that out-of-province emergency travel insurance covers emergencies only – in other words, unforeseen and unplanned medical expenses. That means you will not be able to claim a massage in Mexico, or plastic surgery in California!
Note also that trip cancellation is not usually covered. For that reason, make sure you purchase this coverage when you book your travel.
Before you book your next vacation, check with your benefits plan provider to see if you have emergency medical coverage!
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