Health Insurance While Traveling Abroad: Tips to Make Sure You Maintain Coverage

Posted on December 31, 2018

Canada is a popular destination when it comes to international tourism. As a matter of fact, during this past year's "Canada 150" celebration, some 20 million trips were booked to the country.

If you reside in Canada, it may come as no surprise that Canadian natives love traveling away from Canada just as much as people love traveling to the country. This is especially true during the winter.

If you're among the millions of Canadians who find themselves searching for warmth and sun during the cold months of the year, health insurance while traveling should be something that pops up in your mind from time to time.

Are you covered when traveling abroad? If so, to what degree?

To help you better form thoughts around your health insurance while traveling questions, our team has laid out some tips to consider to make sure you maintain coverage while on the road.

1. Assess If Your Current Insurance Provider Covers You Abroad

The first thing you'll want to ask yourself when assessing your health insurance while traveling situation is whether or not your native insurance covers you while abroad.

For some Canadians, they'll be able to maintain their same degree of coverage no matter where in the world they're located. For others, matters surrounding illnesses or injuries incurred while visiting uncommon travel destinations can get murky.

To make sure you're not under the wrong impression while traveling, place a call to your insurance point of contact and ask them if you're covered while you're on the road.

2. Make Sure Your Coverage Maintains All Provisions

Just because you're covered doesn't mean that you're covered well. Many people who were "covered" by their at-home medical insurance while traveling were shocked when bills for medical services conducted abroad arrived at their door.

As it turns out, some clauses may allow providers to not pay as much for your medical expenses abroad as they would if you were visiting your primary care physician.

To make sure you're not surprised after the fact, again, call your insurance provider. Run them through scenarios and ensure that you'll not only be covered but will receive the same degree of coverage you're used to at home.

3. Weigh Travel Insurance Providers

Once you've assessed your at-home insurance provider's willingness to cover your travels, you may have determined that it's in your best interest to subsidize your existing insurance by purchasing a "travel insurance policy".

Subsidizing your insurance with dedicated travel insurance is always an excellent investment. It will safeguard you from crippling medical expenses that you and your native insurer may not be on the same page about.

There are a lot of companies that offer travel insurance so you'll have to do your diligence when finding the best one.

Assess what insurance providers cover and the coverage limits they offer across categories.

For example, if one insurance provider is offering up to $100,000 worth of medical expense reimbursement vs another provider's $200,000, you'll want to be aware of those differences and decide whether or not the policy's premium is worth it.

To make your insurance search simple, consider using our easy find and compare tools on Inurdinary.

4. Understand If Your Travel Insurance Provides Primary or Secondary Coverage

If your travel insurance provider offers primary coverage, they'll cover your medical bills immediately. If they provide secondary coverage, they'll want you to bill your native insurance provider first and then bill them any leftover expenses.

Secondary coverage is typically the norm for travel insurance. That being said, bringing on a secondary insurer can add an extra headache when it comes to you managing claims. It could mean needing to deal with filing two insurance claims rather than one.

5. Ask About Billing Procedures

When you get sick abroad, will the medical facility bill your travel insurance directly? Will you have to pay out of pocket and then file a separate claim with your travel insurance provider?

Understanding what's expected from the billing/claims process can help you better prepare for what your level of involvement will need to be should adversity strike abroad.

6. Make Sure You Don't Miss Out on Discounts

Many travel insurance providers may provide special rates if you're insuring your whole family as opposed to a single person. They may also provide discounts to members of certain associations or to people who discover their policies through certain referrers.

Do your best to see where you can earn savings on your policy since opportunities are out there!

7. Don't Ever Leave the Country With an Ambiguous Insurance Situation

We understand that it can be a stressful process assessing your insurance. Phone calls need to be made, providers need to be compared... Sometimes it's tempting to just take your chances.

Don't fall into that trap.

Medical debt is one of the leading causes of financial ruin, worldwide. If you leave Canada with a precarious insurance situation, your time relaxing abroad could cost you your livelihood.

Use our tools, compare policies, and make sure you get the coverage you need to travel safely.

Wrapping Up Health Insurance While Traveling Abroad: Tips to Make Sure You Maintain Coverage

Getting a grasp on your insurance situation isn't always convenient. It is, however, always important.

Want help improving the convenience of finding and weighing your health insurance while traveling options? Let our team at Insurdinary help.

Insurdinary has a vast database of insurance providers that specialize in covering a wide variety of needs you may have. With the click of a button, you can find tons of relevant policies you can opt to protect your family at home and abroad.

So, what are you waiting for?

Start leveraging our Insurdinary tools to get the coverage you need, now!

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