Whether you’re a frequent traveller, studying abroad or travelling for leisure, there are always added risks when it comes travelling to another province or country. There is a common misconception that your Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) provides the coverage and protection needed if an accident were to occur, no matter where it happens. In addition, Canadians underestimate the importance of added travel insurance for any out of province or out of country trips. A sudden health emergency outside of Ontario or outside of Canada could result in the individual paying thousands of dollars in medical bills with no insurance protection.


Out Of Province Coverage (Still In Canada)

For the most part, OHIP does provide out of province coverage for most medical care, however, the coverage is limited in comparison to within Ontario. For one, ambulance and transportation fees are not covered by OHIP. For instance, if you were travelling to a remote region within Canada and an injury occurs that requires medical attention, there is no coverage for any ambulance or helicopter fees, which can be pricey. Similarly, emergency dental care is also not included in OHIP coverage. If you require urgent prescription drugs, these expenses are also not covered by OHIP. In the case that you require an X-ray or ultrasound, you must incur the medical expense as well.


Since there are gaps to OHIP coverage outside of Ontario, it’s essential to protect yourself by purchasing additional travel insurance. Without the right coverage, the added medical expenses can be thousands of dollars. Particularly if you are a student travelling to study in another province, it is highly recommended that you purchase additional travel insurance to cover all of your medical expenses.


Out Of Country Coverage 

Set to come into force on October 1st, 2019, the Ontario government has put an end to OHIP coverage for travellers outside of Canada. The previous OHIP program covered medical inpatient services for up to $400 a day and outpatient emergency services for up to $50 a day. However, with the new elimination of the program, any Ontarian travelling outside of Canada receives no coverage from their OHIP.


Particularly important for frequent travellers, cross-border shoppers and snowbirds, purchasing the right travel insurance from your trusted insurance broker is essential to ensuring you are covered for all your medical expenses outside of Canada. Whether it’s a one-day trip or a long term stay, travelling outside of Canada without the suitable travel insurance coverage can leave you at risk of incurring the cost of medical bills in the case of an accident or injury.


The Bottom Line

Accidents can happen at any time while travelling abroad. With the current changes to the Out Of Country OHIP coverage, individuals traveling outside of Canada without any added travel insurance are left unprotected in the case of a medical issue. Even further, Out Of Province OHIP coverage is limited and travellers are not fully covered if an accident or injury occurs. For snowbirds, make sure to purchase a long term travel insurance plan to cover all your medical expenses over a long stay. Whether you are travelling out of province or outside of Canada, it’s vital that you purchase the right travel insurance plan. Talk to your insurance broker about which travel insurance policy suits your needs.