The Canadian Scholar’s Guide to Student Travel Health Insurance
Studying abroad is a great opportunity for students as it allows them the chance to expand their horizons. Many find it a life changing experience. If you are a Canadian student planning to pursue your studies in a foreign county, you do not have to worry about issues regarding health insurance during your trip abroad. In this article, you will find some reassuring facts, as well as a few helpful tips on student travel health insurance. Be well informed before your journey begins.
What should I do to extend my health care coverage?
If you are leaving the country for an extended period of time, you might be wondering what steps to take in order not to lose your Canadian health insurance benefits. Before your departure, you must contact your provincial healthcare office to apply for a special insurance card. If you do not advise them of your travel plans, your insurance will lapse after 180 – 212 days from your date of departure. As a traveling student, you can remain eligible for healthcare benefits until your return to your province, as long as you keep your healthcare status updated.
To apply for a special annual health insurance card, you need to present a letter of admission from the school you are going to attend, a copy of your birth certificate and a letter requesting extended insurance coverage. Upon submission of these documents, you will receive a certificate confirming your eligibility for this type of coverage.
Note that Canadian provinces differ in terms of health insurance coverage. For instance, if you are a resident of Manitoba, the amount redeemed for a particular medical procedure performed outside the country would be equal to the cost of that medical procedure having been performed in Manitoba. So be sure to gather information on your own provincial healthcare coverage for traveling students.
Should I get supplemental student health insurance?
Whether you are going to study abroad or are just traveling to another province in Canada, you would benefit from having supplemental student travel health insurance. Such plans are designed to complement provincial insurance coverage. Because your provincial health plan often covers only a portion of the cost of medical treatment or service in other countries or provinces, you need to make up the difference from your own pocket; hence, supplemental health insurance can alleviate concerns over not only health issues, but also budget woes.
Most post-secondary schools require that their students be covered by a student health insurance plan. So before you begin your out-of-province studies, shop around and get quotes from several companies in order to compare rates and terms. Questions to ask should include:
For how long will I be covered?
Will it be possible to renew my policy from other parts of the world?
What will be the cost of my premiums?
What is my deductible?
There are a variety of student travel health insurance plans to choose from, and a little research will help you decide what best suits your needs.
What does my student travel health insurance cover?
Plans vary from company to company, but on average they generally cover treatment for sickness and medical care for accidents. Some plans will not cover pregnancy, pre-existing medical conditions, or annual medical check-ups. Read the insurance company’s policy thoroughly (including the small print) before signing the document as your coverage may have certain limitations and/or exclusions.
Does student travel insurance cover flight cancellations or lost luggage?
If you want to ensure coverage for flight cancellations and/or insurance against lost luggage, you must purchase a travel insurance package that offers that specific type of coverage. Do not automatically assume that you are covered against such incidents during your travels. Always check the terms and conditions of your policy.
Do I need supplemental student travel health insurance if I am going to study in another Canadian province?
Medical costs vary from province to province and government healthcare insurance plans have limits on coverage of medical expenses incurred during your stay in another province. Therefore, it is wise to protect yourself, and any family member(s) staying with you during your travels outside your province of residence.
Do some medical emergencies have limits on coverage?
Ambulance costs, emergency dental work, prescription drugs for sudden illness, follow-up visits and out-patient visits, as well as other general medical services may not be covered, or may be only partially covered, under your plan.
Hopefully some of your questions regarding Canadian healthcare coverage and student travel health insurance have been answered. Extensive research on the topic of insurance could enhance your future as an outbound Canadian student. Bon Voyage!