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Travel Health Insurance: Know Your Coverage Before An Emergency Occurs

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(NC)—Buying travel health insurance is an important step for sufficient medical coverage while outside Canada, but it is only the first step. To make your policy work, say industry regulators, there has to be a co-operative relationship between the policyholder and the company.

Indeed, the range of medical treatment around the world is so broad and varied, home-based insurance companies will provide booklets outlining what they will, and will not cover. Therefore, an equally important step at the time of purchase is for the traveller to become as familiar as possible with the basic guidelines of the policy before an emergency occurs. Decisions on the reimbursement of expenses are not likely to be the first thing on your mind in an urgent situation.

So how do we ensure financial coverage during a medical emergency? Here are a few guidelines offered by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO). FSCO is an agency of the Ministry of Finance that regulates Ontario's insurance industry.

Obtain authorization

As soon as possible, says FSCO, call the emergency service centre telephone number provided with your policy. The service centre's role is to manage your medical care and make the claim process fast and efficient. The centre provides claim administrators, on site doctors, nurses and other medical professionals to arrange care and monitor treatment. To ensure coverage, if possible, don't proceed with any medical treatment without full authorization.

You can assist the claims process more efficiently, if you:


• Supply all the facts and information accurately.

• Keep a log of the contacts at both the service centre and your insurance company, including the names of people assisting you, the date of the contact, and what was discussed.

• Keep a detailed record of all medical transactions. Get receipts for the medical care including tests, treatments, and prescriptions. Receipts are a must when making a claim. Also, observe the time limits of your policy.

• Complete the forms supplied and enclose all original bills signed by the attending physician, plus receipts and supporting claim documentation. Be sure to include your policy identification number, health card number and date of birth. Keep copies of all documentation submitted to the company.


More information on travel health insurance is available online at www.fsco.gov.on.ca. Or, for a copy of their booklet Shopping for Travel Health Insurance phone (416) 590-7298 (Toll Free: 1-800-668-0128).

- News Canada

Editors, these articles are for use in Ontario only

News Canada provides a wide selection of current, ready-to-use copyright free news stories and ideas for Television, Print, Radio, and the Web.

News Canada is a niche service in public relations, offering access to print, radio, television, and now the Internet media, with ready-to-use, editorial "fill" items. Monitoring and analysis are two more of our primary services. The service supplies access to the national media for marketers in the private, the public, and the not-for-profit sectors. Your corporate and product news, consumer tips and information are packaged in a variety of ready-to-use formats and are made available to every Canadian media organization including weekly and daily newspapers, cable and commercial television stations, radio stations, as well as the Web sites Canadians visit most often. Visit News Canada and learn more about the NC services.

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