Travel Insurance

Is travel insurance really necessary? Doesn't the RAMQ cover medical costs?

Medical insurance is essential the moment you leave Québec. The Canada Health Act requires the Régime de l’assurance maladie du Québec to cover your medical costs in Québec, however not outside of the province. In fact the RAMQ only covers a small portion of medical or hospital costs incurred outside of Québec, such as $50 for a medical consultation and $100 a day for hospitalization. Because medical costs are higher elsewhere – particularly in the United States – without travel insurance, your financial security is at risk. Click here for sample foreign medical costs.

Additional costs not covered by RAMQ: If you are sick or injured while you are away, travel insurance can cover:

• Accommodation costs and meals for your spouse or travel companion.
• Transportation costs if your return is delayed due to accident or illness.
• Cost of medical evacuation, by land or air ambulance, or by commercial flight.
• Repatriation costs for children if you are hospitalized.
• Transportation costs to bring a loved one to you if you are hospitalized for seven days or more.
• Chauffeur costs to drive your vehicle or motor home to your door if you cannot drive due to accident or illness.
• “Lifeline” costs (clothing, toiletries) if your baggage is delayed.

These are costs the RAMQ does not cover and which you would have to pay for if you do not have travel insurance. Protect yourself today. Check our list of products

I am travelling in Canada. Why should I purchase travel insurance? Health care is covered across Canada isn't it?

That’s partially true. Medical costs are covered everywhere in Canada, however the provincial and territorial provincial health plans:

• Vary from one province to another.
• Do not offer the same services to non-resident travellers as they do to residents (even though you are Canadian, you are considered as a non-resident even if you live in a neighbouring province).
• Do not pay for the same rates for health services.
• Do not pay for prescribed drugs.
• Do not pay for repatriation fees from another Canadian province to your province of residence.
• Do not cover ambulance charges.
• Do not cover emergency dental care

There are also billing agreements between certain provinces, but not for all. From our regulatory experience, we can assure you that Québec is the province with the lowest medical costs.

I have a chronic illness. Am I still covered?

It all depends on the illness, its severity and its stability. The purchase of travel insurance may not be available due to certain illnesses. Some illnesses are easily covered. Others require a three or six-month stability depending on age. For specific illnesses, Blue Cross offers the possibility to cover your illness with a medical questionnaire (offered to persons over age 54, travelling over 31 days) which can be completed by your treating physician. Blue Cross’ medical team will then evaluate your condition and if approved, you can travel worry-free: your chronic illness will also be covered.

I am pregnant. Am I still covered?

Pregnancy is covered until the 32nd week if there are no complications. See Blue Cross medical director’s article: Pregnancy, Air Transportation and Travel Insurance: What you need to know.

Is it really necessary to read my contract?

Yes, it is very necessary. It is very important that you review your contract to know what you are and are not covered for.

You must read:

Your insurance certificate - to ensure its benefits are in fact the ones you requested.

Your travel insurance policy - A contract is an agreement between two parties. You must know your responsibilities. Above all, you must know when your coverage begins and ends and understand what is covered and what is not.

Pay particular attention to the following sections:

What is covered
What is not covered
Exclusions and reductions of coverage

Aren't all travel insurance plans the same?

Absolutely Not. Coverage can differ on many levels. The difference will be very apparent if you run into an emergency situation. Our reputation comes from a history of reliability, making Blue Cross the most Trusted Insurer worldwide.

Why are there always exclusions?

Every insurance contract carries exclusions, for the simple reason that an insurer cannot cover every risk run by every client under any condition and maintain affordable insurance premiums.

The most common exclusions are:

• Any preexisting illness, that was diagnosed prior to leaving on your trip.

• Travelling against your doctor’s advice.

• Any risk taken by the insured that surpass those considered insurable, such as taking part in a race, an extreme sport, an illegal act or using drugs.

• And others, the details of which can be found in the What is not covered section.

The best way to be prepared is to read your contract. You will no doubt find that most exclusions are based on common sense.

Do I need to complete a medical questionnaire?

A distinction must be made between a health declaration and a medical questionnaire.

A medical questionnaire is an option offered by Blue Cross to cover specific illnesses. You are not obliged to have this questionnaire completed, but it would definitely be to your advantage. Simply have your doctor complete the questionnaire and send it to us. Your health condition will then be assessed by the Blue Cross medical director; if your pre-existing condition is stable and does not present an increased risk, it will be covered and you will be able to leave on your trip with true peace of mind.

The health declaration determines what will be covered, what will be excluded and the travel insurance premium. The premium is based on risks associated with age, health condition and trip length.

I was unable to purchase my travel insurance on the Internet. Why?

Purchases on the Internet are unavailable for persons over 54 years old, travelling over 31 days. In fact, the insurance premium is determined by risks associated to trip length, health condition and age. As people age, illnesses become more common, an inevitable cycle. Determining the applicable rate involves many factors; it is therefore preferable for everyone if you speak with a customer service agent. If you are in perfect health, you will pay less than someone who is unfortunately afflicted with a chronic illness.

Montréal region: 514-286-7686
Other regions: 1-877-909-7686

What is a pre-existing condition?

A pre-existing condition is a health condition that already exists when you purchase your travel insurance contract or upon departure. It may be a condition such as cold, high blood pressure, a surgery, etc.

According to your age, Blue Cross will consider your pre-existing condition as low or high-risk. In that case, your premium might be slightly higher than that of someone who is in perfect health.