If you’re over 55 and planning an extended trip down south, there are a few things you should know about extended stay travel insurance. In a recent TD Insurance survey of snowbirds who are planning to travel, almost one in four respondents aged 51-69 said they aren’t expecting to purchase extended stay travel insurance. And, 31 per cent of those suggested travel medical insurance is too expensive – all of which can add up to a risky financial situation.
“Life is unpredictable, and that goes double for the portion of our population that winters down in Florida or even further afield,” explains Brigitte Gougeon, associate vice president of TD Insurance. “We’ve all heard the cautionary tales of how an unexpected run-in with illness or a small accident impacted the finances of snowbirds travelling with only their provincial health insurance to back them up, but most provincial health insurance programs pay only a small fraction of the costs in the event of injury or illness while abroad.”
For instance, the Ontario Health Insurance Plan pays up to $400 CAN per day in U.S. hospital costs, depending on the level of care. It reimburses outpatient visits at $50 CAN per day and physicians costs at the rate they would be paid in Ontario. That means if a U.S. physician charges more than an Ontario doctor for the same procedure, the Ontario patient pays the difference.
By contrast, travel insurance can help with eligible expenses for immediate care in addition to costs associated with safe transfer back to Canada for patients facing extended recovery, if required.
“When it comes to snowbirds, we’ve tailored some exclusive benefits for this customer group,” says Gougeon. “For example, if you had to return to Canada because of illness, your insurance would cover extras such as returning your rental car if you weren’t able to, and also the return home of your grandchildren or pets if necessary. It would also cover the costs of a family member flying out to your bedside if you were hospitalized.”
Before starting your trip, take a few minutes to research extended stay travel insurance options, so you can travel with confidence.