Four out of 10 people believe that the cost of out-of-province healthcare is covered by the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ).1
That’s not quite true. The RAMQ reimburses only a small fraction of the cost of emergency medical care outside Quebec: $50 per day for a consultation, and $100 per day for hospitalization.
Even a quick shopping trip to the U.S. could end up costing you much more than you’d planned, if you are admitted to hospital because of an accident or a sudden health problem.
Close-up: the cost of a bout of gastro-enteritis
Louise and her husband, John, were holidaying in Mexico when gastro-enteritis combined with dehydration sent them both to the emergency room. John had to stay in hospital for four days, which forced the couple to delay their return home.
This unlucky turn of events could have cost Louise and John nearly $10,000!2 Fortunately, they had thought to purchase travel insurance.
|Medical costs||$7 229|
|Subsistence costs||+ $1 624|
|Return flight||+ $1 755|
|Total costs||$10 608|
|RAMQ reimbursement||- $800|
|Total costs covered by travel insurance||$9 808|
Travel insurance is money «thrown out the window»? Oh no!
When a trip goes well, it’s easy to view travel insurance as superfluous. But a misfortune can happen to anyone, however—and the statistics are there to prove it: 20% of Canadians require medical attention while traveling.3
Far from being an unnecessary expense, travel insurance helps protect your savings and keep you in sound financial health. A study by the Travel Health Insurance Association of Canada found that “medical expenses of more than $1,000 would represent a financial crisis for 33.6% of respondents.”3 Investing a small amount in insurance can therefore save you a lot of money—and plenty of worry. In our example, Louise and her husband paid just $60 each for their policy,4 which is less than 1% of the amount they’d have had to pay had they not been covered.
To help you deal with health problems while abroad — but especially to travel with your mind at ease — Emergency Medical Care coverage truly is a must.
1. Alain Thériault, “Underinsured travellers put financial health at risk,” The Insurance & Investment Journal, September 19, 2013.
2. Data provided by Blue Cross®.
3. The Travel Health Insurance Association of Canada, “Canadians don’t understand travel insurance,” November 2013, viewed online at thiaonline.com.
4. Cost of premium based on à la carte Emergency Medical Care insurance for a person aged 50 travelling for 14 days.