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Expatriate Medical Insurance - FAQ

What  is Expatriate medical insurance?

Expatriate medical insurance is for Canadian citizens and permanent residents who are:

  1. working or living abroad and are looking for more than Emergency Medical Coverage; 

  2. not covered under their Provincial/Territorial Healthcare Insurance Plan; 

  3. are waiting for coverage in the country where they reside; 

  4. Canadian citizens and permanent residents who are returning back to Canada and are waiting for their Provincial/Territorial Health Insurance Plan's coverage to be reinstated. 

Why should I use a broker to buy travel insurance?

Insurance brokers are unbiased insurance professionals that provide advice and can shop with multiple insurance companies saving you time and money. When buying insurance directly from an insurance company you are only buying their policy without shopping for the best policy at the best price. Using a broker does not cost you a cent since, you will pay exactly the same rate regardless of the channel you use to purchase your insurance coverage.

Who is Expatriate medical Insurance for?

Expatriate medical insurance is for anybody who is planning to travel outside Canada for an extended period of time. This includes but not limited to business executives, missionaries, vacationers, professional athletes, entertainers, government officials, students, marine captains and crew.

Is Expatriate medical insurance mandatory?

Buying expatriate travel insurance is a wise investment. Certain countries and regions like Cuba, Ukraine and many other European countries have made medical insurance a mandatory requirement to travel to their country or region. In addition many tour operators and resorts have also made emergency medical travel insurance a mandatory requirement. The trend is more and more countries are making emergency medical travel insurance mandatory. The last thing one needs on their trip is being denied entry for not buying mandatory medical travel insurance.

When can I purchase Expatriate to Canada Medical Insurance?

You can purchase expatriate medical travel insurance at any time. We recommend that you purchase insurance prior to your departure from Canada. If you have already departed from Canada and purchasing expatriate medical travel insurance then the policy will have a waiting period.

What Expatriate medical insurance covers when I am traveling outside Canada?

Expatriate medical travel insurance covers expenses for unforeseen medical emergencies or falling ill that are not covered by your Provincial/Territorial Healthcare Insurance Plan. It also provides coverage when your Provincial/Territorial Healthcare Insurance plan has lapsed, been cancelled or suspended. We would advise all expatriates to contact their Provincial/Territorial Ministry of Health to apply for an extension of their Provincial/Territorial Healthcare Insurance Plan whenever possible.

Can I still purchase Expatriate medical insurance if my provincial/territorial health insurance lapsed?

Yes, you can still purchase expatriate emergency medical travel insurance, these plan's are specifically designed to replace you Provincial/Territorial Healthcare Insurance Plan's coverage. 

Why do I need Expatriate Medical Insurance when I return home to my province in Canada?

Even though insurance companies require you to maintain your Provincial/Territorial Healthcare Insurance Plan while abroad, your Provincial/Territorial Healthcare Insurance Plan does not cover everything and has a time limit on coverage. If you are returning back to Canada from an extended time abroad and your Provincial/Territorial Healthcare Insurance Plan has lapsed, been cancelled or suspended, there would be a gap before it would be reinstated. To fill this gap in coverage you would need to purchase expatriate medical travel insurance. We would advise all Canadian citizens and permanent residents to contact their Provincial/Territorial Ministry of Health to appy for their Provincial/Territorial Healthcare Insurance Plan to be reinstated as soon as possible.

How long does my Provincial/Territorial Healthcare Insurance Plan cover me for while I am abroad?

It varies by Province/Territory of residence typically 182 days in most provinces including Ontario, Newfoundland is 212 days. Check with your Province/Territory of residence for exact coverage.

Can I extend my Provincial/Territorial Healthcare Insurance Plans Coverage?

It depends on your Province/Territory of residence and their requirements. In order to extends your Provincial/Territorial Healthcare Insurance Plan you must have been physically in your Province/Territory of residence for a specific period of time usually 2 years. In Ontario 153 days within the last 12 month for two consecutive years. Not all travel is eligible to extend your Provincial/Territorial Healthcare Insurance Plan's coverage, you must meet certain criteria such as: study, work, missionary work or vacation.

What are exclusions?

All expatriate medical travel insurance policies contain exclusions and limitations of coverage. Exclusion is what the travel insurance policy does not cover, hence is excluded from insurance coverage on the expatriate medical travel insurance policy. The most common exclusions are as follows:

  1. Pre-existing medical conditions that are not stable.

  2. High risk activities such as sports, stunt activities.

  3. Traveling to destinations with advisory warnings – including acts of war, terrorism, kidnapping, strike, riot or unlawful visit to any country. For advisory warnings please visit Government of Canada Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade for  a list of destinations the where a warning has been issued to avoid all travel and non-essential travel to that city, region, or country.

  4. Losses while sane or insane – depression, self-inflicted injury, suicide attempt, emotional, mental or nervous disorder.

  5. Pregnancy, childbirth or complication thereof, including high risk pregnancy.

  6. Death or injury while under the influence of alcohol, prohibited drugs or any other intoxicant, non-compliance with prescribed treatment or misuse of drugs.

  7. Air travel other than a passenger on a commercial aircraft.

Can I buy additional coverage to cover the exclusions?

You can buy insurance to cover exclusions, not all exclusions are insurable.

What is a pre-existing medical condition?

Means a sickness, injury or medical condition:

  1. for which you exhibited signs or symptoms; or

  2. for which you required or received medical consultation or treatment including medications; and

  3. which existed prior to the effective date of your coverage.

Can I buy insurance to cover my pre-existing medical conditions?

We offer expatriate medical travel insurance from insurance companies that include coverage for stable pre-existing medical conditions. In order for the pre-existing medical conditions to be covered insurance companies require a stability period of 90, 180, or 365 days. Refer to the policy wording for exact definitions of pre-existing medical conditions coverage, exclusions and limitations. The majority of claims being denied are due to unstable pre-existing medical conditions. We are insurance brokers not medical practitioners. Consult with your doctor to determine if the policy will cover your stable pre-existing medical conditions and if your health permits travel. Traveling against the advice of your doctor automatically makes you ineligible to purchase expatriate medical travel insurance.

What if my pre-existing medical conditions are uninsurable?

Not all stable pre-existing medical conditions are insurable. You can still purchase expatriate medical travel insurance without coverage for the uninsurable pre-existing medical conditions.

Is there any medical test or examination required before we can buy Expatriate Medical Insurance?

There is no medical test or examination required to purchase expatriate medical travel insurance.

How to buy Expatriate medical insurance?

In order to purchase expatriate medical travel insurance the insured has to meet the eligibility requirements to be eligible for coverage.  There are two different ways to purchase expatriate medical travel insurance:

  1. The first is to meet the eligibility requirements and purchase the policy online or over the phone with a Stone-Hedge Financial Group Inc. licensed insurance broker. There is no medical underwriting and no medical questionnaire to fill out. At time of claim the insured will be required to provide medical information to the insurance company, this is referred to as post claim underwriting. When eligibility requirements are met the insured is eligible to pay the premium, after the premium is paid the policy will be in force. The actual coverage will be determined after you file a claim.

  2. The second way to fill out and a medical questionnaire. You will need to fill out a medical questionnaire and send it back to Stone-Hedge Financial Group Inc. We will get back to you within five business days with a reply from the insurance company. If you have pre-existing medical conditions the insurance company will review your medical information and reply back with their decision. Be prepared to pay additional premiums to have stable pre-existing medical conditions insured at time of application, this is referred to as a rating.

If your stable pre-existing medical conditions have changed between the application date and the effective date which is your departure date you must notify us to have the policy approved for the new pre-existing medical conditions. This may be a new prescribed medication, change in dosage of your existing prescriptions or just a consultation with a doctor. Non-disclosure will automatically make the policy you purchased null and void. Please refer to the policy terms and conditions.

What is a high risk activity?

High risk activities include but not limited to heli-skiing, ski jumping, skydiving, sky-surfing, scuba diving, white water rafting, street lugs, skeleton activity, mountaineering, rodeo activity, and other sports activity.

Can I buy insurance to cover high risk activities?

You can purchase coverage for certain sports activities.

What is a Deductible?

This represents the amount of eligible medical expenses that must be paid by the insured before the insurance company begins to reimburse for covered expenses. There are two different kinds of deductibles, per-claim and per-policy period. A per-claim deductible means that the insured must pay a new deductible for each separate claim. A per-policy period deductible means that the insured must pay the deductible only once during the policy period.

What if I need or want to stay longer than planned?

To extend your coverage, you must make a request before the expiry date or the date you were scheduled to return home. If you do not have a new medical condition or pending claim on your current expatriate medical travel insurance policy, an extension may be issued upon request. If you have a new medical condition or pending claim, the extension is subject to approval by the insurance company. Please refer to the exact terms and conditions of your policy.

Are refunds available?

Refunds are available subject to the terms and conditions of your policy. An administration fee may apply.

How can I fill out an application if I am not in Canada?

To apply for coverage, the insured or someone acting on behalf of the insured has to complete a expatriate travel insurance application which is either a medical questionnaire, an online application or over the phone application with a Stone-Hedge Financial Group Inc. insurance broker. If someone other than the insured completes the application they must ensure that they are aware of the medical history, pre-existing medical conditions and prescription medications of the insured. This information must be accurate and is required to determine eligibility for coverage and to ensure the policy meets insured's medical insurance requirements. Any incorrect statements on the application will make the policy null and void.

A medical questionnaire, online application or over the phone application with an insurance broker is the same as a paper application you fill out when purchasing travel insurance from a bank, trust company, credit union or travel agent. The only difference with Stone-Hedge Financial Group Inc. we shop with multiple insurance companies, compare policies and save you time and money. The insured or the person acting on behalf of the insured does not need to sign a physical paper application for online or over the phone purchases. If a medical questionnaire is required the insured or the person acting on behalf of the insured will be required to sign the application.

Can I get a discount on Expatriate medical insurance?

A deductible it can save you up to 45% on travel insurance.

What payment options are available?

The only payment option available for expatriate medical travel insurance online or over the phone purchases are credit cards. If you don’t have credit cards please contact us directly and we will arrange for an alternate payment method. Some insurance companies accept cheques.

How do I get my policy delivered to me?

After we complete you're online or over the phone purchase your policy is instantly issued and delivered to your by email. You can save your policy on your computer or smart phone and print it.

What do I do with my policy?

Please read your insurance policy and confirmation of coverage. If you made an error contact us to correct the information. Keep a record of your policy in more than one place, you can print it, leave a copy at home and take one with you.  Make sure you send it to someone who can be contacted in case of emergency.

What do I do with my wallet card?

Please carry it with you at all times. If you require medical attention please call the emergency assistance hotline number on your wallet card.

What Companies offer Expatriate medical insurance?

Stone-Hedge Financial Group Inc. has several Canadian Insurance Companies that offer this coverage for you to choose from.

 


Disclaimer: The FAQ  information provided is for general purposes only, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of this information. Each Insurance Company Policy contains the actual definitions, eligibility requirements, benefits, exclusions and limitation on their respective policies. Insurance Policies are subject to change without notice by the Insurance Companies. If there is a discrepancy between the information provided in the FAQ and the actual insurance policy/certificate of the Insurance Company, the policy /certificate of Insurance Company will override.  The information provided does not constitute any insurance, accounting or legal advice please use at own risk.







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