Shopping for Super Visa Insurance in Canada? Look Beyond the Rates
You’re thinking of starting a super visa application to help bring your parents or grandparents to Canada. What’s your first step? Purchasing emergency medical travel insurance. While many who shop for insurance look at the rates first, it’s important to consider other factors in your purchasing decision. Make sure the benefits meet your loved one’s needs and think about how much emergency medical financial protection may be required in case of a medical emergency. Read on for details about what to look for, beyond the rates, when you are shopping for emergency medical travel insurance that meets Canadian super visa requirements.
Take Notice of Additional Benefits
Emergency medical travel insurance that meets Canadian government super visa requirements usually includes benefits for health care, hospitalization, and repatriation, with levels of coverage varying by plan. One option when acquiring insurance for a super visa is to purchase a plan at a low rate which includes only the minimum benefits. If you choose a plan with minimum benefits, be sure that you have reviewed the other options available to you and you understand which benefits are not included in a lower premium plan.
The recommended option is to focus on finding a plan with the right benefits for the insured’s needs. For example, not every visitors to Canada emergency medical insurance plan provides coverage for pre-existing conditions. Some plans offer benefits for emergency dental, emergency prescription medication, and/or have allowances for paramedical services such as chiropractors and physiotherapists, while others do not. Whether the insured may require these benefits, or can afford to pay for them out of pocket (because they are not available through the policy purchased) if they are necessary for emergency medical treatment, are very important points to consider before purchasing a plan.
Coverage available for side-trips may also be a consideration when purchasing a policy, if the insured will be travelling outside of Canada during their visit, even if only for a day trip to the United States. If super visa holders do not have coverage for side-trips, they may risk incurring large medical costs if a medical emergency occurs while they are travelling outside of Canada or their home country (with many visitors to Canada policies, coverage ends when the insured returns to their home country). For example, medical emergencies can include illness or accidents such as car accidents, being hit by a car, or tripping and falling. Emergency medical costs outside of Canada (like in the United States for example) can be even more expensive than Canadian hospital fees. This is yet another reason it is important to understand a plan’s benefits as well as rates.
Research Emergency Hospital Costs
Something not always considered by those purchasing travel insurance for their family members visiting Canada is the actual cost of hospitalization, in the event of a medical emergency. Across Canada, hospitals charge different rates for services such as initial consultation in the emergency room and television for the hospital room during a stay. There are often separate charges for ambulance transportation. This is in addition to any fees charged by doctors for medical tests and procedures.
Some sample hospital charges include:
- $15.25 per day for basic television in Ontario
- $750 initial fee for visiting the emergency room in British Columbia
- $1,099.35 for medically essential ambulance transport in Nova Scotia
- $3,100 per day for a semi-private room in Ontario
Of course, medical procedures have their own associated costs, which are also important to research. It can cost as much as:
- $20 for 5 cm of sutures in Newfoundland
- $49 for an x-ray (plus hospital fee) in Ontario
- $598.40 for an appendectomy in the Yukon
- $670.65 to repair a broken leg (open reduction of a lower leg fracture) in Manitoba
- $7,000 minimum to put in or replace a pacemaker in British Columbia
For more examples of hospital fees, click the links provided in the examples above.
The above costs are estimates, and intended for illustrative purposes only. Fees vary by province/territory. In addition to the single item costs listed above, there are typically associated costs to be considered such as physician’s fees, admission fees, and fees for medication and supplies. For information about a specific hospital’s fees, contact the hospital directly.
As you can see, costs can quickly add up! Before deciding on the plan limit for your travel insurance, research hospital fees in the Canadian province or territory the insured will be visiting. Different visitors to Canada emergency medical insurance plans will offer different maximums, and you may want to shop for a higher coverage limit if the fees in the province or territory being visited are high.
Consider an Increased Deductible
No matter which approach you take to shopping for super visa eligible travel insurance for Canada, whether you’re paying attention to the rates, benefits, or potential hospital fees, you’ll want to talk to a licensed insurance broker. Licensed Canadian insurance brokers have the knowledge and expertise to help you find a visitors to Canada emergency medical insurance plan that meets your loved one’s needs.
To help reduce the overall rate (premium), a broker may suggest increasing the deductible (upfront cost you pay on a per claim basis). Brokers can help you to shop based on the benefits that best meet the insured’s needs in addition to the price of the plan.
There are many points to investigate when you shop in Canada for emergency medical travel insurance for a super visa. Rates can be an important factor, but don’t forget to think about the benefits the insured may require in the event of an emergency and to research local hospital fees. If you’ve found a plan that meets your needs at a rate outside your budget, consider talking to an insurance broker and increase a plan’s deductible to decrease the total premium cost.
Travelance can connect you with a local broker to help you purchase insurance for the super visa – give us a call today at 1-855-566-8555.