Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs about getting COVID while travelling

FAQs about getting COVID while travelling

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Q: If I needed to call for pre-authorization at my destination, who do I call?

A: If you should have an emergency at your destination, make sure to call the phone number for the assistance centre on your wallet card. The assistance centre specializes in assisting people in a medical emergency.

Q: Does the insurance company ship us home by air ambulance if we get COVID?

A: If it is deemed medically necessary by your treating medical doctor, then the insurance company would pay for that.

Q: Are quarantine expenses provided if my spouse/travel companion tests positive for COVID?

A: It depends if your policy offers this type of coverage. You should check the Benefits Section of your policy under Companion Benefits.

Q: Do these policies require you to pay medical costs upfront and submit claims later?

A: Not usually. Most policies will guarantee payment to the facility on your behalf. The problem comes when you go to a facility that does not accept your insurance company’s guarantee (maybe you forgot to call in advance). Sometimes for small claims, the insurance company will ask you to pay the bill and submit it for reimbursement for some or all expenses.

Q: Do these policies work for private hospitals?

A: Most Canadian policies do not have restrictions on the types of hospitals you can use, as long as you call for pre-authorization in advance of going.

Q: What if I want to go to a specific hospital?

A: You would need to get authorization in advance from the insurance company.

Q: What is the cost for an ICU stay for COVID?

A: The answer to that depends on how long you were in the ICU, what services you need during your stay (Ventilators, etc.), so it is hard to say, but it can be hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Q: If you contract COVID while away, and hospitalization is required that extends beyond the period specified insurance coverage, does the insurance coverage end?

A: Most policies will continue to cover you past your policy expiry date if you are hospitalized on your policy expiry date, and then for 72 additional hours upon discharge to get home. We have one company that offers a quarantine benefit for when you need to stay quarantined past the end of your policy. They will provide a free automatic extension of coverage for a maximum of 14 days plus three days to get home.

Q: If you have COVID coverage, are you guaranteed to get into a hospital?

A: It is hard to know the answer to this, as things can change quickly. A hospital can be full and not accept any more patients. If it isn’t at capacity, they would admit you. Many hospitals have used temporary field hospitals to expand capacity when needed.

Q: If you tested positive for COVID, would Canadians be treated as a lower priority next to Americans getting medical care?

A: In the US, a paying client is a paying client no matter what nationality you are. That said, there are no guarantees in life during COVID.

Q: Once discharged from a hospital, is there coverage for return airfare or would that fall under trip interruption coverage?

A: For emergency medical policies, return airfare is only paid for when it is included as a benefit of your insurance policy and the insurance company determines it is best for you to come home to Canada to be followed by a Canadian doctor. Trip interruption insurance covers the cost of unexpected events that require you to return home.

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