Why you should seek pre-approval when using your travel insurance

By Pam Langevin, Senior Broker, Medi-Quote Insurance Brokers

You have reached your destination, unpacked and are now experiencing some much needed R & R. But wait, you are not feeling well and you decide that seeing a doctor might be a good idea.

Travel Insurance policies in Canada only cover medical emergencies. However some emergencies are more urgent than others. If it’s not urgent, then it’s time to pull out your wallet card and make that call to the insurance company to advise them what is going on. If it is urgent, please don’t delay your medical care! Take care of the emergency first and have the call to the insurance company made as soon as possible.

The insurance company will require involvement in your care in the form of authorizing prior approvals for all tests and treatment. When you need medical care, it is understandable to feel overwhelmed and frustrated with that. If the medical care is of an immediate urgency, they understand that pre-approvals are not always possible. However, if the care you require can wait for that authorization, then it should be possible. If you don’t get pre-approvals for all tests and procedures, then you could be responsible for the costs that were not authorized in advance.

Also, if your physician wants to follow up with you at a later time, check your policy wording or contact the assistance centre before doing so. Your policy may also limit the number of follow up visits to a physician that are allowed. Remember, your travel insurance policy is for EMERGENCYS. Not ongoing treatment.

While it may appear that the insurance company does not have your best interest at heart, they are doing a balancing act. They want to ensure that you receive the medical care that you need while at the same time ensuring that you are not subjected to any unnecessary tests. By keeping their costs down, they can then keep the increases in your premiums down for the following year.

It is your responsibility to read through the policy wording to understand what is and isn’t covered. However, the assistance centre and your broker at Medi-Quote Insurance Brokers will be happy to interpret those wordings to clear up any confusion.