Until a traveller is harmed by disease or an accident, it is easy not to contemplate the risks to which he or she is exposed.
• Having travel medical insurance prevents nasty surprises, for example, the discovery that your provincial public or private healthcare plan (RAMQ, OHIP, or other), or mutual insurance covers only a minor portion of the medical expenses incurred abroad. If you do not take out travel insurance, you will be required to pay for medical expenses up front and to wait until your healthcare plan issues you a partial, or perhaps even very partial, reimbursement of these expenses. Purchasing travel insurance before your departure protects your health, both physical and financial.
• Having medical travel insurance provides coverage beyond the restrictions and limitations (duration, amount, type of care) of your group insurance and credit-card travel insurance. Should you decide to extend your stay, can you extend your coverage period? The guarantees could be limited, and some of your health conditions could be excluded. Check if your coverage excludes emergency medical care due to a pre-existing disease or to a condition resulting from a new medication.
• Having medical insurance for your trip avoids dealing with the reality of emergency hospitalization healthcare expenses (which, as an example, may amount to several thousands of dollars in the United States), and gives you access to a support center that will find a doctor or medical center for you and guarantee you are admitted and that you see a health professional. And if your health status deteriorates or prevents you from continuing your holiday, the support center will organize your repatriation or your return due to a medical emergency.
Subscribing to travel insurance means offering oneself protection against unexpected health-related events that could occur abroad, which can be expensive and stressful.