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News Benefits & Pensions Relocation
Ontario scraps health insurance for out-of-country travelers


January 2, 2020
By Talent Canada Staff

Topics

Employers in Ontario may want to review out-of-country health insurance options for business travelers in light of the province’s move to stop coverage.

As of Jan. 1, the Out-of-Country Travellers Program under OHIP has been scrapped. It reimbursed residents who faced medical emergencies while outside of the country. The coverage limits were relatively low — up to $400 per day for intensive care and $50 per day for doctor services and emergency outpatient.

When it announced plans to end the program, the province pointed out that one-third of funding was being spent on administration and 90 per cent of payments were going to the private travel industry. It was spending about $2.8 million a year to administer the program, paying out about $9 million in claims.

“Simply put, the Out-of-Country Travellers Program was an irresponsible use of taxpayer money,” said Christine Elliott, deputy premier and minister of health. “The program does little in the way of providing meaningful travel coverage or value to taxpayers, especially when private insurance plans are readily available and offer the level of coverage everyone should have when travelling.”

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The changes don’t impact coverage for Ontario residents who are visiting or moving to another Canadian province or territory, the government said.

According to published reports, many private insurance carriers have begun hiking premiums as a result of the cancellation of the government program.