Westworld Alberta

Winter 2014

Westworld Alberta

Issue link: http://westworldmagazine.ama.ab.ca/i/402160

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Page 43 of 67

Q&A: Frequently asked travel medical questions, answered Q Why does AMA recommend travel medical insurance for trips to other Canadian provinces? doesn't Canada have a universal medical program? A anks to reciprocal agreements between Canadian provinces, your Alberta Health Care plan will cover most medical services and emergencies outside of Alberta. However, certain services – for example, ambulance and air ambulance rides – aren't covered, and can really add up (check out the infographic on p. 39). A travel medical insurance policy will also enhance your basic plan, covering things like emer- gency dental expenses, the travel costs of family members who rush to your side in the event of hospitalization and more. Q What are some common policy exclusions? A Every travel medical insurance policy is different. However, in addition to things like unstable pre-existing medical conditions, many exclude participation in motorized speed contests and competing in sporting activities as a professional. Also, injuries caused by alcohol, drug or toxic- substance abuse are usually not covered. In other words, if you're intoxicated and, heaven forbid, fall off a patio because your head is spinning, your policy may not cover you. Again, sit down and read your insur- ance documentation well before you travel to be sure you know what's excluded. Q I'm an adventure traveller: what if I want to go ziplining on my next trip? Will my travel medical insurance cover that? A Some policies exclude extreme sports such as skydiving, bungee jumping and ziplining – and some, like AMA's, do provide coverage. Read all the fine print in your policy to be sure you under- stand what it covers and what it doesn't. Q What if I honestly forget to buy travel insurance before I leave? Can I buy it when I'm already on my trip? A It depends. If you've only been gone a day or two and you haven't had medi- cal issues, you may still be able to buy a pol- icy. Call your insurer and be upfront about the situation, advises Pam Murray, manager of travel medical insurance sales at AMA. "We don't want anybody to be without cov- erage and we will always do our best to work with you," she says. "But if it's been more than four days, there are going to be ques- tions, and the answer is more likely to be no."

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