SNOWBIRDS GROUP FILES LEGAL CHALLENGE AGAINST PROVINCIAL CUTS TO TRAVEL INSURANCE

Jan 02, 2020

By Bob Komsic

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The day after the Ford government ended OHIP’s Out-of-Country (OOC) Travellers Program, the group representing over 115,000 Canadian travellers has filed a legal challenge.
The Canadian Snowbird Association says eliminating the emergency coverage goes against one of the five pillars of the Canada Health Act – portability.
Under the CHA, residents who are temporarily away from their home province or territory or from Canada, must continue to be covered for insured health services during their absence.
The program covered inpatient services up to $400-a-day for a higher level of care and up to $50-a-day for emergency outpatient and doctor services.
A spokesperson for the health minister says the program was costly and inefficient.
A consequence of the cancellation has seen insurance companies hike their premiums.
”We’ve heard from our members that they have been affected by this.  Their premiums have gone up as a result as companies prepare for the new year,” said Marissa Lennox, chief policy officer with the Zoomers’ advocacy group CARP.
She points out the market for travel among retired Canadians is huge as nearly four-in-ten of Ontario’s population aged 65 or older took a trip outside the country last year.
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