Ford government wants to end OHIP coverage outside of Canada

Apr 24 2019, 6:23 pm

The provincial government is proposing to end OHIP coverage for Ontarians when they travel outside of Canada as most Ontario tourists already purchase private health insurance for out of country trips.

According to a proposed amendment to the Health Insurance Act, which was made public on Wednesday, the PCs want to end the Out of Country Travellers Program run by OHIP.

Currently, the program covers services required to treat conditions that were unexpected and arose while a patient was outside of Canada.

This includes a maximum of $400 per day for intensive care in hospital, $200 per day for lower levels of care, $50 per day for outpatient services, and $210 for renal dialysis.

According to the provincial Health Insurance Act, these reimbursement rates have not increased in over 20 years.

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The PCs say the current OHIP plan covers just 5% of the cost of a typical medical emergency for Ontarians travelling outside of Canada.

Because of this, those who aren’t already purchasing private travel health insurance can be left with “catastrophically large bills.”

The Ford government says the change would have no impact on 99.5% of Ontarians and would not affect health care coverage for Ontario residents travelling in other parts of Canada.

“OHIP data suggests, of those 40,000 Ontarians who do travel outside of Canada each year and require health services, over 90% obtain private travel health insurance,” says the proposed amendment.

“Ontarians who decide to travel outside of Canada may continue to seek the best, most comprehensive coverage from travel insurance companies who already cover 94% of reimbursement for eligible costs.”

If approved the change would take effect October 1, 2019.