Medi-Quote Blog

TORONTO, Sept. 30, 2015 /CNW/ - Canadians need to better understand their travel health insurance policies if they want to ensure they aren't in debt for out-of-country medical expenses, based on findings from a Travel Health Insurance Association (THiA) survey.Forty-seven per cent of respondents have never reviewed their policies even though 23 per cent have required medical care while travelling.

"Policies vary from provider to provider. It's important to understand what will impact your coverage for medical expenses outside ofCanada, or even within Canada," said Alex Bittner, THiA President. "Everyone should have a carefree holiday and not worry about unexpected medical expenses".

A survey of Canadian travel insurance providers shows that more than 95.3 per cent of travel health claims are successfully paid. THiA wants to see this number increase. This year's survey was designed to identify the public's understanding of common factors that can lead to a claim being denied. Some key points that travellers need to read and understand about their travel health insurance policies include the following.

Diagnostic tests or prescription changes
A claim can be denied if a physician orders you a diagnostic test or prescribes a change in medication prior to travelling. If you have a pre-existing condition that you are looking to cover, it needs to be stable for a period of time as specified in the policy, meaning no change in health or even a change of meds (dosage or type).  More than 55 per cent of respondents did not realize that a blood test that indicates a change in health status could compromise their medical stability, and as a result their coverage. Sixty-four per centdo not realize that a change in prescription can qualify as a change in health status.  "I've coined it 'Doctor Disconnect'.  To have a physician unwittingly compromise travel insurance coverage is unfortunate. None of us want that." said Bittner.  Education is key.

Travelling while pregnant
Most travel health insurance policies do not cover women more than 31 weeks pregnant. This means that any kind of health condition experienced after the specified period in the policy will not be covered. Forty-three per cent of respondents believe that pre-term infants are covered by travel health insurance when the reality is that virtually no policies cover pre-term infants born while travelling. Neo-natal intensive care can bankrupt a family. Does this mean that the ever popular 'baby-moon' should be banned? Not necessarily but perhaps consider taking that last trip in the first half of the pregnancy, and realize that even if you are covered, the baby may not be.

Being intoxicated 
Thirty-nine per cent admitted to being intoxicated while on vacation but a full 52 per cent admit to being unaware that an injury or illness that occurs with high blood alcohol levels can lead to a claim being denied.

Business travel requires travel health insurance too, especially for entrepreneurs
Less than one per cent of respondents purchase travel insurance when travelling for business. Many companies have extended travel health insurance but it's the travellers' responsibility to understand their coverage. Employee benefit plans also are subject to exclusions and limitations.  Small business owners should double check and ensure they have the necessary coverage.  And good news, it's tax deductible.

What constitutes an extreme sport?
Some policies consider hiking a form of mountaineering. Thirty-four per cent of those surveyed have hiked on vacation. Buying the wrong policy can be costly as a broken leg can cost up to $10,000 per day (and much more if there are complications) for medical treatment in the United States.

"We want people to have confidence in their travel health insurance policies. Understanding your policy and coverage will help ensure that you are looked after in the event of unexpected medical emergencies," said Bittner.

Three Golden Rules 
THiA recommends that Canadians do the following to have carefree vacations:

  1. Understand your travel insurance policy – Insurance providers have staff available to answer any questions related to policies
  2. Know your health and consult a health care provider if you have any questions
  3. Know your trip - How long will you be gone? Are you a snowbird? Will you be travelling many times during the year? Do you plan to scuba dive? Some policies will be more suitable for you than others

The THiA website has a guide available to help Canadians understand their travel insurance needs before they investigate policies.

About the Travel Health Insurance Association of Canada (THiA) 
Founded in 1998, the Travel Health Insurance Association(THiA) is the national organization representing travel insurers, brokers, underwriters, re-insurers, emergency assistance companies, air ambulance companies and allied services in the travel insurance field. THiA is the leading voice of the travel insurance industry in Canada and is engaged in public education and issues relating to regulatory affairs and member communications.

SOURCE Travel Health Insurance Association (THiA)

We will be closed on Monday, October 12th for Thanksgiving. Until then you can get a do-it-yourself-quote on our client portal by clicking here.


This week we took the shrink wrap off brand new functionality on our MyMediquote Client portal - A Do-It-Yourself (or "DIY") quoting system that allows you to enter your information and get a price on travel insurance instantly! No waiting for a broker.

The system will ask you medical questions as well as other questions that are important to providing you an accurate quote, and match you up with the correct plan from amongst all our available plans. If you like what you see you can save your quote for purchase.

You can even have a ‘guest quote’ prepared which is a quote prepared without the hassle of logging in.

This system is best for those with minor health problems. If you have ever had serious health problems you will still need to deal with one of our brokers, as complicated issues demand the care and attention of a qualified expert.

Click here to check to get a DIY Quote

If you have a multi-trip annual plan for your travel insurance, be sure to check when your annual starts to count down. Some annual plans start counting down as soon as you leave your home province while others do not start until you leave Canada.

Knowing when your annual plan starts counting down can help ensure you have your top-up coverage start at the correct time when away longer than the number of days on your annual plan. Having a gap in coverage outside Canada could invalidate your insurance so it's an important detail to know if you happen to spend time in another province on your way out of the country.

Let your broker know your travel plans when getting a quote, as they can advise when there are options that could benefit your situation. In the case of someone who did plan on staying in another province before leaving Canada, it would be worth looking at an annual plan with unlimited coverage in Canada that starts counting down when leaving the country rather than leaving your home province.

Thank you to all our clients who asked to receive documents in an electronic format this year. We believe that everyone needs to do their part of the environment. People and corporations must reduce their carbon footprints, and recycle, as well as limit their impact on the environment while contributing back to the world we all share. As an insurance brokerage we deal with a lot of paper, but have reduced the amount of paper we have used every year through email, and other electronic forms of communication that allow us to save a few trees. In addition to these efforts to reduce our consumption of trees, we have donated $1000 to Tree Canada to support their efforts to put more trees back in our forests and our communities. In the coming year we plan on reducing our usage of paper further and to donate money to Tree Canada on behalf of our clients who are choosing to receive documents by email rather than having them printed.

If you'd like to make a donation yourself, you can find Tree Canada's website here.


If you do not have basic coverage for ambulance, you could face a large bill if you require ground or air ambulance services in the future. We can help you get basic health insurance that covers things that your provincial healthcare does not, such as ambulance coverage, for a low monthly rate. Our plans also include useful benefits including out of country/province travel, emergency dental coverage, and more.

If you require additional coverage for prescription drugs or for dental, we can look at more comprehensive options as well. We have many plans from different insurance suppliers, so we can find an insurance plan that is right for you and works for your budget.

Basic benefits

There is no medical questionnaire required under the basic plan. The rates depend on province of residence and age, but the benefits stay the same.

For example: A 56 year old living in Alberta could get basic coverage for just $23.60 a month, $45 per month would cover a couple and $58 per month will cover a family.  To get a quote for extended health benefits click the button below.

Click here to get a quote for extended health benefits

Join us on Thursday April 16th at 2PM Central time for an online webinar event we are calling "Ask an Insurance Broker". We've been collecting questions from our clients and will be answering them live. 

If you have a question related to travel medical insurance, trip cancellation or interruption insurance, health and dental, student insurance visitors to canada insurance, expatriate insurance or anything else related to Medi-Quote Insurance Broker as a company we will be happy to include your question.

Please send your questions to

Click here to register for the webinar.

We'll be recording the video and will release the video on our blog, Facebook and Twitter page for those unable to attend the live webinar.





Wondering about Medical Questionnaires?

Medical Questionnaires are a requirement for many insurance policies. With a little pre-planning, filling out the medical questionnaire can be an easy process.
First of all, it’s important to understand how an insurance company will use the information you provide to them in the medical questionnaire.
Insurance companies use a medical questionnaire to determine 3 important things:

  • Your eligibility – Can you purchase this coverage?
  • Your rate – How much will your coverage cost?
  • Your Stability period – Have your medical conditions been stable long enough for each to qualify for coverage?

If you forget to disclose a pre-existing medical condition, or if you provide inaccurate or incomplete answers to questions, this could make your policy invalid. That is why it is so important to be sure that each question is answered accurately. Otherwise, you may be paying for coverage that you can’t use.
Speak with your doctor.

If you have any doubts about your medical history or how to answer a specific question, be sure to speak with your doctor.
Many of us have had our doctors tell us to “keep our eye on” something. But do we know exactly what they wrote down in our file? What is written in your medical records may not always match the conversation you had with your doctor. Depending on what is documented in your file, “keeping your eye on” may actually constitute a diagnosis.

In the event of a claim, an insurance company will review your medical records. It is imperative that your answers on your medical questionnaire match your medical records.
Some medications can be prescribed to treat numerous medical conditions, so sometimes providing a list of medications you are prescribed will not be enough. Have your physician list all your prescribed medications and what specific conditions they treat. Be sure that it includes the medical term for each condition.

Speak with us.
As brokers, we deal with medical questionnaires all the time. We understand what insurance companies are looking for and can help you understand each question.
Our brokers will also be able to help you find a plan that will work for you based on your trip length, your medical conditions, and your age.

Give yourself plenty of time.
Accurately filling out a medical questionnaire can take some time and pre-planning. Leave yourself plenty of time to read every question carefully and to be able to consult with us and your doctor. You don’t want to feel rushed and risk mistakes.
Remember, being accurate on your medical questionnaire begins with understanding your medical conditions and medical history. Your doctor and insurance broker are both resources you can draw on to ensure that you answer the questions properly, and give you the peace of mind that you have the right coverage you need while away.


There is good news for Snowbirds and travellers in this past week as the Canadian Council of Insurance Regulators announced that it will be launching a review of the travel insurance industry. The announcement comes after several high profile cases of denied claims have shaken the public's confidence in travel insurance. At Medi-Quote Insurance Broker's, we have always fought hard to protect our clients and recognize the mistrust many people feel towards the industry. We hope the review succeeds in rebuilding public confidence in travel insurance, as we know from experience how important it is to be able to travel with a sense of security in your travel insurance policy. The below quote is taken from a Globe and Mail article about the announcement.

The first phase of the CCIR’s response is to gather facts. The research will probe into why people are surprised by claims outcomes and whether insurance products are well understood. If they aren’t understood, CCIR will ask why not – is it something in the sales process, or the product itself? An initial report on this subject will be released in the fall of this year.

If a problem is identified, the second phase of action would be to issue a position paper. Sometimes proposed solutions are directed toward policymakers, suggesting changes in laws. Other times, ideally, the industry seizes on the suggestions and makes changes without action from the regulators.

For more on this story check out this article from the globe and mail here, or the announcement from the CCIR here.

Please note that our offices will be closed on Monday, February 16 for the long weekend. While we are closed you can still leave us a voicemail or email us at and we will respond after we are back on Tuesday, the 17th. Thanks everyone and have a great weekend!