Medi-Quote Blog

We are running a contest this summer to celebrate our 20th Anniversary selling travel insurance. To enter, go to our contest page on Facebook here. Click like to see the contest entry form. Get one entry by entering your address, and then gain an additional entries for each of your Facebook friends who enters the contest after you.

  • 1st prize: 16GB Apple iPad Air
  • 2nd prize: A free night in a hotel room in a major North American City (See contest page for full restrictions)
  • 3rd prize: A $50 credit towards your next travel insurance purchase with us.

Link: Medi-Quote 20th Anniversary Facebook Contest

Medical Underwriting for Travel Insurance from Medi-Quote Insurance Brokers on Vimeo.

Wondering about medical underwriting?

The medical underwriting process gives travellers who may not be eligible for standard travel insurance products, the option to be individually assessed and priced for a policy.

Offered by some travel insurance companies, it's the perfect option for anyone who is unsure of their medical conditions, or has received a medical diagnosis from their doctor.

This is how it works: You would have your family physician fill out an application form and include any supporting documents. Your application would then be forwarded to the insurance company and their medical underwriting team to review. They will then provide us with their assessment and confirmation of coverage prior to your purchase. Depending on your situation, your condition may be covered under the policy for an agreed to premium. It may be subject to certain limitations or it could be excluded from your policy. We would discuss your options with you so you could make the best decision for your situation.

While the medical underwriting process can take a little while to complete, the greatest benefit to you is the additional piece of mind knowing your personal medical situation has been reviewed by a medical underwriter. You will have a clear indication of will and will not be covered in the event of a claim, before you travel.

Here are a few things to consider if you decide the medical underwriting process is for you:

- It can take a little while so be sure to allow as much lead time as possible.

- If your medical condition changes between the time of your initial application and the day you travel, you'll have to submit updated information to your insurer.

- Your doctor may charge you to fill out the necessary forms, be sure to ask up front if there are any fees for this service.

- Lastly, because the policy takes your medical situation into account, it can be more costly.

Throughout the process, we'll discuss your options with you, and we'll review the policy with you so that you can better understand any limits or exclusions, and to make sure you can enjoy a worry free trip.

For more information on medical underwriting or our other travel insurance topics please visit our website: www.mediquote.ca

July 1st marked the start of the Canadian Anti-Spam Law often referred to as CASL. This new law changed the way Canadian companies would need to keep track of how people subscribed to email lists. To stay compliant with the law, we sent out a request asking our email subscribers to resubscribe, and thereby confirm that they continued to want to receive our emails. As part of this request we offered to give away five $100 Visa gift cards to people who signed up. Here are the contest winners.

  1. R. Smiley of Barrie, ON
  2. L. Keetbaas of Calgary, AB
  3. A. Clement of Leduc, AB
  4. C. Hugh of Cardinal, ON
  5. D. Bell of High River, AB

 

Click here to subscribe to our email list.

This year, Snowbirds must be prudent about tracking how many days they stay in the United States. Rules already in place limit the amount of days you can spend in the US before you become subject to US tax laws. June 30, 2014 marks the date in which the US and Canada will be working together to strictly monitor the number of days a person spends outside of Canada, or inside the US. If the allowed number of 183 days is exceeded, people could face some serious penalties.

The changes are part of the Entry-Exit Initiative and the Perimeter Security and Competitiveness Action Plan, a cooperative plan between Canada and the US that was announced in February 2011. 

Travellers will be tracked in both directions across the Canada/US border. Both countries will share the information in real-time. Previously, travellers were allowed to self-report changes in residency, and were only tracked when entering a country. 

Here is a summary of some of the consequences of being outside Canada, or in the US, for too long.

1. US Travel Bans - If found to be unlawfully present in the US between 183 and 365 days, you could face a 3-year travel ban. If found to be unlawfully present in the US more than 365 days, you could face a 10 year travel ban.

2. Liability for U.S. income tax on world wide income -  If present inside the US for too long, you could become subject to US tax laws, and be taxed on your worldwide income. 

3. Liability of U.S. estate tax on fair market value of world wide assets - Once subject to US tax laws, a person who dies in the US would have their estate taxed based on the value of their worldwide assets. 

4. Liability of Canadian departure tax - A Canadian who is no longer a resident may be subject to a Canadian departure tax. This means once you lose your Canadian resident status, you would be deemed to have disposed of your assets, and pay tax on the gains. 

5. Loss of provincial healthcare coverage - Once a Canadian is no longer a resident of a particular province, they lose the right to provincial healthcare coverage. The rules governing residency are different than those covered by previously mentioned tax laws. Consult your provincial healthcare body for specific rules and exceptions.

For more details check out this article about keeping track of days spent in the US by clicking here. We also recommend consulting a tax specialist for guidance as we are not experts on such matters ourselves. We want our clients to be aware of such matters, even if we can't give specific advice.

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Almost all travel insurance policies include an alcohol, drug or other intoxicant exclusion of some kind. In most cases of accidents and injuries where intoxication from alcohol or drugs is a contributing factor, the insurance policy will not cover the associated healthcare costs.

The  phrasing of the drug and alcohol exclusions differ slightly depending on the insurance company. For alcohol, some companies specify an amount of 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood as the point coverage is excluded, while others are more vague in their exclusion when alcohol is a factor.

Some companies exclude coverage related to the use of prohibited drugs as well as the misuse of prescribed drugs.

We recommend that everyone who is travelling and considering consuming drugs or alcohol read and understand their policy's exclusions.

The summer camping season is finally here, and many Canadians will be taking advantage of the warm weather by heading to the great outdoors. While you are planning your camping trip, don't forget travel insurance if you will be leaving your home province. While your provincial healthcare will cover you in another province, not all services will be covered, and this could leave open the possibility of large medical bills if illness or accident sends someone in your family to the hospital.

People should be more diligent in general about getting travel insurance when leaving the province. When leaving for a camping trip, people should be even more concerned with having adequate coverage, given the higher risk for injury coupled with being far away from major hospitals, thus increasing chances of needing air ambulance services.

The good news is that travel insurance for use within Canada only can be very inexpensive. And if you have an existing annual travel insurance policy, you will be automatically covered outside your province for the number of days specified by the policy. Some forms of annual travel insurance allow for an unlimited number of days covered while travelling inside Canada but outside your province of residence. Check your travel insurance policy before leaving, and give us a call if you have questions.

Make travel insurance part of your camping checklist. Give us a call at 1-800-661-3098 to discuss options.

Our offices will be closed for the Monday, May 19, for the Victoria Day long weekend.

Please note that we will be closed Friday, April 18 2014 for Easter Friday. We will  reopen for regular business hours on Monday April 21.

Happy Easter!

Health care spending has doubled in the last decade.
    •    Aging population
    •    Decreasing population coverage
    •    Inflation
    •    Increased use of services
    •    Introduction of new services and treatments
 
Source: Canadian Institute for Health Information

Canada’s aging population
    •    Health care costs increase with age
    •    More than half of Canadian employers considering eliminating post-retirement benefits
    •    75% of private sector employees have no plan for retirement
 
In 2011, the average Canadian spent:  
    •    Over $1725 on health care costs
    •    Up over 30% from 2006
    •    $1.1B is spent each week on health care in the private sector
 
Source: Canadian Institute for Health Information
 
Drugs are the fastest growing health care expenditure
    •    Canadian households paid $4.6B out-of-pocket for prescription medicine
    •    Drug costs vary significantly by age:
    •    A 25 year old = $360 per year
    •    A 50 year old = $857 per year
 
Inadequate drug coverage impacts self-employed and unemployed the most

24% of Canadians have NO drug coverage


8% of Canadians Did not fill a prescription

24% Delayed or stopped buying a prescription due to financial concerns
Source: Statistics Canada
 
Dental Benefits
In 2011, Canadians spent over $13B on professional dental care, $5B (38%) out-of-pocket
 


32% of Canadians have no dental insurance

Source: Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS)

Although health costs are increasing, there is something you can do about it. If you are not on a group plan, or are about to come off a group plan, you should consider an individual or family health and dental plan to bridge the gap between what the government will cover, and what they won’t. As insurance brokers we shop the market for you to find good coverage for your needs.

Get a quote for health and dental insurance by filling out the form on the right side of this page.

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