Planning a trip abroad is an exciting process. You get to choose the perfect accommodations, research fun activities and explore new cultures. The last thing on your mind is something could go sideways. Thankfully you have travel insurance! Travel insurance offers peace-of-mind when planning a big trip. If you’re a member of the BCCA Employee Benefit Trust plan, the Out-of-Country and Medical Travel benefits are a part of your Extended Health policy. But it’s easy to forget to review your plan’s provisions before jetting off. Next thing you know, you’re filing a claim and it’s denied. Here are 4 reasons why your travel claim may be denied:
- You did not experience a sudden or unforeseen event
- A travel advisory was issued before you booked your trip
- You have a pre-existing medical condition or the illness/condition that is claimed is excluded from coverage under the plan
- Failure to document the claim with the required receipts and forms
You did not experience a sudden or unforeseen event
The purpose of travel insurance is to provide coverage for unexpected events – emergencies. Any situation that you could plan for or prevent would not be considered eligible under your medical travel insurance coverage.
Say you injure your knee before a trip to Hawaii. You chose to ignore the pain and decided to see a doctor in Hawaii for fear of delaying your trip. She tells you that you’ve torn your MCL. In this scenario, you would not be covered for the doctor’s visit or any treatment because it happened before the start of your trip.
A travel advisory was issued before you booked your trip
If the federal government issues a travel advisory for your travel destination and you knowingly follow through with your booking, your medical travel coverage could be invalid. If you booked and went on your trip BEFORE the government issued a travel advisory for some reason, such as a disease outbreak (ex. Dengue), you would be covered. However, additional fees to come home early due to the advisory would not be covered. Before confirming any international travel, be sure to review the Canadian government travel database to be aware of any advisories.
You have a pre-existing medical condition or the illness or condition that is claimed is excluded from coverage under the plan
The BCCA Employee Benefit Trust plan does not have any exclusions unless our members are explicitly told not to travel by their physician. So, under our plan, if you have a heart condition and are planning to go to Mexico against your doctor’s orders, you would likely not be covered. It doesn’t matter if you tell your carrier in advance, although it may provide you with direction.
But If you have a heart condition that you’re managing with medication, and your doctor says “Go! Enjoy yourself!”, it is more than likely you will be covered if you go on vacation and experience a medical emergency.
Another example of a pre-existing condition could be pregnancy. While travel during pregnancy is generally permitted, women traveling in their third trimester would likely not be covered given the added risk. Those who require travel during the late stages of pregnancy should reach out to their insurer before confirming travel plans.
For any questions with respect to coverage or eligibility, please contact our client services team 1-800-665-1077 or your Out-of-Country emergency provider.
Failure to document the claim with the required receipts and forms
If you are submitting a medical travel claim to your insurer, you must provide documentation supporting the claim, or your claim may be denied. Keeping copies of any relevant receipts, doctor’s notes, police reports, and even email correspondence will help you successfully complete your claim. Only forms submitted in English or French will be accepted in Canada.
Be sure to know your travel policy when booking a trip. Keep your policy number and insurer phone number with you throughout your travels. Avoid getting your travel claims denied by reviewing your insurer’s website (eg. Pacific Blue Cross or Green Shield Canada) for details about your travel coverage. For more information about travel claims call your Client Service Center at 1-800-665-1077 or 604-683-7353.