February 2013 Archives

February 14, 2013
Posted by Sanger & Manes, LLP

I'm a Canadian Visiting the Palm Springs Palm Desert Area for the Winter, What Should I do About My Health Insurance (Part 2)?

let's pick up where we left off at the end of part 1....

Filing a Claim with an Insurance Provider

If filing a claim, the insurance provider will want evidence to support the claim. This may include in addition to medical bills, a copy of the electronic travel ticket, a copy of the passport, health-card numbers, family doctor information, and travel insurance details including contract or certificate numbers.

Snowbird Trip Health Insurance

Many companies offer trip health insurance and each has its own inclusions, exclusions and limitations. Included in the list of companies are HSBC Bank Canada, Blue Cross, RBC Insurance, CAA, and Medipac Travel Insurance, which is endorsed by the Canadian Snowbird Association. Companies generally offer two basic plans: single trip and annual multiple trip. Annual multiple trip insurance covers an unlimited number of trips in a 12 month period. However, the total number of days the insured may stay away without returning home vary for each company. The time away be limited to a maximum of 10 days for each trip, although for an additional fee the insured can "top up" the number of days and stay longer, while other plans allow the insured to be away on any single trip from 23, to 31, to 60, to 90, and up to 120 days. Individual and family plans are available. The cost of an annual premium for a 60 year old man in good health starts at about $175, depending upon what coverage is included.

Policies of Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage

For Canadians who do not have travel health insurance, and who are visiting the Palm Springs, California area, the Eisenhower Medical Center generally offers a self paid discount of 33% off of standard medical care charges. Palm Springs has become a favorite of Canadians looking to escape the harsh winters (although always check with Eisenhower Medical Center for certainty and updated information on costs and discounts). It is located approximately 100 miles east of Los Angeles in the Coachella Valley (in Rancho Mirage, CA) , and there are frequent daily flights from locations in Canada to Palm Springs (many on West Jet). Located in the Palm Springs area is the Eisenhower Medical Center is, in our opinion, one of the finest community hospitals in the U.S. But even after discounts, hospital bills can be many thousands of dollars, and it is better to obtain travel health insurance prior to leaving Canada.