Health

Travelling within Canada: Your Out-of-Province Health Coverage

If you get sick while travelling within Canada, it’s generally pretty easy to receive immediate medical attention without having to foot the bill. The reason is that all of the provinces and territories, except Quebec, signed an Interprovincial Billing Agreement under which the host province agrees to cover the cost of any medically necessary service provided and subsequently bill the home province for reimbursement. That being said, there are certain differences to your coverage when you travel outside of your home province. Understanding these differences can help you avoid having to pay unnecessary expenses. What is and isn’t covered out of province? In accordance with the Canada Health Act, medically necessary health care services are typically covered when travelling within Canada. In other words, if you become ill or have an accident in another province, your hospital and physician services will likely be covered. However, additional services, such as…

Are Canadian Doctors Really Pillaging Health Care Coffers?

The current tension between the Government of Ontario and its doctors over what is or isn’t a fair “wage” is yet another chapter in a long saga documenting the political truth that when government is the paymaster, it has the right to call the tune. But the melody is wearing thin. To refresh myself on this long narrative, I revisited my own files to stories I wrote in the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s, for the Canadian Medical Association Journal and The Medical Post on the protracted fee schedule negotiation between not only the Ontario Ministry of Health and the Ontario Medical Association but also similar combatants in most other provinces. And the story line then, as it is now, was that the more money the province (that’s you) paid doctors, the less it had to pay for other key health care services—new hospitals, more beds, newer technology, more technicians, and…

The Aedes Mosquito: Carrier of More Than Just Zika

Short read: Zika Virus: What You Need to Know Introduction As Zika continues to spread, doctors and scientists have officially concluded that a causal relationship exists between pregnant women infected with Zika and microcephaly appearing in newborns (in addition to other brain anomalies).[1] Belize, Saint Lucia, and Vietnam are the latest countries to experience their first locally acquired cases. Meanwhile, Panama has recently announced its first case of microcephaly potentially linked to Zika, and Brazil is continuing to experience large-scale transmission of the virus, with a significant increase in cases of newborns suffering from microcephaly. And Colombia is experiencing an uptick in Zika cases, with the rainy season (i.e., more mosquitoes) just around the corner. Spread of Zika Image source: WHO But Zika is not the only mosquito-borne virus of global concern. In this article, we trace the epidemiology (spread) of two similar arboviruses—dengue, and chikungunya—and…

Skipping Canada’s Medical Wait List? Here’s the Costs.

One of the most daunting challenges facing Canadians distressed by unreasonably long waiting lists for medical care at home is the cost of seeking it abroad, without any help from the government health insurance they have been paying into their whole working lives. True, in some cases provincial governments will pay for, or perhaps subsidize, pre-authorized medically necessary services in the United States that are not available at home in a “reasonable” time. But who can tell what is reasonable to someone struggling physically and emotionally with cancer or an unresolved cardiovascular or musculoskeletal condition? As we have reported in previous articles, roughly 900,000 Canadians are waitlisted, with their average waiting time just to see a specialist at over 18 weeks. Most will simply have to endure, since going abroad for medical care is expensive. There is no way to sugar coat that fact. But is it always an insurmountable…

New Year, New Flu

Though a bit later than usual, the cold and flu season is back! And since freezing temperatures mean we are more likely to stay indoors, the flu virus gets a chance to spread quickly. Sure, the flu can be a nuisance, but it can also be very serious and should not be underestimated. Each year in Canada, influenza causes 12,200 hospitalizations and 3,500 deaths. Luckily there is a vaccine to protect us from this disease, and it’s not too late to get it. In addition to the flu vaccine, the Government of Canada also recommends you take the following measures to protect yourself and those around you against the flu: Wash your hands frequently. (If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer and keep a small bottle handy for easy access. And don’t be shy—use as often as needed.) Cough and sneeze into the bend of your arm,…

Canadians Looking Abroad for Health Care: Part 2

Last week we reported on the Fraser Institute’s 2015 survey showing that increasing numbers of Canadians, fed up waiting for medically necessary, non-emergency health care services at home, were looking to foreign hospitals—primarily in the US—for quicker solutions. If you are one of the more than 900,000 Canadians wait-listed for a medical procedure (or if you haven’t yet even made the list), you might want to explore the international option. But we caution you, this is not a game for amateurs. You should seek help. You’re not shopping at a U.S. BestBuy for a 72-inch 4K television… Your first step to seeking health care abroad should be your own physician—your family doctor, or your specialist, if you have already endured that wait. Canadian physicians have good contacts with their U.S. peers; many have gone to school together, done internships or residencies in the same hospitals, or perhaps have already made…

3 Tips for Staying Safe in the Sun

When summer rolls around, most of us head outdoors, but even though sunshine can do wonders for our mood, it can also cause serious damage to our health. After a long, cold winter, what is a sun lover to do? Follow these 3 simple tips for staying safe in the sun! Apply the right sunscreen. Make sure you are using a high enough SPF—SPF 15 for your daily routine and SPF 30 if you’re taking part in outdoor activities. Many people forget to apply a new coat after a few hours in the sun or a dip in the water—make a habit of reapplying after two to three hours outside in the sun or if you get wet. Don’t forget to apply to those often forgotten spots: your ears, your hands (make sure not to wash them right after applying), your feet, and your lips (use lip balm with SPF).…

Eat Like an Athlete During This Summer’s Pan Am and Parapan Am Games #TO2015

Want to eat like a Pan Am athlete this summer? Athletes largely depend on the quality of their food to ensure they are receiving the top nutrients to keep them strong and energized for training and competition. How can you eat like an athlete? Eat at locally from your farmers market! No matter where you are, urban or rural, there are many options available to get the freshest and healthiest options. Check out our post on eating locally and living well for more information on how to eat like an athlete!

Ready, Set…Visit! Why Visitors to Canada Need Travel Health Insurance at the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games #TO2015

Canada welcomes visitors from around the world, but not their medical bills. Did you know that visitors from other countries are not covered under the Canadian provincial health care system and neither are Canadians travelling outside of their resident provinces. It’s frightening to think that if something were to happen to you while visiting one of the largest sports events in the world, you would be vulnerable to the high costs of Canadian medical and assistance services—but no need to fear! There’s a very simple and cost-effective solution: Visitors to Canada insurance! What would you do if your luggage got lost or stolen? Canada is one of the safest countries in the world for travel, but with thousands of people coming and going, the risk is still present. Visitor to Canada insurance covers lost or stolen baggage, protecting your belongings during your travels. Many of the Pan Am competition venues…

Canada Welcomes Visitors, But Not Their Health Bills: What You Need to Know to Make Sure Your Visitors Are Insured

Toronto, Canada – From the Rockies to the Red River, it’s springtime in Canada, and that means an influx of visitors from around the world. According to the Canadian Tourism Commission, Canada received over 17 million visitors in 2014, and each one was vulnerable to the costs of the Canadian health care system. “Health care in Canada is expensive,” says Robin Ingle, Chairman of travel and health insurance group Ingle International. “There are common misconceptions about the Canadian health care system and what it will and won’t cover—a non-resident visitor can expect to pay up to $5,000 per day in a hospital and double that for the intensive care unit,” explains Ingle. Ingle defines a visitor as anyone visiting from another country, new immigrants, and returning Canadians. All visitors within these categories require travel and health insurance while in Canada, and it is up to them to make appropriate arrangements prior…

Staying Healthy Abroad: Frequently Asked Questions by International Students

At Ingle International, the only thing we love as much as international travel is international education! And that’s why we believe that studying abroad is one of the best choices you can make for your future. There’s nothing like immersing yourself in another culture as a way to enrich yourself (and it might even make you smarter!). Of course, when you’re out having the adventure of a lifetime, the last thing you want to do is worry about your health. That’s why we developed Study Insured, our resource for international students with questions about their health, safety, and insurance needs while away from home. Have questions about studying abroad? Read on for the answers! I want to study or work abroad. Where do I begin? On Study Insured’s blog, our staff members reflect on their own study-abroad experiences and share advice for first-timers.  This post will guide you through…