Many policies emphasize that they provide $1 million, up to $5 million or even “unlimited” coverage. But that doesn’t mean you are getting a blank cheque to spend on health services and you should not count on them when comparing plans. All insurers have emergency assistance companies to monitor your care anywhere in the world, to consult with your attending physicians, and to make determinations about if and when it is safe to return you to a hospital at home, or to discharge you and allow you to make your own way home or to continue your vacation. You can be sure that if the emergency assistance medical director feels it is safe for you to be repatriated to a hospital in Canada rather than languish in a hospital bed in the sunbelt at several thousand dollars a day, you will be returned. If you refuse, your coverage for anything related to the medical emergency from that point on will likely be terminated.
Milan Korcok is a national award-wining journalist, author and medical writer who has been covering international health care activities and trends in Canada, The U.S., and abroad for many years. He was the first features editor of the Medical Post in Canada He has long served as contributing editor to the Canadian Medical Association Journal and the Journal of the American Medical Association and currently serves as contributor to the International Travel and Health Insurance Journal in the UK.