The excerpted article was written by Jane Stevenson 

Toronto Sun

The frightful weather means one thing: Snowbirds will be or have already left for southern destinations.

A report by the Canadian Trade Commissioner estimates close to 500,000 Canadian snowbirds spend their winter in Florida.

But with the Ontario government cancelling OHIP’s Out-of-Country Travellers Program in January 2020, insurance experts are advising snowbirds to check their health coverage.

“As it stands today, the province offers $400 a day, out-of-country medical coverage,” said Anne Marie Thomas, of insurancehotline.com

“I mean it sounds like it would be a lot but that all depends on what happened to you. So, it’s not a significant amount but it’s a good reminder, Ontarians, we’re losing this,” added Thomas.  “Make sure you purchase travel insurance more than ever because (as of January 2020), you have zero coverage.”

The reason for this, says Thomas, is simple.

“The premier’s office (says) it will save Ontarians $83 million a year if we don’t offer this. So $83 million tells you people were using this, right?” said Thomas, who added it’s important for people to know the details of their coverage.

“Some people have (travel insurance) through work and so they feel that they’re covered, but you may not be covered for everything. You probably would not be covered under your work policy if you were in Cuba and you were hang gliding and something happened to you,” she added. “Very often …, if you’re injured during an extreme sport, you could potentially be declined a claim because an extreme sport, in a lot of cases, is excluded.”

A recent survey by insurancehotline.com found that 40 % of Canadians believe the cost of a four-hour emergency medical evacuation would be $2,000. In reality, it can cost tens of thousands of dollars.

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