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Travel Medical Insurance for Canadians going to the USA or Mexico

For most of us Canadians, one of the biggest hassels about traveling to the USA for any kind of extended period, is the high cost and/or the unavailability of travel medical insurance. It seems to me that the Canadian suppliers want to rip me off. With my pre-existing conditions, many won't even insure me, or charge ridiculous amounts for premiums (and even then they won't cover pre-existing conditions).

I had just about given up on getting affordable insurance, but one day searched for American suppliers, and to my surprise found a company, called USA-Assist, that not only will insure me at very reasonable rates, but they also deal directly with many American hospitals and doctors, much like having regular American medical insurance.

This coverage is not available for Americans, only foreigners, including Canadians, traveling in the USA.

They don't ask medical questions, but reserve the right to go back in your medical history for six months to a year (depending on age) to check for pre-existing conditions. If you have a flair up of a pre-existing condition they will pay to medically evacuate you back home. If it is not a treatment for a pre-existing condition, they will cover the cost of treatment, and in most cases will deal directly with the hospital.

I am over 70, so getting Canadian insurance went up a lot. USA-Assist had a plan that will insure up to age 90,and even over age 90 but with reduced benefits!! The plan that I get is called Global Assist Plus. Here is a link to a copy of their policy terms. Click on the 'buy insurance' link at the USA Assist site on the top right side, then click on Global Trip Plus as the type of plan.

GlobalTrip Plus Outline of Coverage

Emergency Medical Expenses - US$ 1,000,000 maximum limit.
Age 90 +, Max. Limit US$ 15,000.
Trip Cancellation/Tour cost to a maximum of US$ 20,000.
Emergency Medical Evacuation/Repatriation US$ 250,000.
Local Ambulance Expenses Included.
Return of Remains Included.

Article by Tom Slemko

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