Ontario considers cutting OHIP travel coverage, cites high administration costs

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TORONTO — Ontario is considering ending a government-run travel insurance program that partly covers the cost of emergency health services abroad.

A spokeswoman for Health Minister Christine Elliott says the government is reviewing OHIP’s Out-of-Country Traveller’s Program as part of efforts to address the province’s $11.7 billion deficit.

The program currently covers out-of-country inpatient services to a maximum of $400 per day for a higher level of care, such as intensive care, as well up to $50 per day for emergency outpatient services, and doctor services.

The government says the program offers limited travel insurance coverage and encourages people to purchase additional travel insurance when they go abroad.

The province spends $2.8 million to administer approximately $9 million in claim payments through the program every year, something highlighted by Ontario’s Auditor General in her 2018 annual report.

The government says it will accept public feedback until April 30 on its proposal to end the program and the change could come into effect Oct. 1 if the government moves forward with the change.

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