# Friday, June 15, 2012
                 
When travelling abroad or coming to Canada it is important to know how pregnancy-related issues are covered (or not covered) by travel insurance.

It is often assumed that both a pregnant mother and the expectant child can be covered, but often this is not the case. A case in point is what happened when an Australian couple travelled to British Columbia, Canada, back in late 2011. The mother gave birth to a daughter prematurely (26 weeks into pregnancy) before leaving back home to Australia. As a result of being premature their newborn baby spent three months in a Vancouver hospital. Ultimately, the total cost of this care was almost $1 million. The couple had the foresight to purchaser travel insurance prior to their departure, but to their shock they discovered it did not cover these medical expenses. (Eventually the hospital their premature baby was in did agree upon $300/month payments, to be paid out over the next 200 years.)

This blog article is divided into two main sections: pregnancy when travelling abroad, and pregnancy when visiting Canada.

Canadians Traveling Abroad

There are two things about pregnancy and travel insurance for Canadians travelling abroad that you should be aware of:
  1. Regardless of the insurance carrier that you purchase your travel insurance from, pre-natal care, childbirth, and/or health complications that arise as a result of being pregnant are only covered up to the 8th or 9th week prior to the expected delivery date.
     
  2. Most insurance companies will not cover a newborn child until he or she is at least 30 days old. This means that expenses due to a child that is born prematurely will not be covered under most travel insurance plans.
The reluctance to cover these costs (for example, an early birth and medical care during labour) result from many carriers taking the position that pregnant women fall within a “high risk” category (to a degree this varies from company to company).

If you have already purchased an annual travel insurance plan (one plan for multiple trips and visits) then be sure to contact the insurance company if you are pregnant, and get them to clarify their coverage of possible pregnancy-related expenses.

If you are looking to purchase travel insurance protection then know that there are options available to you that do provide coverage in these types of situations. For more information please call us here at HealthQuotes.ca (1-800-474-4474).

Visitors to Canada

Visitor to Canada insurance policies are geared towards covering medical expenses that result from unforeseen accidents or sickness. As a result pregnancy-related health expenses that might arise while visiting Canada are always excluded, regardless of the insurance company that offers the VTC coverage.

However, if you are a Canadian expatriate and return to Canada, it is vitally important to apply for provincial health care coverage as soon as possible (in which case birthing costs are covered by the province of residence). In most cases you can apply for provincial health care after a three month waiting period (from the date of your arrival).

If you have any questions please contact us. We are here to help!
    

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