Purchasing travel insurance ensures that you have a stress-free holiday, and many travellers turn to Blue Cross travel insurance when shopping around for policies. The Canadian Association of Blue Cross Plans, or Blue Cross Canada, is one of the world’s largest and most recognized insurance companies.
Founded in 1938, it has been around for a long time. It has earned its reputation as one of the best travel insurance companies in Canada, offering some of the most comprehensive and affordable plans. Blue Cross consists of 5 insurance providers, divided regionally with slight variations. They are:
- Alberta Blue Cross
- Pacific Blue Cross (for residents of British Columbia)
- Manitoba Blue Cross
- Quebec Blue Cross
- Medavie Blue Cross (for residents of New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia)
Blue Cross offers individual and group benefits to its customers, as well as travel insurance. In fact, Blue Cross offers a wide range of diverse travel insurance options to suit travellers of all kinds, from snowbirds to short-stay holidaymakers, solo travellers and families.
Blue Cross travel offers insurance plans for emergency medical coverage, trip interruption or cancellation, and coverage plans for visitors to Canada. Moreover, members that have health or dental benefits, either purchased or provided through their employer, can receive a discount on their plan.
What Does Blue Cross Travel Insurance Cover?
Blue Cross travel insurance has a wide range of plans available. You can purchase emergency medical insurance and trip interruption individually or combine both coverages into one policy.
Emergency medical travel insurance protects you from accruing massive medical bills in the event of sickness or injury on your trip. The emergency medical coverage from Blue Cross travel insurance covers the cost of a hospital stay, ambulance fees, repatriation and any cost associated with a medical follow-up in Canada for up to $5,000,000. This coverage is affordable, and you can add your children to your plan at no additional cost.
Unlike other travel insurance providers that won’t cover you if you have any pre-existing conditions, you can still get coverage with Blue Cross travel insurance, depending on the severity of the situation.
Trip cancellation/trip interruption
There are a few options regarding trip cancellation or trip interruption insurance. Suppose your trip is cancelled before departure (for example, due to extreme weather).
In that case, trip cancellation insurance will reimburse you for non-refundable travel fees. Some plans even offer trip cancellation for personal reasons, like if there is a death in the family or unexpected pregnancy that prevents you from flying.
Trip interruption insurance does the same if your trip is derailed once it has begun, so any extra costs are covered if your trip is cut short, even by a few days. You will be reimbursed for costs like non-refundable hotel booking fees.
For an added cost, you can also purchase coverage for lost or delayed baggage. You can buy one of these plans separately or bundle them along with your emergency medical travel insurance.
Single and multi-trip plans
Blue Cross travel insurance offers single and multi-trip comprehensive plans. If you only take one vacation annually, you can choose which dates you want for coverage.
On the other hand, if you’re lucky enough to take a few holidays every year, you can purchase one of Blue Cross’s multi-trip plans.
If you travel extensively throughout the year, you can even buy a year’s worth of travel insurance, meaning that the plan covers you for any trips.
Blue Cross travel insurance plans are comprehensive enough for travellers to pick and choose what they want to have covered. Keep in mind, however, that policies vary slightly from province to province.
How much does Blue Cross travel insurance cost?
This depends on how thorough you want your insurance coverage to be. A plan that includes emergency medical and trip cancellation or interruption will be more expensive.
There are also a few factors that Blue Cross takes into consideration when pricing its policies. For instance, the number of people on the plan will affect the cost of travel insurance.
Your premium is higher if your partner is part of the plan. The age of the insured is also a factor to consider. Children can receive insurance for free, but anyone over 65 typically pays more for travel insurance.
Additionally, Blue Cross will consider where and how long you plan to travel and adjust accordingly. Travel insurance is charged daily, so the longer your trip is, the more you will pay.
Suppose you’re travelling to areas with travel advisories from the Canadian government. In that case, you can still purchase travel insurance, but you will undoubtedly pay more.
Finally, any pre-existing medical condition will affect the cost of travel insurance. Depending on the severity and medical care needed, you can still purchase travel insurance if you have any pre-existing conditions. Still, your insurance policy will be more expensive, and Blue Cross may require you to sign a waiver.
Because of all the factors that go into determining the price of travel insurance, it’s difficult to estimate the average cost. Still, typically, Blue Cross travel insurance is very affordable.
There are cheaper plans, and some credit cards will automatically insure you when you use them to book your travel arrangements. In fact, the Scotiabank®* Platinum American Express® Card has $2,000,000 in emergency medical coverage. You get that plus other travel insurances.
Still, they might lack the global recognition that Blue Cross has. You might not get the same standard of coverage as you would with a Blue Cross travel insurance policy.
Blue Cross for travellers to Canada
Blue Cross also offers insurance plans for foreign visitors to Canada at an affordable rate. This includes tourists, international students, immigrants and foreign workers who don’t have benefits from their employers.
The plans are more expensive than the travel insurance policies offered to Canadians who travel abroad. Still, they are equally comprehensive and will cover medical fees, including hospital stays and emergency treatment, ambulance transportation costs and even emergency dental treatment.
How to buy Blue Cross travel insurance
Remember that you need to purchase travel insurance before you leave for your trip. To purchase Blue Cross travel insurance, begin at the Blue Cross website.
Choose your province of residence and scroll to the bottom of the page. Choose what kind of coverage you would like to purchase: emergency medical, trip interruption/cancellation or coverage for visitors to Canada.
From here, you will need to fill in the online application. You will need to provide your trip details like where you’re going, how long and how many travellers are included in the plan.
All travellers who need coverage will need to provide personal information such as their name, residence, email address, age, and any pertinent medical information. If you have any other health insurance, say, from your employer, you will be required to disclose that information.
Of course, if you already have a health insurance plan with Blue Cross, as you may qualify for a discount on your travel insurance if that’s the case. Once you’ve completed your application, Blue Cross will provide you with a quote and allow you to review your policy details before you buy.
Be sure to go over it in detail and contact a customer service representative if you have any questions. You can reach a Blue Cross at any time by calling the customer service hotline or sending an email.
Once your plan has been confirmed, note your group and policy number. Keep it with you and easily accessible while you travel to avoid any unnecessary expenses.
How to file a Blue Cross travel insurance claim
Travel is full of surprises. If something requires you to use your travel insurance, filing a claim online is easy. Travel insurance claims need to be made within 1 year of services provided.
Begin at the homepage of your province’s Blue Cross website. Select ‘file a claim’ and download the travel claim form you would like to submit. For example, select’ baggage claim form’ if you’re filing a claim for lost baggage and have purchased that protection.
Fill in the claim form and include any receipts and other pertinent medical information. Depending on where you received medical care and the type of treatment, the healthcare provider may bill your Blue Cross travel insurance provider directly.
If not, you will be required to pay upfront and then submit a claim for reimbursement. Once an agent receives your claim, they will be in contact with you and with your medical doctor.
The settlement of your claim is as fast as possible. Sometimes, you might only take a few hours, but this is usually only if you claim coverage for something simple like a broken bone or a doctor’s appointment.
More complicated claims can take longer, and Blue Cross might ask you for more information. Hence, keeping any and all forms of documentation related to your medical care is vital until the settlement of the claim.
You or your health care provider has received payment. The settlement of most travel insurance claims is between 20 and 90 days.
Does Blue Cross travel insurance cover Covid?
Fully vaccinated travellers can cover Covid-19-related expenses for up to $10,000,000. Blue Cross travel insurance covers medical care, including hospitalization, due to Covid-19 regardless of your vaccination status, but there are some limitations. Circumstances such as whether you tested positive for Covid-19 90 days before your trip may affect your coverage.
However, the specifics of Covid coverage vary slightly from province to province, so you must go over your policy with your broker in detail before your trip. For example, with Pacific Blue Cross, available to residents of British Columbia, Covid-19-related expenses might still be covered, even if you have had a recent diagnosis of Covid, if you purchase their pre-existing condition waiver.
Additionally, there is a monetary cap on how much you can claim back if you had any medical expenses related to Covid-19 during your trip.
Blue Cross travel insurance does not cover the cost of testing or any costs you might accrue if you need to quarantine.
Frequently asked questions about Blue Cross travel insurance
You can cancel your travel insurance and receive a full refund if you cancel your plan before the effective date. Any unused portions of your medical plan are non-refundable, regardless of the circumstances.
To cancel your plan, you must send in a request by email to your province’s Blue Cross insurance provider. The email must be sent before the plan’s effective date. Include your full name and the certificate number you provided when you bought your plan.
Blue Cross travel insurance is an excellent option for any type of traveller. Blue Cross travel insurance provides travellers with excellent emergency medical care for up to $5,000,000, and its global network makes them a recognizable partner worldwide. Their plans are varied, comprehensive and affordable. They can even cover you for pre-existing conditions, something other travel insurance providers are reluctant to do.
You can reach a member of their customer service staff 24/7. If you already have a health or dental plan with Blue Cross, you may be eligible for a discount on your travel insurance.
Blue Cross travel insurance policies can cover you for
Emergency medical assistance
Emergency medical transportation
Transportation home if your medical emergency ends your trip.
Blue Cross’ Trip Protection plan will reimburse you if your trip is cancelled due to a travel ban, an illness that requires you to cancel your trip for medical reasons, unexpected death in the family, jury duty, loss of employment, pregnancy, or if your trip is cancelled due to adverse weather.
About The Author: Arthur Dubois
Passionate about personal finance and financial technology, Arthur Dubois is a writer and SEO specialist at Hardbacon. Since his arrival in Canada, he’s built his credit score from nothing.
Arthur invests in the stock market but doesn’t pay any fees because he uses National Bank Direct Brokerage online broker and Wealthsimple’s robo-advisor. He pays for his subscriptions online with his KOHO prepaid card, and uses his Tangerine credit card for most of his in-store purchases. When he buys bitcoins, it’s with the BitBuy online platform. Of course it goes without saying that he uses the Hardbacon app so that he can manage all of his finances from one convenient place.
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