COVID tests of travelers not always reimbursed by insurers

COVID tests of travelers not always reimbursed by insurers

Are you in the South or elsewhere in the world and you take a test for COVID-19 before you fly? Do you have side effects from the vaccine? Your travel insurer may not reimburse anything …

The handful of Canadian travel insurers who agree to cover COVID-19 are not reimbursing COVID-19 testing. Because it is not a question of urgent medical care.

For example, at Medipac, the preferred insurer of Canadian snowbirds, we do not reimburse any costs related to this test … unless it has been ordered as part of a medical process.

Medipac will reimburse it if, for example, the emergency physician orders it to determine whether COVID-19 is the cause of the hospitalization.

Remember that the majority of Canadian travel insurers do not cover COVID-19 or the side effects associated with a vaccination even if it is done free of charge in the Sunshine State.

But Ottawa now requires airlines to ask their customers to show proof of a COVID-19 test before letting them board a return flight. This test must have been carried out 72 hours before boarding.

Not given

In a handful of countries, tourists can get this test for free. But the overwhelming majority charge tourists.

In Florida, a little field research confirmed to me that, in several counties, a Quebecer can get a free test. But he won’t have the results for 72 hours.

And even if you pay, I haven’t found a clinic that guarantees faster results. We are talking more about two to four days. And the fees range from US $ 129 to over US $ 200.

Advice

  • Do you want to know if your travel insurer will reimburse (or not) the costs of a screening test or those related to side effects linked to the COVID-19 vaccine? The Canadian Association of Life and Health Insurers (ACCAP) suggests contacting your insurer to find out. ACCAP specifies that certain group insurance (employer) could reimburse a test against COVID-19 if the traveler has access to “a health expenditure account”.
  • Are you looking for a clinic that guarantees results on time to fly? Contact your tour operator or airline (at the time of going to press, there is no guarantee that you will receive a satisfactory response). Global Affairs Canada website (travel.gc.ca/voyager/ warnings) offers information on testing abroad: click on a destination, on the “health” tab, scroll to “Medical services and facilities” and click on “COVID-19 testing procedures”. For the United States, the CDC site gives a list of places: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/testing.html.
  • French-speaking Florida media that target snowbirds, such as Florida Sun or The Florida Courier, post lists of clinics where we test for COVID-19. The Florida Department of Health has a website listing all of the places you can get tested: floridahealthcovid19.gov/testing-sites.
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