Ford Government Proposes To End OHIP Out-Of-Country Traveller’s Program

Published April 25, 2019 at 4:20 am


The Ford government is planning to remove OHIP coverage for the residents of Ontario who are travelling to another country.

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term care recently released a proposal to amend Regulation 552 under the Health Insurance Act. This will end the Ontario Health Insurance Program for any medical emergencies that arise when travelling.

The current OHIP Out-Of-Country Traveller’s Program allows coverage, in the form of a reimbursement, when residents travel outside of Canada. It covers up to $400 per day for high level or emergency care, $200 per day for other standards of care, $210 for renal dialysis and $50 per day for outpatient care.

According to the proposal, “these reimbursement rates have not increased in over 20 years.”

According to the government, this change is because most Ontarians already purchase health or travel insurance privately and that the low rates of reimbursement. This limited coverage only covers about 5 per cent of costs on average, while private insurance plans cover about 94 per cent on average. This leaves many people with expensive medical bills.

The ministry will also end coverage for osteopath services while travelling since osteopathy is no longer recognized as a regulated health profession since 2004, but has been covered while travelling. This change aims to keep the coverage for osteopathy services consistent throughout the act.

The proposed regulation aims to align with the Ford government’s commitment to implement changes that restore accountability and trust in the use of tax dollars. According to the proposal, the regulation will “bring greater modernization, efficiency, and transparency to OHIP to benefit both providers and patients.”

Businesses will have to pay a one-time cost associated with adapting to the elimination of the OHIP OOC Travellers program and a small increase in premiums.

The new regulation would go into effect October 1 if approved.

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