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Top 3 travel insurance myths debunked

Travel insurance can be tough to understand, and if you’re not reading the fine print, your coverage decisions could be influenced by unproven myths1. Here are the top three travel insurance myths and how the coverage included in all RTIP* plans can help you.

Myth #1. Provincial insurance, such as OHIP, provides enough coverage during your trips outside your province of residence or Canada.

FACT: Provincial programs such as OHIP in Ontario, RAMQ in Quebec, AHCIP in Alberta or MSP in British Columbia provide very limited coverage (less than $200 a day). Depending on the care and services you need, a single day in a U.S. hospital can cost you more than $10,000.

Travelling within Canada

When you show your valid Ontario health card in another Canadian province or territory, you will be covered for some of the same services you’re covered for in Ontario:

Any service or treatment you recieve in another Canadian province or terrtitory must be medically necessary for it to be covered by OHIP.

Travelling outside of Canada

OHIP covers a limited amount of the costs if you receive emergency health services while you’re travelling outside of Canada.


Visit (or the respective government health insurance plan) to see what is/is not covered by the other provinces or territories. 

How RTIP can help: All RTIP health insurance plans* provide coverage up to $2 million per person, per trip and coverage is effective for trips up to 95 consecutive days, with unlimited number of trips per year. So in most cases, you will not need to purchase additional travel insurance when travelling outside the province, territory or country. (NOTE: A 24-hour break between trips is required for the coverage to reset.) 

Myth #2. If you have a pre-existing condition, you do not have to tell an insurer. 

FACT: You have to share this information; otherwise, your insurance claim (if you have one) might be declined.

How RTIP can help: Your RTIP travel insurance provides coverage for emergency out-of-country treatment due or related to a sudden, unexpected injury, or a new medical condition that occurs while you are travelling. Coverage may be provided for a previously identified medical condition (a “pre-existing condition”) that was stable** and not diagnosed as terminal or palliative at the time of departure from the province of residence.

Every claim must be assessed on an individual basis, and medical information will be requested as necessary. Therefore, prior to leaving Canada, please review your pre-existing conditions and your contractual coverage with your physician and discuss your risk of incurring ineligible expenses for conditions that are not stable.

Please consider additional travel insurance that provides reimbursement for those pre-existing conditions if:

  • You are planning a trip out of the country and you had a change to your medications or conditions.

  • You have been treated for any new illness or symptom, even if a diagnosis has not been made, in the last 90 days before your departure date

To learn more, call 21st Century Travel Insurance at 1-800-567-0021 and identify yourself as an RTIP member. 

Myth #3. All credit cards have travel insurance to protect you and/or will cover trip cancellation costs or trip interruption due to a medical issue.2 

FACT: Not necessarily, not every credit card has travel medical insurance or will cover trip cancellations or interruptions. Look carefully at the credit card conditions or call your credit card provider for details. You need to ensure that your credit card explicitly covers trip cancellation or interruptions due to getting sick on your trip, or a personal emergency. 

How RTIP can help: With RTIP, you are covered for emergency medical treatment, trip cancellation* and/or trip interruption*, and 24-hour emergency assistance. Learn more about these details and exclusions

Travel tip: Take your benefits card with you when you travel.

In the event of a medical emergency while travelling outside your province of residence, call the toll-free numbers listed on the back of your benefits card as soon as possible to get assistance from the international travel assistance organization. We recommend you make the call using a landline, as you may not be able to reach the assistance company using your mobile device. If you experience any difficulty using the toll-free numbers, please call collect to 519-741-8450 and you will be reimbursed for the call charges.


*Based on coverage details as of January 1, 2018.
**To better understand the definition and/or requirements of “stable” definition, please access your benefits booklet.

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