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Navigating Travel Benefits: Answers to Your Top 5 Questions

Navigating Travel Benefits: Answers to Your Top 5 Questions

Summer is right around the corner and if you plan to travel, it’s best to understand your travel benefits coverage prior to your trip. Visit our Travel Benefits webpage for full details, but if your bags are packed and you’re ready to go, review our top five frequently asked questions before you leave.

1. Am I covered while travelling outside BC or Canada?

Yes, and coverage depends on the expense. See the table below for a summary of coverage.

Remember, if you experience a medical emergency while travelling, it’s important to contact Allianz Global Assistance, Sun Life’s travel assistance provider, as soon as possible.

Expense Coverage Outside BC or Canada Amount Covered
Physician Services
(emergency only)
Yes 100%, up to your overall lifetime max. of $2 million per person
Hospital Services
(emergency only)
Yes 100%, up to your overall lifetime max. of $2 million per person
Ambulance Services – air or ground
(emergency only)
Yes 100%, up to your overall lifetime max. of $2 million per person
Prescription Drugs
(emergency and non-emergency)
Yes Same level of reimbursement as if the expense had been incurred in BC, up to your overall lifetime max. of $2 million per person
Other Services & Supplies – normally covered by UBC’s Extended Health Plan

(emergency and non-emergency)

Yes Same level of reimbursement as if the expense had been incurred in BC, up to your overall lifetime max. of $2 million per person

In order to have coverage, you must be enrolled in the BC Medical Services Plan (either through UBC, your spouse/partner’s employer’s plan or with Health Insurance BC directly) and the UBC Extended Health Plan while temporarily outside of BC. You are covered for 365 days from the date you leave BC or your home province.

Your dependents are also covered if they meet the definition of eligible dependent and they are enrolled in the BC Medical Services Plan (either through UBC, your spouse/partner’s employer’s plan or with Health Insurance BC directly) and listed as your dependent under your Extended Health plan.

2. Should I purchase additional travel insurance?

How you answer this question will depend on your situation. And while we can’t make this decision for you, we can provide you with information on what your insurance covers (and what it does not cover). We suggest reading our previous Benefits FYI article where we answer this very question.

3. I have a pre-existing condition. Am I covered if I need medical attention related to my condition while travelling?

Yes, if the pre-existing medical condition is stable and controlled at the time of departure from BC/Canada and if your doctor has cleared you for travel. It’s strongly recommended that you obtain a letter from your doctor clearing you for travel or ask that a note be added to your medical file.

4. I am travelling to a country that has a travel advisory warning. Am I covered if I need medical attention while in that country?

Yes, travelling to a country that has a travel advisory warning does not mean you lose your coverage. We recommend calling Allianz Global Assistance, Sun Life’s travel assistance provider, in advance of your travels to confirm whether you will be able to access their medical emergency travel assistance services in your destination area. It is your responsibility to review your benefits coverage, including exclusions and limitations, prior to travel.

If you are experiencing a medical emergency while outside BC or Canada, contact Allianz Global Assistance as soon as possible. Allianz Global Assistance will try to connect you with medical services to the best of its ability; however, services may be delayed or unavailable depending on the situation.

5. Am I covered for trip cancellation, trip delay or lost luggage?

No. However, you can purchase such an insurance policy with the airline or travel company you have purchased your flight(s) or vacation package from.

For more information: