By Melissa Lafrance on June 7, 2017
Summer vacation is right around the corner. If you’re thinking of heading outside BC or Canada for leisure or work, you may be wondering if your existing travel insurance will cover you and your family in the event of a medical emergency. In other words, do you need to purchase additional insurance?
How you answer this question will depend on your situation. Below is information on what your insurance does and does not cover. Knowing the facts can help you make an informed decision about whether you need additional insurance.
Take a look at the questions and answers below:
1. What is my UBC coverage while travelling?
The BC Medical Services Plan (MSP) will cover physician and hospital services in the event of a medical emergency only. MSP will only pay up to the BC rate for these services.
The coverage provided by the UBC Extended Health Plan supplements any costs not covered by the MSP for your emergency physician and hospital services. You may be reimbursed up to 100% of the total cost, provided you have not exhausted your lifetime maximum.
The Extended Health Plan will also pay for medical expenses you would normally be covered for and reimburse you as if the expenses were incurred in BC. For example, if you submit a claim for a prescription drug you purchased outside the country, you will be reimbursed for what the cost would have been in BC. The exception is ambulance services, which are covered at 100% (if you have not exhausted your maximum).
Your dependent family members are also covered if they are enrolled in the UBC Extended Health Plan.
2. What is the maximum amount I can claim?
The lifetime maximum that each person enrolled in the UBC Extended Health Plan can be reimbursed for is $2 million. This amount is reduced each time you make an Extended Health claim. Your dependents also have a lifetime maximum coverage of $2 million.
To find out your current Extended Health balance (or that of your dependents), call Sun Life at 1-800-361-6212.
3. Am I covered by other plans?
You may also have coverage outside BC or Canada through your spouse’s plan or a credit card.
If you are covered under a spouse’s plan, you may have access to additional coverage while travelling. Ask your spouse to confirm the details of their plan.
Your credit card may also provide coverage in the event of a medical emergency. You can confirm coverage by calling your credit card company.
4. What if I have a pre-existing medical condition or I am pregnant?
The UBC Extended Health Plan does not have a pre-existing conditions clause. This means that as long as your condition is stable before your departure and your doctor has given you permission to travel, you will be covered. It is strongly recommended you obtain a letter from your doctor clearing travel or request a note be added to your file prior to travel.
If you (or your dependent) is pregnant, you are covered up to and including the 36th week of pregnancy. After the 36th week, you will not be covered for any pregnancy or childbirth-related expenses.
If you give birth prematurely up to and including your 36th week of pregnancy, medical expenses for the birth mother and newborn are covered.
Regular prenatal checkups (outside of BC) while you are pregnant are not covered, even if received before your 36th week of pregnancy. You are also not covered if you travel to another province or country with the intention to give birth there.
5.What are the exclusions and limitations?
The UBC Extended Health Plan has the following exclusions and limitations:
- You are covered for 365 days from the date you leave BC. Hospital coverage is limited to 90 days, although this period may be extended if it is dangerous to transport you back home.
- You are not covered if Sun Life determines (based on medical information) that you can be transported back to BC for medical attention and you choose not to return home.
- You are not covered for non-emergency physician and hospital services.
- You are not covered for illness or injury resulting from the hostile action of any armed forces (military or police), insurrection, riot, civil commotion or terrorist activity that you participated in.
- You are not covered for any trip delays, cancellations or lost luggage.
- Your emergency travel assistance services through Allianz Global Assistance, Sun Life’s travel benefits provider, may be suspended, curtailed or limited in some countries due to conditions such as war, political unrest, epidemics and geographical inaccessibility. For an up-to-date list of countries where travel assistance services may not be available, please contact Allianz Global Assistance (1-800-511-4610) before leaving on your trip.
Participation in extreme sports is not an exclusion.
For a complete list of exclusions and limitations under the Extended Health Plan and other UBC benefits, click here.
6.What documentation should I take with me?
Pack your health insurance information. This should include your:
- Sun Life coverage card available from mysunlife.ca or the my Sun Life mobile app,
- BC Services Card as proof of your MSP enrolment,
- Medi-Passport information,
- emergency help numbers, and
- family doctor’s contact information.
Want to know more?
- Travel Benefits FAQs
- Travel Advisories
- Preparing for Travel: Before, During, and After
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
You are invited to learn more at the Understanding Your Travel Benefits Info Session
June 20th | 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. | Point Grey & DHCC
Summer is almost here, and you may be preparing for vacations both at home and abroad. This information session will be useful for anyone wanting to know more about travel benefits and how to be prepared in a medical emergency. Join UBC Benefits Specialist Stephanie Mah in this one-hour session on understanding your travel benefits – so you can ensure your well-earned vacation is as stress-free as possible. Learn more and register now.
Posted in Benefits Spotlight, Events | Tagged Benefits, coverage, extended health, information session, medi-passport, passport, Sunlife, travel benefits, UBC, understanding your travel benefits | Leave a response
By Melissa Lafrance on March 2, 2017
March is Nutrition Month, a national celebration focused on healthy eating education and awareness. There’s no better time to take advantage of the many services and programs offered through your UBC benefits that can support you (and your eligible dependants) in the shift to healthier eating and living.
Through UBC benefits, you can:
- be reimbursed for the cost of services from a registered dietitian and/or naturopath under the Extended Health Benefits plan and
- access nutrition support, health coaching, naturopathic services and a healthy weight management program from Shepell, UBC’s Employee and Family Assistance Program provider.
Extended Health Benefits: Registered Dietitian & Naturopath
The UBC Extended Health Benefits plan is designed to promote the continued health and wellbeing of staff, faculty and their dependants. There is coverage for a wide range of services, including paramedical practitioners such as registered dietitians and naturopaths.
Registered dietitians provide advice and counselling about diet, food and nutrition. They can help you make healthy food choices and manage any special health conditions you may have, such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, allergies and obesity.
Registered naturopaths use a natural and holistic approach to the maintenance of good health and can help you with improving digestion, boosting energy levels and making proper nutrition and food choices.
To learn more about coverage for registered dietitians and naturopaths, visit the Extended Health page.
Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) Services
UBC’s EFAP provider Shepell offers four services that can help you and your eligible dependants with healthy eating. All services are provided by telephone consultation. To book services or for more information on what service is right for you, call the Shepell Care Access Centre at 1-800-387-4765 or visit www.workhealthlife.com.
Nutrition Support Services
Shepell’s Nutrition Support Services can help you make positive changes to your diet and address issues such as weight loss or weight gain, eating routines and lifestyle changes. You can also connect with a registered dietitian who can assess your eating habits, identify dietary concerns and answer nutrition-related questions.
Support is available for a variety of concerns, including:
- Weight loss or gain
- Boosting stress resilience
- Healthy eating on-the-go
- Accommodating shift work
- Well-balanced vegetarian diets
- Lowering/managing cholesterol levels
- Reducing high blood pressure
- Regulating diabetes
- Preventing heart disease
- Preventing osteoporosis
Shepell’s Health Coaching Services teach you about the changes required to be well and stay well, while providing support and motivation to help you reach your lifestyle goals.
Health coaches can work with you to create a risk-reduction action plan targeting:
- Weight management
- Healthy eating
- Smoking cessation
- Responsible alcohol use
- Stress management
- Exercise as a component of a healthy lifestyle
Professionals in Shepell’s Naturopathic Services will provide you with information about naturopathic medicine and how it works. You will learn practical lifestyle practices that you can use every day to improve digestion, boost your energy levels and help you make proper nutrition and food choices.
Healthy Weight Management
Shepell’s Healthy Weight Management program can help you manage your weight by showing you how to make positive physical activity and nutrition changes with the support of a personal coach.
Healthy Weight Management consists of the following components:
- Online assessment
- Interactive online program including trackers, goal setting and challenges
- Smart scale to track progress and outcomes
- Consultations with a coach over the phone or through online chat
By Melissa Lafrance on June 8, 2016
Guest contribution from UBC Benefits Specialist Stephanie Mah
Summer vacation is right around the corner. Before you leave, there are several things you should know about your health and wellbeing travel benefits coverage through UBC, including:
- What documentation to take with you; and
- What to do in the event of a medical emergency.
It is important to plan ahead and understand the associated risks when travelling to other parts of the world, so that you can prepare for events that may occur.
You are invited to learn more at the Understanding Your Travel Benefits Info Session
June 21, 2016 @ 12-1pm – For more info and to register, click here.
Summer is here, and you may be preparing for vacations both at home and abroad. This information session will be useful for anyone wanting to know more about travel benefits and how to be prepared in a medical emergency. Join UBC Benefits Specialist, Stephanie Mah, in this one-hour session on understanding your travel benefits and ensure that your well-earned vacation is as stress free as possible.
For Coverage while travelling outside BC or Canada: Reimbursement depends on the expense.
Physician and hospital expenses covered by the Medical Services Plan of BC:
Medically necessary expenses that are typically covered by the Medical Services Plan of BC (MSP), are covered only in the event of an emergency only, if incurred outside of BC or Canada, such as:
- out-patient and physician’s services
- services and supplies while in hospital
- a hospital room (shared)
These services are not covered in non-emergency situations.
MSP is the first payor of these expenses and they will pay up to the BC rate. If you are covered under UBC’s Extended Health plan, Sun Life will pay the difference, up to 100% and up to your overall lifetime maximum of $1-million per person.
Medical expenses covered by UBC’s Extended Health Plan:
Also covered are expenses incurred outside BC or Canada that are typically covered by UBC’s Extended Health plan with Sun Life (e.g., ambulance, prescription drugs, medical equipment and supplies, paramedical services (only covered in North America) and vision care benefits), subject to the conditions outlined in your plan. These are covered in a medical emergency as well as non-emergency situations.
Payment for these expenses will be limited to the reasonable & customary charge within BC, and in Canadian funds.
How much is covered?
- Eligible expenses are covered at 100% less the deductible, up to your overall extended health lifetime maximum. Your overall extended health lifetime maximum at any point in time is $1-million, less any amount Sun Life has reimbursed since you were enrolled in the plan.
- To determine the extended health plan balance for you and/or each of your covered dependents, contact Sun Life at 1-800-361-6212 or 1-800-661-7334.
- You are covered for a period of 365 days of absence per trip. If you are hospitalized during this period as a result of a medical emergency, in-patient services are covered for up to 90 days.
Are there exclusions/limitations under the Plan?
Yes. For more information, please visit: http://www.hr.ubc.ca/benefits/travel/exclusions/.
What documentation should you take with you?
- Sun Life Coverage Card (downloadable from the Sun Life website)
- BC Care Card/BC Services Card
- Letter from UBC Human Resources confirming medical coverage while travelling (if required for tour company)
- Medi-Passport information
- Family doctor’s contact information
What should you do in a medical emergency?
Seek medical attention as necessary and contact Europ Assistance, Sun Life’s travel benefits provider as soon as possible. Europ Assistance will set up a file for you and monitor your progress. In some instances, Europ Assistance may remit payment directly to the hospital.
- In the USA and Canada, call: 1-800-511-4610
- In Mexico, call: 001-800-368-7878
- Elsewhere, call: * 202-296-7493 (call collect if available)
- E-mail: email@example.com
Should I purchase additional insurance?
UBC is able to provide information about your coverage while travelling outside of BC; however, the decision to purchase additional medical or other insurance is yours to make. Prior to travel, we recommend that you visit the UBC Travel Benefits page (www.hr.ubc.ca/benefits/travel) to understand your coverage as well as the exclusions and limitations to the plan. If you are satisfied with the level of UBC coverage, you may not need to purchase additional insurance.
Want to know more?
By Colin Hearne on June 3, 2015
Guest contribution from UBC Benefits Specialist Stephanie Mah
Summer vacation plans are right around the corner. Before you leave, there are several things you should know about your health and welfare travel benefits coverage through UBC, including what documentation to take with you, and what to do in the event of a medical emergency. It is important to plan ahead and understand the associated risks when travelling to other parts of the world, so that you can prepare for events that may occur. With this in mind, I’m here to help!
Coverage while travelling outside BC or Canada
Coverage for medical expenses outside BC or Canada depends on the expense.
Medically necessary expenses that are typically covered by the Medical Services Plan of BC (MSP), such as services and supplies while in hospital, a semi-private hospital room, and out-patient and physician’s services, are covered only in the event of an emergency , if incurred outside of BC or Canada. These services are not covered in non-emergency situations.
Expenses incurred outside BC or Canada that are typically covered by UBC’s extended health plan with Sun Life (e.g., prescription drug medical equipment and supplies (out-patient), paramedical services, and vision care benefits) are also covered in the event of a medical emergency and non-emergency, subject to the conditions outlined in your plan. Payment for these expenses will be limited to the reasonable & customary charge within BC, and in Canadian funds. Learn more about your UBC extended health coverage.
Eligible expenses are covered at 100% less the deductible, up to your overall extended health lifetime maximum. Your overall extended health lifetime maximum at any point in time is $1,000,000 less any amount Sun Life has reimbursed since you were enrolled in the plan. To determine the extended health plan balance for you and/or each of your covered dependents, contact Sun Life at 1-800-361-6212 or 1-800-661-7334.
You are covered for a period of 365 days of absence per trip. If you are hospitalized during this period as a result of a medical emergency, in-patient services are covered for up to 90 days.
Understanding your Travel Benefits – June 30, 2015, @ 12-1pm
The summer is nearly here, and lots of us are getting ready for vacations both at home and abroad. A medical emergency while travelling can be a frightening and costly experience. Join me, UBC Benefits Analyst Stephanie Mah, in this one-hour session on Understanding your Sun Life Travel Benefits to ensure that your well-earned break is as stress free as possible. This session will also include a Q & A, so feel free to come with questions. For more information or to register, click here.
Stephanie Mah is a Benefits Specialist with UBC’s Human Resources Department. Her role involves providing support in the management of the UBC benefits programs, with a focus on communications with faculty and staff. Stephanie is committed to providing excellent customer service and a large part of her day is dedicated to answering all questions related to benefits, including eligibility for benefits, what the plans cover and how to make claims. Stephanie has a BA in Economics, and is a Certified Employee Benefits Specialist and has a Certificate in Peer Counselling through UBC Continuing Studies.
For More Information
For more details on travel benefits at UBC, please visit UBC’s Travel Benefits website. If you have further questions after reviewing the information, please contact Stephanie Mah at 604-822-6823 or firstname.lastname@example.org.