Summer Food Fun and Drink 13 Thirteen is bad luck – get insurance

Sometimes a little gamble is a good thing. It’s a fun thing. Like rolling the dice on a $1 lottery ticket or 15 minutes in a local casino with a roll of quarters. No harm right?

But who would venture South of the border to the U.S. without any personal health insurance or supplemental insurance for a loved one – particularly an elderly or at risk person?

But we Canadians roll the dice with extended health benefits. Lots apparently.

A recent survey by Ipsos Reid found 42% of Canadians always purchase travel insurance for leisure trips to the United States. The risks are somewhat higher for the other 58%. So what are they thinking?

A two-day stay in a hospital in the United States to deal with chest pain will cost you around $11,000, with only US$400 covered by your Canadian provincial health plan. Have an auto accident putting you in an ICU for 7 to 10 days and you can expect a sweet tab of around 100 grand! And your Provincial plan will cover about 6000 of that.

Doing the math?

A dear friend of mine went down to “The Islands” for a mere 4 hours last week. The “Islands” being a spot in the N.W. – in the U.S. of A.
She went with her sparky old mom – age 82.

And she had no extended health care beyond her basic Provincial coverage…
Risky? Maybe not if you are, like me, young healthy tall and generally awesome.

And even with my irrepressible awesomeness I still like to cover my back – with extended health coverage from Blue Cross – and trust me folks, that little card opens doors at virtually any first class hospital in the continental USA – and the Hawaiian Islands. And not only the doors, but the corridors to the private rooms!

Anyway – sparky old mom was minutes away from getting on the Ferry to Vancouver Island-Land and fell… hitting her head, ending up being helicoptered to a suitable American hospital with an ICU. Ka-Ching. Sparky’s daughter had to charter a flight of her own to catch up with Mom. Ka-Ching Ka-ching.
Mom was in American ICU for three days before being stabilized and moved into the general hospital population. Ka-ching, Ka-ching, Ka-ching, ka-ching!

And all of this impending financial pain could have been eliminated with about $40 of insurance for the duration.

Sparky is going to be OK. She is on her way back to Victoria and we will all celebrate with her… and her daughter. And maybe throw a benefit concert when we get around to it.

So bottom line folks – save your quarters for the slot machine and put a few dollars into prevention. Travel insurance will treat you right – and spare your pocket book a debilitating whack if you don’t.

Sometimes a little gamble is a good thing. It’s a fun thing. Like rolling the dice on a $1 lottery ticket or 15 minutes in a local casino with a roll of quarters. No harm right? But who would venture South of the border to the U.S. without any personal health insurance or supplemental insurance…