Snowbirds Win Legal Challenge To Reinstate Ontario's Out-Of-Country Insurance Coverage

Anna Kroupina, Open Jaw

Karen Huestis, president,
Canadian Snowbird Association.

The Canadian Snowbird Association (CSA) has won a court case to strike down part of Ontario Regulation 259, which terminated OHIP's Out-of-Country Travellers Program, according a news release by the CSA. 

In that decision, the Court found that, under the Ontario Health Insurance Act, the Lieutenant Governor in Council does not have the legal authority to enact regulations which would revoke the program.

"The Canadian Snowbird Association is pleased with the Court's decision," said Karen Huestis, president of the Canadian Snowbird Association. "The ruling affirms the right of Ontario residents to out-of-country emergency insurance coverage, as required by the Canada Health Act."

On 01JAN, 2020, in an unprecedented move, the Ontario Government eliminated the Out-of-Country Travellers Program, which provided reimbursement for Ontario residents who faced medical emergencies while travelling outside of Canada. This policy change made Ontario the only jurisdiction in Canada to cut all emergency medical coverage for residents travelling abroad.

The Court's ruling reinstates this coverage for travelling Ontarians, restoring reimbursement rates to $200 and $400 per day for emergency inpatient services and up to $50 per day for emergency outpatient services. 

"While the CSA continues to advise travellers to obtain adequate travel medical insurance prior to all trips abroad, re-establishing coverage will lower insurance premiums, making travel more affordable, particularly for seniors in the province," according to the CSA release.

The Ontario Government may seek an appeal to the decision. 

The Canadian Snowbird Association represents over 50,000 Ontario residents and maintains a total membership of over 115,000 travellers across Canada.

Anna Kroupina

Anna Kroupina Journalist

Anna is OJ's newest member and she joins the team as a writer/reporter. She co-writes the daily news and covers events. Although she's new to the industry, pursuing a career path in travel/tourism has been a goal since her first family road trip to the Florida Keys sparked a desire to discover the world and this exhilarating, fast-paced industry.

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