FACT SHEET:TRAVEL MEDICINE SERVICES
Ontario Health Insurance Plan
What does OHIP cover?
OHIP covers physician fees pertaining to medically necessary services that an Ontario resident would be entitled to notwithstanding plans to travel outside of Canada. This includes assessment and treatment of existing medical conditions, renewal of prescriptions or administration of vaccines to prevent infectious disease which may be contracted in Canada eg. tetanus boosters or flu shots for high risk patients. Similarly, OHIP provides limited out-of-country benefits for emergency health services while outside Canada (refer to OHIP fact sheet "Travelling Outside of Canada" for conditions and details) and will provide full coverage for treatment of conditions upon return to Canada.
What is not covered?
Beginning July 1, 1998, pre-departure travel medicine services that travellers obtain solely for the purpose of travel outside Canada will no longer be covered by OHIP. This includes assessments, counselling or administration of vaccines or drugs for prevention of communicable diseases not endemic to Canada. The actual cost of such drugs has never been insured by OHIP. Travellers who elect to obtain the above services will now assume the full costs.
Travel for business or pleasure is considered voluntary in nature. Many vaccinations are only required by destination countries to avoid importation of disease. It is therefore considered reasonable that, in comparison with the overall cost of international travel, the traveller assume the cost of associated pre-departure services. Ontario residents who intend to travel outside of Canada should discuss their pre-departure needs with either their family physician, staff at private travel medicine clinics or at travel immunization clinics available at some public health units across the province. As well, travellers should review the Ministry s companion fact sheet regarding out-of-country emergency coverage and consider obtaining appropriate private insurance coverage before departure.