In a bid to save taxpayer dollars, Alberta will no longer be offering elective, non-urgent health services and routine lab tests medical coverage for travellers to another country from April 1, 2020.
Alberta government said that this change is expected to save Alberta about $1 million annually.
There will be no change to coverage for emergency health services and Alberta’s independent Out-of-Country Health Services Committee will continue accepting applications for funding of insured, medically necessary services that aren’t available in Canada. AHCIP emergency services consist of insured services rendered in relation to an illness, disease or condition that is acute and unexpected, arose outside of Canada, and requires treatment without delay outside Canada.
All other provinces, except Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador, do not provide out-of-country coverage for elective, non-urgent health services. Ontario recently changed OHIP to remove most services including emergency services, except dialysis when you are out of the country.
Albertans will continue to be partially reimbursed for insured emergency health services needed when travelling outside Canada. Alberta government reminds Albertans that current coverage is quite limited and covers only a small portion of the high cost of medical care outside of Canada. It is better to obtain travel medical insurance when travelling outside the province to assist with health-care costs.
You can contact the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP) Out-of-Country unit at 780-422-1954, for more information if you are travelling out of the country.