Travel Insurance Info Session Video FAQ | AMA Travel

Travel Insurance Information Session Video

Travel Insurance Information Session Video


Travel medical insurance is a confusing topic. What’s the best plan for you? How are the prices set? And how is anyone supposed to understand all of this crazy insurance babble?

Lucky for you (and for us), AMA has Pam Murray.

Pam is our travel insurance expert. Because she’s been doing this for so long, she’ll know your questions before you even have them. That’s why Pam travels across Alberta to hold information sessions to help our members discover all the benefits they receive with travel insurance plans and what makes AMA’s travel insurance different.

We’ve recorded one of Pam’s recent sessions and had her answer a few frequently asked questions so you can see her expertise in action. To have your questions answered in person, watch for when she’s coming to your town!

Want more information on travel medical insurance?

View our travel insurance plans or contact one of our travel specialists.

Pam Murray, Travel Insurance Manager - Calgary Main

Pam is an insurance industry veteran. With more than 25 years translating insurance terminology into plain-as-day language, she understands issues from the client’s perspective and helps clarify their needs. In short, Pam’s got you covered.

What's Inside The Video

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Frequently Asked Questions

Have more travel insurance questions? Contact a travel insurance specialist.

If my blood pressure medication changes, does that mean I have no coverage for a heart attack?

Your individual health history would dictate that answer. Because high blood pressure is a cardiovascular condition and not a heart condition, they are not automatically linked, unless your doctor and your health history say otherwise. Many people have high blood pressure without a heart condition, and some have heart troubles who don’t have blood pressure issues, so again, it depends on the individual.

What makes AMA any different from any other insurance company? Aren’t they all looking to deny claims?

Our travel insurance provider, Orion Travel Insurance, is owned by AMA and CAASCO.

Their mandate is to:

  • cover as many members as possible
  • with good coverage
  • while offering great service
  • at a fair rate

Our goal is to support the members. We have a very low denial rate, as we have a straightforward medical questionnaire and our policy is structured to cover the usual expenses incurred when someone is traveling and experiences an emergency. However, this doesn’t mean that all claims are paid just because you are a member.

Because I’ve had a bypass, I’ve heard you won’t cover me anymore.

While a heart bypass is referenced on our medical questionnaire, that doesn’t mean we won’t insure you. Those who have had a bypass will be directed to our underwriting department. They will ask another series of questions to determine whether we will accept the risk and offer coverage.

We also have package policies that include medical insurance. These don’t require a medical questionnaire, but does have a limit for both the age of the insured and the duration of the trip. This could always be explored as an option.

Doesn’t Alberta Health Care coverage cover me enough while I travel?

AHC does insure you when you travel within Canada, but there are many expenses not covered by AHC. These include ambulance expenses – both ground and air ambulance – expenses for family member to be flown to your bedside, return of vehicle, and repatriation of remains, to name just a few.

When traveling outside of Canada, AHC has a schedule of their benefits and it is only $100 CAD for hospitalization and $50 CAD for out-patient care – which is nowhere near enough coverage for something that could cost $3000-5000 a day in the states.

Why does my premium increase so much just because I turned 75?

Like all insurance premiums, our rates are based on statistics. These statistics increase with age, with noticeable jumps every five years starting at the age of 55.

However, there’s a way to get around this: You can complete the medical questionnaire and purchase the policy within six months of your date of travel, and the premium is charged at the time you buy the policy, not at the time you travel. So buy the policy before your 75th birthday, not the week after, and you’ll stand to save some money.

If my medication changes, does that mean I’m not stable?

Stable means:

  • there has been no recent hospitalization, medical procedure or intervention
  • there has been no recent change in medical treatment or change in medication
  • you have not experienced new or more frequent symptoms
  • you have not required any investigation, other than routine check-ups

Stable to us means that everything has been the same – no new changes, symptoms, or investigations, and you are not waiting for test results.

My doctor just lowered my medications. Does that change mean I’m not seen as stable?

The lowering of medication dosage can throw your condition out of whack, so our policy would require that you be on your new dosage for the period of stability: three or six months prior to departure, depending on your age.

What if I don’t call the assistance company? I know where to go when I’m in Phoenix.

We recommend using the assistance company for several reasons:

  • They will suggest the most appropriate place for care depending on your emergency
  • They will, where available, have the bills sent to the insurer so that you or the patient is not paying for the costs out-of-pocket
  • They will coordinate with your family physician
  • They will arrange and pay in advance for an air ambulance
  • If you’re traveling where English is not the principal language, the assistance company workers are able to translate for you

If you choose to not call, the policy can limit your coverage to 80% or a maximum of $25,000. We would prefer the client to call before seeking treatment, but we realize that is not always possible, so we ask that you call as soon as medically able, or have someone else call on your behalf.

I’ve heard of claims being denied because I made a mistake answering the questions. Is that true, even if it has nothing to do with the claim?

This may seem harsh, but there are many companies that have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to inaccurate answers. The medical questionnaire is designed to assess the risk based on your health history. If the answers are inaccurate and you are assessed incorrectly based on what you tell the insurance company, it would be understandable to have no coverage.

We understand that someone may make a mistake when completing the form, so as long as it isn’t a blatant non-disclosure of a medical condition, a mistake with us only requires the additional premium payment based on true and accurate answers plus your payment of the first $5,000 CAD of any claim.

I got a prescription from my doctor but I didn’t fill it. Does that matter?

Our definition of stable talks about a change in medication or treatment, so that would be a change, whether you take it or not. Whether you take it or not is your choice, but if it is recorded on your medical records, we do take it into account.

Still have questions?

For all travel insurance questions, or to get a quote, contact us at 1-866-989-6595 or review the Travel Insurance Policy Booklet.