photo: John Kellerman/Alamy

Medical Emergency While Travelling? Here’s How AMA Travel Helps

By AMA Staff

It’s the kind of thing that can happen to anyone. On the way home to Medicine Hat after a trip to the U.K., Judi Mullin and her partner Brian Sabiston stopped to visit family north of Toronto. Their vacation had been lovely—until Judi slipped on a flight of stairs, breaking her hip.

A major accident while travelling is never not an inconvenience. Fortunately, Judi had purchased travel medical insurance from AMA Travel*. Shortly after she was admitted to hospital, Brian connected with the AMA Travel Assistance team at Orion Travel Insurance. “I was immediately told that everything would be taken care of,” he says, “and within 15 minutes I had been emailed all of the necessary paperwork for starting the insurance claim. It was very reassuring.”

The next day, Judi had surgery to repair her fractured hip. After a week of recovery in the hospital, she was transferred to St. John’s Rehab at Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre for another three weeks. Daily physiotherapy sessions helped Judi rehab her hip, while AMA Travel Assistance had her back: “For the first while, we got a call every day to make sure things were going smoothly,” Brian says. “They were genuinely interested in how Judi’s recovery was progressing.”

Why it’s important to talk to your kids about travel medical insurance

With around-the-clock support from Assistance staff, including medical professionals, AMA Travel treats travel-insurance clients like family. You’ll get a team you can count on in the event of an accident or illness while travelling. “It’s meant to be seamless,” says Pam Murray, insurance sales manager at AMA Travel. “The AMA Travel Assistance team provides step-by-step advice and they take care of paying the bills directly to the facilities whenever possible.”

Because Judi’s accident happened in Canada, Alberta Health Care covered most of her primary-care medical costs, with AMA Travel Assistance helping to co- ordinate billing between Alberta and Ontario’s public health insurance plans.

But Pam notes that there are many expenses the province doesn’t cover. For travellers, this could mean having a family member flown to your hospital bedside, or being airlifted back to Alberta in a specially equipped plane, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Interprovincial road-trippers could even find they need to have their vehicle returned home.

This is where Judi’s insurance really came in handy. Though she didn’t need anyone to fly to her aid, her AMA Travel policy’s “family transportation” provision meant that Brian could be reimbursed for certain expenses he incurred in order to remain in Ontario.

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In consultation with Judi’s doctors, AMA Travel Assistance was also able to determine (and pay for) the most medically appropriate way for the couple to return home.

Business-class tickets to Calgary were secured for them, as was an overnight hotel stay, so Judi wouldn’t have to endure a three-hour drive to Medicine Hat after a long flight. When it was all said and done, the couple’s insurance claim totaled $5,540.

“All the arrangements that AMA Travel made were perfect,” Brian says, adding that medical support had even been lined up in advance at both Toronto and Calgary airports. “We probably weren’t even aware of everything that had been done for us behind the scenes.”

AMA members get a 10% discount on travel medical insurance from AMA Travel. To learn more and get a free quote, call 1-866-989-6595 or click here.

*AMA Travel Insurance is underwritten by Orion Travel Insurance Company.  Certain exclusions, limitations and restrictions apply. Subject to certain terms, conditions and limitations.