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Old 10-26-13, 06:40 PM
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Aerohip
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Healthcare

Hi guys, my biggest fear on Touring the US and Europe in 2015(other than Bears)is Healthcare should I become ill or get injured. What did you other Canadians do when you traveled? Good Insurance? Any tips?
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Old 10-26-13, 07:22 PM
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You will have to factor travel insurance into your costs. It really is essential if you are travelling outside your own borders. Repatriation costs in the event of a serious injury can be exorbitant. It will be cheaper for Europe than it is for North America.

I am not Canadian, but I am married to one. And the principles are the same irrespective of whether you are in Canada or Australia (or the US, for that matter).

One other factor you will have to consider in travelling to Europe is the Schengen Zone and the limitations that are put on the time you are permitted to stay in the EU countries. There was a thread in Touring not so long ago that discussed this in quite fine detail, and it's enlightening.
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Old 10-26-13, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
You will have to factor travel insurance into your costs. It really is essential if you are travelling outside your own borders. Repatriation costs in the event of a serious injury can be exorbitant. It will be cheaper for Europe than it is for North America.

I am not Canadian, but I am married to one. And the principles are the same irrespective of whether you are in Canada or Australia (or the US, for that matter).

One other factor you will have to consider in travelling to Europe is the Schengen Zone and the limitations that are put on the time you are permitted to stay in the EU countries. There was a thread in Touring not so long ago that discussed this in quite fine detail, and it's enlightening.

I heard it was 90 days. Is that per country in Europe?
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Old 10-26-13, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Aerohip View Post
Hi guys, my biggest fear on Touring the US and Europe in 2015(other than Bears)is Healthcare should I become ill or get injured. What did you other Canadians do when you traveled? Good Insurance? Any tips?
Contact CAA, your local bank, and any other insurance providers to get a quote on what it will cost you to get insurance coverage.

When you talk to them, present the scenarios ... What happens if I end up in hospital in the US? What happens if I end up in hospital in Germany, France, Italy ...?

The insurance policies usually have a nice little statement that says, if you are injured or have an illness and you want to see a Dr or go to an Emergency Department, you must first call the insurance phone number and get permission. They will then direct you to the nearest approved one. And then you can go. When you get there, you present your insurance details and (ideally) all the dealings will be between the Medical Professionals and the insurance company.

That's the theory.

I ended up in a situation where I needed to see the Dr and was subsequently admitted to hospital in Australia. I called the insurance phone number before I went, and because I was quite remotely located, and they didn't know where I was, they tried to direct me to a medical provider in Melbourne ... quite some distance away. I told them I didn't have that much time, and I told them about the local medical providers. They agreed that would be OK.

After I was admitted to hospital, the insurance company called about every other day to find out why I was still in hospital. Only they had no concept of time zones and would call at 3 am, after repeatedly being told that this is Australia on the other side of the world. They would get quite demanding and insist on talking to my Doctor, who was no doubt sound asleep at home then. It took some time before the night nurses and I managed to sort it out and they would call during the day Australia time.

And then my insurance company was presented with the bill. First they attempted to pay it in US dollars. But this is Australia, we don't accept US dollars here. Then they decided to try to pay it with a "credit card" ... I thought that was a step in the right direction, until I found out they were trying to pay for it with someone's diner card. This is Australia. We don't accept random diner cards here.

I ended up having to pay for some of it, and it was months before the whole thing was settled. I did not end up being out of pocket, thankfully, and I am very, very glad I had insurance. I was just extremely surprised that the insurance company had never encountered a claim from Australia before.

So ... ask the questions. Ask if they've had dealings in the countries you plan to travel to. Ask how payment is made. And yes ... do get insurance.
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Old 10-26-13, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Aerohip View Post
I heard it was 90 days. Is that per country in Europe?
90 days in total within the Schengen Zone. Not all countries in Europe are in the Schengen Zone, so you might be able to leave, spend some time in non-Schengen countries, and then return.

For example, the UK is not within the Schengen Zone. So you might be able to spend 90 days in the main part of Europe, then go to the UK for a while.
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Old 10-26-13, 08:10 PM
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The UK is like Canada, it has a six-month tourist visa. But you really do have to investigate the amount of time you have to spend outside the Schengen Zone. It's not like you can set a foot outside it in, say, Switzerland, then come back in with the clock re-set. I think the period is something like three months, but you need to look at that previous thread and maybe search-engine it to be sure.
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Old 10-26-13, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
The UK is like Canada, it has a six-month tourist visa. But you really do have to investigate the amount of time you have to spend outside the Schengen Zone. It's not like you can set a foot outside it in, say, Switzerland, then come back in with the clock re-set. I think the period is something like three months, but you need to look at that previous thread and maybe search-engine it to be sure.
All right, thanks everyone. As a newcomer to CycleTouring I've learned so much the past few months. Everyone on here has been so supportive and helpful. It's much appreciated....and I know I'll have many more questions to ask.
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Old 10-26-13, 09:37 PM
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And I now officially have 50 Posts!!!!
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Old 10-27-13, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
The UK is like Canada, it has a six-month tourist visa. But you really do have to investigate the amount of time you have to spend outside the Schengen Zone. It's not like you can set a foot outside it in, say, Switzerland, then come back in with the clock re-set. I think the period is something like three months, but you need to look at that previous thread and maybe search-engine it to be sure.
Switzerland, although not part of the European Union, IS part of the Schengen zone.
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Old 10-27-13, 03:13 PM
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I believe rules for Schengen zone is travel w/o visa for period of 90 of every 180 days (http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_p.../cis_4361.html). Longer than that, you can still go but you'll need to apply for a visa which costs a little more. You can get those visas yourself, but I've also found visa expediters such as (http://visaservicescanada.ca/) to be helpful in making sure all paperwork is in place. [I don't know anything about this particular expediter since this is a Canadian firm and I've used equivalent US visa expediters].

That is essentially what I did when traveling to Australia for 8 months. While US (and Canadian) travelers can visit Australia for 90 days with a simple ETA paperwork, I was staying for 8+ months. So filled out the visa applications and got a 12-month visa which let me stay in Australia for a longer time.

As far as health insurance goes, I don't know what your provincial/national health insurance covers when you are out of province, but I'd assume there are some similarities to what I face when I've traveled overseas from my US-based health coverage. I bring along a copy of the claims pre-authorization instructions [often involving US-only toll-free numbers during US time zones]. When I am on short travels, I don't worry about it - figure I'm young and invincible and if necessary return to USA for health issues. When I am on travels for many months, I have gotten travel insurance which typically includes (a) claims can be made while traveling (b) global access #s to pre-authorize (c) some form of return to USA if necessary.
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