Episode 4 – Risk Management

Apparently we are “old people”.

Grandkids are a great reality check mechanism. Their sticky unconditional love does not preclude them reminding you that “your hair is usually grey, but sometimes you change it”, or “your arm muscles are pretty soft” or “you’re not as fast as me”!

Okay. I knew all that stuff already. Those adoring bright eyes, smooth little hands, and clear high voices are just a reminder that we can’t simply head off into the sunset without taking some sensible precautions, especially around health care.

Canada is great. When we are here in our home country we don’t worry at all about day to day health care. We can access doctors as needed, renew our prescriptions (free after age 65!), get emergency care and even surgery if needed without worrying about the cost. All of that is paid for through pooled tax money. We feel lucky if we don’t need to take advantage of our socialized medical plan, and happy to live where we can if we need to.

So what happens now that we are nomads? OHIP (the Ontario Health Insurance Plan, for the benefit of my non-Canadian readers) only covers very limited things when we are outside Canada. As “old people” we need to manage both risk and expenses while we’re travelling, so we need a backup plan.

Ted was fortunate to work for a great company that also had prescription/vision/dental/travel medical insurance which continues through his retirement.

The supplemental insurance I had through the school board where I worked ended when I retired, but with an option to buy it back for a monthly premium.

Ted’s insurance covers both of us, for any length of time outside Canada and usually up to 80% of any expenses incurred. However, if anything were to happen to him, my coverage would be gone….. and the older I get the more expensive coverage would be to buy. We also know that – especially in the U.S. – medical expenses can be horrifically high, meaning that even 20% of a hospital bill could be huge, so I bought my available supplemental health and out of country health insurance. In our minds, that is simply an inherent cost of our new lifestyle.

The net result is that as long as we balance our time outside of Canada with that spent inside the country within the OHIP and supplemental insurance plan rules, we’re covered. Ontario is still our “principal residence”: where we own the Toronto condo in which our eldest and their family live, where we bank, where we pay income tax, where we receive our mail, and where we will spend our summersThe peace of mind our extra health insurance gives us means there is one less thing to worry about.

We’re “old people”. Worry is a waste of valuable time better spent working on those soft arm muscles.

👩🏻‍⚕️👨‍⚕️🚑💊💉 👩🏻‍⚕️👨‍⚕️🚑💊💉 👩🏻‍⚕️👨‍⚕️🚑💊💉 👩🏻‍⚕️👨‍⚕️🚑💊💉 👩🏻‍⚕️👨‍⚕️🚑💊💉

If you’re interested in the OHIP rules, Here’s the government link explaining what is covered when outside Canada http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/public/publications/ohip/docs/travel.pdf , and the link for inside Canada but out of province: http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/public/publications/ohip/docs/longer_absences_fs_en.pdf