You might recall several stories in the news recently about travel insurance claims being denied based on the information the claimant had provided, or neglected to provide, when they bought their travel insurance policy. Many people are not aware of the importance of disclosing complete and accurate information when applying for travel insurance.
BCMA members covered under the extended health benefit of the Standard or Core-Plus Plans are covered for $3 million in medical travel insurance and are not required to complete an annual health questionnaire. For members who do not participate in either of these plans, the BCMA has arranged with Johnson Inc. to offer the MEDOC Travel Insurance plan. The MEDOC plan requires annual completion of a Health Option Questionnaire.
The MEDOC plan is open to all BCMA members, regardless of age or health, but there are some important factors to note. One of the most important is the requirement to fully disclose accurate information when completing the annual Health Option Questionnaire, as the health option you qualify for is based on the answers you provide. Failing to provide accurate and detailed information regarding your medical history could cause a claim to be denied, as the insurance company may not have issued the policy under the same conditions if all your information was disclosed and accurate.
The law in most provinces and territories, including British Columbia, allows an insurance company to void a policy when the application contains a “material misrepresentation,” even if this is due to an oversight. In the travel insurance industry, verification of medical history is done when a claim is received. If the information disclosed on the health questionnaire or application is found to be materially different from the applicant’s medical records, the claim will be denied.
You should also be aware that the MEDOC policy contains a pre-existing medical condition limitation. This limitation requires any medical condition you may have to be “stable” in the 90-day period before the date you book your trip and the date you begin your trip. Your pre-existing medical conditions are eligible for coverage when they have been stable for 90 days prior to departure and/or 90 days prior to booking your trip for trip cancellation insurance.
Remember to be clear and accurate when completing any application and health questionnaire, whether it is for the MEDOC plan or any other travel insurance, and be sure to read your travel insurance contract before you leave. If you have any concerns about a question on the forms or a provision in your contract, make sure you discuss it with Johnson Inc. or your insurer.
—Sandie Braid, Director of Insurance
BC Medical Association
Above is the information needed to cite this article in your paper or presentation. The International Committee
of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommends the following citation style, which is the now nearly universally
accepted citation style for scientific papers:
Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.
About the ICMJE and citation styles
The ICMJE is small group of editors of general medical journals who first met informally in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1978 to establish guidelines for the format of manuscripts submitted to their journals. The group became known as the Vancouver Group. Its requirements for manuscripts, including formats for bibliographic references developed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), were first published in 1979. The Vancouver Group expanded and evolved into the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which meets annually. The ICMJE created the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals to help authors and editors create and distribute accurate, clear, easily accessible reports of biomedical studies.
An alternate version of ICMJE style is to additionally list the month an issue number, but since most journals use continuous pagination, the shorter form provides sufficient information to locate the reference. The NLM now lists all authors.
BCMJ standard citation style is a slight modification of the ICMJE/NLM style, as follows:
- Only the first three authors are listed, followed by "et al."
- There is no period after the journal name.
- Page numbers are not abbreviated.
For more information on the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, visit www.icmje.org