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Ontario moves forward with plans to scrap OHIP program for travellers abroad

The Ontario government is moving forward with plans to scrap the OHIP program that covers emergency costs for those travelling abroad. .
The Ontario government is moving forward with plans to scrap the OHIP program that covers emergency costs for those travelling abroad. . THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

TORONTO – Ontario is moving ahead with a plan to scrap a provincial program that offers basic out-of-country travel insurance.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says the Progressive Conservative government has decided to make the change after holding a six-day public consultation that ended Tuesday.

READ MORE: Ontario looks to cut OHIP program covering emergency medical costs abroad

The program currently covers out-of-country inpatient services to a maximum of $400 per day for a higher level of care, such as intensive care, as well up to $50 per day for emergency outpatient services, and doctor services.

Elliott says the program’s administrative costs are too high and the level of coverage too low to help travellers who already largely depend on private travel insurance.

READ MORE: TDSB projects $28.7M shortfall due to provincial cuts

She says a broader public outreach effort will be needed to remind travellers to purchase health insurance before they leave the country.

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Opposition politicians have said ending the program will hurt snowbirds and frequent travellers.

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