Best Insurance Online is aware that a baby moon is a perfect time for couples to connect and unwind before the child arrives. Still, traveling during pregnancy requires careful planning to alleviate risks to yourself, your unborn baby, and your finances.
Whether you are traveling as part of your job or trying to sneak in one last getaway, ensuring your trip is safe, fun, and comfortable is crucial. This is when travel insurance comes in and gives you peace of mind.
Considering a travel insurance policy is a step in the right direction, but asking questions and informing yourself ahead of time will help avoid your coverage failing you when you need it most.
What are some travel risks?
Traveling while pregnant can pose additional risks that you may be unaware of. This is why consulting your doctor before the trip is highly recommended. The Government of Canada lists some risks and things to consider before traveling, including:
- Blood clots: You can reduce the odds of getting blood clots by moving around frequently and donning loose, comfortable clothing.
- Food- and water-borne illnesses: These ailments can be more severe during pregnancy and can indeed be risky to your baby. Therefore, take extra precautions with food and drinks, and wash your hands on a regular basis.
- Vaccines: It is commonly recommended that pregnant women avoid live vaccines, and inactive vaccines are regarded as safer. Speak with your healthcare provider or personal doctor to choose suitable vaccination options.
Best time to travel
While it is common knowledge that you should not travel after the 8-month mark, it is safest to do this between the 18th and 24th weeks of pregnancy or the second trimester.
The first trimester usually presents more morning sickness and miscarriage risks, while you are more susceptible to early contractions or premature labor in the third trimester.
If you are traveling by air, you can safely fly up to 36 weeks of pregnancy. Most airlines have travel restrictions for pregnant passengers, and you may need to present a doctor’s note to prove you are in a good enough physical state to travel by air. Keep in mind to check with the airlines to see if you meet their requirements.
Will Medicare cover you while traveling?
If you are qualified for Medicare and only traveling in your home province, you are definitely covered under the provincial health care plan. You only need to present the health card to get medical benefits.
Secondly, if you are traveling to another province in Canada, you may want to protect yourself by purchasing travel insurance. The Canada Health Act requires your home province to grant you emergency hospital or doctor coverage. However, the coverage amount and available services are contingent upon your home province’s health plan and its agreement with the province you are visiting. If you wish, you can check what exactly will be covered by your provincial health plan on its official Medicare website. But to be safe, we do recommend that you have a travel insurance policy in place to at least lessen the substantial medical bills.
Finally, should you want to travel outside of the country, The Canada Health Act will not entitle you coverage to your health services. At best, Medicare will possibly cover a portion of your medical bill, so you should buy travel insurance to ensure sufficient protection while traveling abroad.
What are some limitations for pregnant policyholders?
Usually, travel insurance is intended for unexpected medical situations. Therefore, despite not being an illness or an accident, being pregnant can impact your health, hence the limitations on your coverage.
Most travel insurance companies will protect you up to nine weeks before your expected date of delivery.
If no complications are detected during your pregnancy, and your doctor confirms that you are stable enough, go ahead and plan your itinerary. Just make sure to buy a travel insurance policy if a medical emergency happens. However, should there be issues during your pregnancy or your doctor advises you against traveling, stay at home since travel insurance cannot protect your pocket against the unexpected in that case.
What does travel insurance not cover during a pregnancy?
- Routine prenatal care and high-risk pregnancy needs or complications
- Childbirth or complications during childbirth during the nine weeks before or after your expected due date.
Nevertheless, exceptions do take place under certain circumstances of premature birth. Still, you need to read the terms and conditions carefully to find out if your travel dates (and due date) will exclude you from protection or not.
- Your baby’s needs if they are born on the trip as your coverage protects you and not your child.
This is because there is a much higher risk of medical care needs and complications, especially throughout the first 15 days of life.
Also, it is notable that insurers will not cover the medical bills of delivering your child near your expected delivery date. Any costs related to your baby’s care, such as medicine, incubators, and surgery, are not covered because they are not the named policyholder.
Even if your travel insurance policy does not cover medical costs associated with your pregnancy, a good insurance provider will still offer you the emergency assistance services you require. For instance, they will be able to organize your journey home for continued care on your behalf. Despite a higher expense than you wish to pay, it may prove negligible compared to your medical costs after a week or two at a hospital abroad.
The Bottom Line
For pregnant travelers, whether it’s an overseas shopping trip, a visit with a friend in another province in Canada, or a week at the beach, it is highly recommended that you check your travel insurance coverage before setting off.
We are available to help you obtain more information from different insurers and proceed to acquire a travel insurance policy if you wish. We’d like to recommend you to refer to Insurance Direct Canada – one of Canada’s most trusted insurance brokers for further insurance inquiries and insurance quotes.
Reviews on Canadian insurance companies for your reference: iA Financial review, CPP review, Foresters review, Canada Life review…
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some pregnancy travel tips that I should know?
– Consult your physician before your trip: It is highly crucial to inform your doctor of your travel dates, where you will be going, and how long your vacation will be. Awareness of the potential medical problems will somewhat give you peace of mind. Depending on your current physical condition, the doctor may suggest that you refrain from traveling, regardless of your pregnancy stage.
– Bring your travel insurance policy with you: You should also make sure that at least one of your travel partners knows how to contact your insurance provider while you are vacationing.
– During and after your trip: Canada’s Department Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) suggests that you should obtain a detailed invoice from the hospital before returning home. Make a copy of all receipts for medical services or prescriptions before submitting the original to the insurer.
How do I make my traveling more comfortable as a pregnant parent?
Staying comfortable is of utmost importance on your vacations. Here are some tips:
– Eat well: ensure that you pack some healthy snacks in case of flight delays and drink lots of water to stay hydrated, as these can make a big difference to your energy level.
– Dress for comfort: it is vital that you have comfortable clothing and footwear. Dress in layers to add or remove clothes depending on the temperature of your surroundings.
– Give yourself plenty of extra time: Remember to schedule buffer time into your travel plans to avoid racing against time (e.g., catching a flight) and causing unnecessary stress.
– Make frequent stops: If you are travelling by car, you should have more control over the frequency of stops to use the restroom or stretch your legs. Similarly, it would help if you tried to get an aisle seat for easier access to toilets and more space to stretch.
– Carry a pillow: this will help you adjust your position to maintain comfort despite sitting for long periods.
What do I need to check when I have my policy?
Travel insurance, of course, does not cover everything. Thus, you should know your policy inside out by checking its terms, conditions, limitations, and exclusions.
Most insurance companies offer a “10-day free-look period” to cancel your policy if you do not need it anymore or find better coverage elsewhere.
Suppose you booked your trip before you became pregnant. In that case, travel insurance with trip cancellation benefits might cover the cancellation costs, as long as the departure or return date falls within eight weeks before the expected due date, or a doctor advises against travel. Some insurers also accept complications from pregnancy (e.g., premature delivery before the trip), as covered reasons for trip cancellation.