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Travel insurance can save you from financial disaster.

The events described below are real, but in order to protect individual privacy we have used fictitious names.


Michael developed appendicitis in Florida

After months of planning, Tom, Cindy, Carly and Michael* took a two week vacation to Disney World, Florida. On the fourth day of their stay in Florida, young Michael started feeling pain in his stomach. Cindy and Tom rushed him to a hospital where they learned that Michael had appendicitis. He was hospitalized for 10 days because he developed a fever. As a result, the Parkers stayed in Florida longer than they originally planned, but their coverage was automatically extended because of the hospitalization. Not only did it cover hospital fees but also their meals and accommodations for those days that went beyond their holiday stay. Michael’s 10-day stay in the Florida hospital resulted in a $67,000 U.S. charge: $634 for the ambulance service, a $6,462 for physician services and a $59,680 hospital charge. Tom believes that buying travel insurance was one of the best decision they have ever made. One call to Alberta Blue Cross was all that was needed. Thanks to the coverage, their family will not have to be thousands of dollars in debt, and they were able to give Michael the care he needed at that moment.


John suffered a broken hip in Hawaii

When 82-year old John* agreed to accompany his two sisters to Hawaii in January, he wasn’t expecting to fall off a sea wall and break his hip on the third day of his vacation. Nor did he expect medical expenses of over $47,000. But with Alberta Blue Cross coverage, everything was covered – including an emergency airlift, hip surgery, 10 days in the hospital, and even his delayed flight home to Edmonton. “People just don’t know how much it costs and how much you need coverage outside of Alberta,” says John. “They charge you separately for everything there – even for the bedpan.”


Corrie was in a vehicle accident in Texas

Judy considers her 20-year-old daughter Corrie* lucky to be alive. Corrie was in Texas on holidays with a friend last August when they met with disaster. Coming back from the beach, their truck was broadsided with such force that it rolled – leaving Corrie with severe injuries. But the accident was just the beginning. Even as a veteran nurse, Judy wasn’t prepared to deal effectively with the complexities of the American health care system. Luckily, Alberta Blue Cross was there to handle every detail– and to pay Corrie’s $74,000 in medical expenses. “Thank God for Alberta Blue Cross,” says Judy. “I can’t imagine where we’d be now without it."


Shawn experienced chest pains in Florida

Shawn* was admitted to hospital in Florida with chest pain and fatigue. He was originally diagnosed with pneumonia, and subsequently diagnosed with severe acute cardiac and pulmonary pathology. He underwent a heart catheterization and was not stable to return home due to a lung infection. He underwent the surgery and was repatriated home safely by air transport with medical escort and oxygen. The estimated cost is currently at $462,647.32.


Christopher fractured his leg in Thailand

Christopher* was traveling in Thailand for 12 days. He was riding a scooter and lost control. He fractured his right leg in two places, and was hospitalized for four days in Krabi. As he was not healing properly, he was transferred to a larger hospital in Bangkok, where he underwent surgery. Christopher stayed in the Bangkok hospital for nine days – his current claim costs are $37,708.


Spider bites Gwenn in California

Seventy-year-old Gwenn* didn't suspect that the spider inside her trailer that evening back in January was a poisonous brown recluse. Gwen and her husband were on their annual winter vacation in Desert Hot Springs, California, when Gwenn spied a spider scurrying across the kitchen countertop. “It went behind the stove, so I thought it wouldn’t bother me,” Gwenn recalls. “But it must have got me and I never noticed.” Gwenn went to bed as usual, but by the time she awoke, poison from the spider bite had travelled through her body and she could barely breathe. “A neighbor dialed 911 for the ambulance and away I went,” she says. “The bill for three days in hospital and an ambulance ride was horrendous.” Luckily, Gwenn’s $8,000 in medical expenses were paid by her Alberta Blue Cross travel plan. “I’m sure glad I had it,” she says.


Lindsey suffers appendicitis in Wyoming

It’s hard to believe that anything could slow down 18-year-old Lindsey*. A competitive rower, talented skier and avid roller-blader, Lindsey was in Wyoming with a friend when she took ill. Lindsey ended up having her appendix removed and spent four days in the hospital. With an Alberta Blue Cross Travel Plan Lindsey was quickly back on her way to recovery – and her parents were spared thousands of dollars in medical expenses. Lindsey’s mother, Bev, says dealing with Alberta Blue Cross has been hassle-free. “Our experience has been really good,” Bev says. “Alberta Blue Cross pays directly to doctors and hospitals – payment of this claim has been excellent.”


Jeff requires medical evacuation from P.E.I.

Jeff* required a medical evacuation from Prince Edward Island, Canada via air ambulance to Alberta – the cost was $32,000.

* The events and amounts described above are real, but in order to protect individual privacy we have used fictitious names.

Where to next?

Advisories against travel to other countries