We've hinted a couple of times that we might return to Mexico a little earlier than normal. We're thinking September. Reader Elaine from Canada asked the following question...
"How do you maintain your Canadian medical coverage? I thought you could only be out of the country for 6 months."
Because Canadian medical coverage is administered by each province separately, the actual rules for this are different in each province. We only know the Ontario OHIP coverage, so that's what we'll talk about here.
So in Ontario, it's not really 6 months. What the rule states is that you are allowed to be out of the country for 212 days out of any 12 month period. Why do they make it this confusing? Who knows? It's the government.
Then, if you do stay out of the country for longer than that period, and return to Ontario, you must be in the province for 3 months before coverage is reinstated. The ridiculous thing about this is that Alberta, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland do not have any waiting period.
Even more ridiculous is that your absence from Canada is administered by the Federal Government. There are no ties between the Federal Border Services Agency and OHIP. We have a friend who works for Canada Border Services and they told us there would be no way for OHIP to know that you have been out of the country. Personally, I have never been asked by any medical administration on a doctors visit if I have been out of country.
You are however allowed a one time absence from Ontario for up to two years, and still be able to have your medical coverage reinstated immediately upon your return. This is a once in a lifetime allowance and you must tell OHIP in advance that you are leaving the country.
And lastly, we're not really concerned. Perhaps we won't return to Canada anyhow. And if we do, I'm confident that we'll be able to get medical services if we need them.
Anyhow, I'm off to pick up Ruth at Halifax airport. Her plane lands at 9:30am! Then tomorrow, we're taking Sherman on a two week trip to Cape Breton Island!