LONDON, ONT. -- About 25 per cent of Ontarians travel without insurance, and a change to the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) on Dec. 31 will make that more risky, if a medical emergency happens while abroad.

The provincial government voted to remove the $400 a day in coverage for out-of-country medical expenses beginning Jan. 1, 2020.

Kelly Balderston of Robert Q Travel says the coverage was already small to begin with, and reinforces that travellers should not take the risk.

“All you have to do is look on social media and see so many horror stories, people going abroad, then incurring thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands in bills.”

Medical coverage is included in some company health benefits, or credit card insurance, but Balderston says you should investigate what it covers

“It’s not all created equal; you are not comparing apples to apples.”

Coverage can be purchased through a bank or with the travel agency that is booking the trip, but you should investigate what the coverage includes before jetting off.

“Some plans have limits, some plans don’t pay up front, you have to pay and then get reimbursed,” Balderston says.

The most important thing to keep in mind, according to Balderston, is to have up-front coverage, as well as coverage to be flown back to Ontario or air ambulance included.