Tell your friends!
The Benefit Specialists Corp. is more than willing to answer any questions you or anyone you know may have had. If you know
someone who has questions regarding the insurance industry or anyone
who wants to join our mailing list please contact me, or forward this
email to them and get them to click the join our mailing list button
Join Our List
|TBSC Report- International Travel Warnings|
|TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 15, 2010) - Canadian snowbirds and winter vacationers are being warned to have proof of private travel health insurance in place prior to leaving for any trips to the United States, Mexico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic or elsewhere in the Caribbean this winter.
The Travel Health Insurance Association of Canada (THIA) says that private insurance is essential for all winter destinations, particularly the U.S. where soaring health costs and uncertainty about the future of health care reform is forcing many economically-stressed hospitals to demand up-front deposits or direct payment arrangements of patients who cannot prove they have insurance coverage.
David Hartman, president of THIA, says: "The relentless increase in health care costs world-wide makes international travel insurance absolutely essential, even for one-day trips, as provincial health insurance reimbursements for out-of-country medical services don't come close to covering foreign hospital bills that can total thousands of dollars per day." He adds that even Cuba now requires all foreign visitors to have proof of travel insurance adequate to cover any medical services they might require in that country.
In the August edition of our bulletin, we featured an article on the importance of travel insurance called "Travel Insurance: A Necessary Luxury". For a copy of the article, please go to http://www.beneco.ca/specialists/dyn/news_coll75.php.
Travel Insurance is one of the most important things you can do while planning a trip. For more information, please contact TBSC.
|Your Trip, Your Way?!?: Customized Travel Design|
byTerri Jo Lennox, CTC
President, Travel Time Inc.
When planning travel do you use a professional? Have you considered the benefits of using a professional consultant - one that can work as your advocate, on your behalf, with the various suppliers necessary to customize your trip your way?
A professional travel consultant will take the time to listen to your travel requests, specific needs and wants. They will ask about your personal preferences, whether you have travelled in the past and to where, the purpose of your trip, what you liked and disliked about any previous travel experience. They will take the time to understand your travel plans; whether for a business trip that requires specific flights and hotels to meet an important agenda - taking the family on a dream vacation to relax and enjoy time together - or maybe to visit an exotic locale to experience a new culture and people - perhaps see one of the great wonders of the world or fulfill an item on your 'bucket list'.
Whatever the purpose of your travel, a professional consultant will research all the options available with the myriad of suppliers, always working to satisfy your criteria and not an online website's agenda. Customized travel planning means you can have it all - the flights, transfers, accommodation and tours - you want; along with specific theatre tickets, sporting event tickets, entertainment packages, even dinner reservations or one of a kind arrangements at your hotel.
Our agency 'travel designers' have the expertise and years of experience to handle every request. We work with our 'on location partners' from around the globe to ensure that your trip is booked to meet your exact specifications and often includes extra value added amenities such as 'meet and greet' at airports, private tours focused on your interests with English speaking guides and charming one of a kind accommodation in locations only the locals could possibly know about.
How about a guaranteed start golfing on the Old Course at St Andrews - or an all inclusive cruise to the islands of Tahiti with a post cruise stay in an overwater bungalow in Bora Bora - or a trek to Machu Pichu in Peru - a shopping and theatre experience in New York City - maybe a coffee tour in Guatamala staying with a local family that has produced coffee for four generations - cooking classes in Tuscany or perhaps hiking in Cinque Terre, Italy. Bring us your travel dream and we will make it a reality!
But our services don't end there - once your travel is confirmed, our professional travel designers, monitor your booking to ensure there are no significant changes to flight times or routings, prepare a customized travel package with all documents, personalized itinerary, baggage tags, destination information, etc. We assist with visa information and obtaining necessary paperwork, answer questions regarding currency, customs and what to expect when traveling. Further we monitor your travel prior, during and after departure to make certain that all of your expectations are realized or exceeded. We follow up with every client upon their return home, to ensure they had no concerns and if necessary we assist with addressing any issues encountered during the travel.
If an incident should occur while traveling; such as the Iceland volcano in April 2010 or the Celebrity ship stranded in the Mediterranean in October 2010, our professionals quickly go to work to assist clients. Changes to travel plans are quickly implemented, new flights, hotels or a complete new travel itinerary is prepared and provided for clients. We work to ensure the clients safety, attempt to minimize the inconvenience and costs where possible and assist with the necessary insurance claims in such situations. Our goal is always to protect the travel investment our clients have made.
When planning your next trip, consider using a professional consultant to customize your travel. Our experts always work on your behalf, providing the best advice and options for you. Our travel designers want to share their passion for travel and welcome the opportunity to be of service to you.
Terri Jo Lennox, CTC
President / Travel Time Inc
Vacations of Excellence / Cruises of Excellence
403 547 8297 / 403 283 9200
|Public Healthcare- The Neverending Story|
|by Jim Viccars, Acure Health|
As I sit here writing this article, the latest crisis in healthcare delivery- Emergency Room Wait times in Alberta- is in its second week. Prompted by the public comments of Dr. Raj Sherman, PC member of the legislature and Parliamentary Assistant to Health Minister Gene Zwozdesky, the comments provoked a firestorm of criticism of the Alberta government's handling of the issue. Dr. Sherman, still working part time as an Emergency Room physician is uniquely positioned to understand the problems in Emergency Care. However, Alberta's Conservative caucus' response was to suspend Dr. Sherman and force him to sit as an Independent MLA. Wildrose Alliance Leader Danielle Smith criticized the move: "it's pretty phenomenal the Tories would kick out an emergency room doctor in the middle of an emergency room crisis." At present Alberta Health Services and the provincial politicians are looking at possible solutions. In effect, the people who created the issue are being asked to solve the problem; an unlikely scenario.
Let's start from the premise that we all want a strong and responsive public system but let's apply some new thinking. Individuals and businesses, large and small, are affected by the seriously deteriorating system. For those of us in the insurance business we have seen the growth and evolution of group benefits over the last decade to add to or replace procedures, treatments and prescription drug coverage formerly covered by the public system. Add to this, critical illness policies, expanded disability programs, flex plans and complementary wellness programs and we see the ability of insurance to fill a void whenever there is an opportunity.
Until the last few years, insurance programs have been severely restricted in providing supplementary insurance for core services provided by the provincial healthcare plans. Our company, Acure Health Corp. (Acure) has changed this dynamic by providing three insurance options for companies and individuals who want to ensure access to physicians, diagnostics and medical procedures rather than experience the pain and uncertainty of waiting for services. Acure's programs are:
Diagnostic and Specialist Access Insurance (DSAI)- group only - provides access to
Specialist (10 key categories) and MRI and CT scans, usually within 21 days and priced under $20 per month per employee.
Medical Access Insurance (MAI) - group or individual - provides the same access to Specialists and Diagnostics as DSAI as well as surgery insurance ranging from relatively minor procedures (i.e. arthroscopic procedures) up to and including joint replacement and heart bypass procedures.
ePlus - combines the MAI program with up to $150,000 of Guaranteed Issue Critical Illness insurance.
There is no medical underwriting required, no deductibles or co payments and travel expenses are included (some restrictions).
If Canadians are to maintain a strong public healthcare system options must be available to allow them access to services when the public system cannot provide timely care. The crises will only grow worse in the next few years. For more information on Acure's programs please visit our website at www.acurehealth.com or contact TBSC.
 As found in Dave Dormer, "Outspoken MLA Dr. Raj Sherman kicked from Tory Caucus," Edmonton Sun November 22, 2010. http://www.edmontonsun.com/news/alberta/2010/11/22/16265526.html.
The Benefit Specialists Corp.
The information contained in
this bulletin is for general information purposes only. The articles published
in this bulletin have been collected by The Benefit Specialists Corp. (TBSC) and
we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about
the completeness, accuracy, reliability or availability with respect to the
information, products, services, or related graphics contained. Any reliance you place on such information is
therefore strictly at your own risk. In no event will we be liable
for any loss or damage including without limitation, indirect or consequential
loss or damage, or any loss or damage whatsoever arising from loss of data or
profits out of, or in connection with, the use of the information contained in
this bulletin. Through this bulletin you are
able to link to other websites which are not under the control of TBSC. We have no control over the nature, content
and availability of those sites. The inclusion of any links does not
necessarily imply a recommendation or endorse the views expressed within them.