This post was originally published on February 18, 2021, and was updated for accuracy and reliability; however, due to recent updates, please refer to our latest travel blog for the most up-to-date information regarding travel insurance coverage and COVID-19.

As more and more Albertans are getting vaccinated against COVID-19 and the Government of Alberta is relaxing or lifting some of the public health guidelines, many people are beginning to think about and plan for international travel again.

The health and well-being of our customers is always our top priority. We want to do our part to ensure we help prevent the spread of COVID-19, so we are urging our customers to get vaccinated and follow all public health guidelines.

We also urge Albertans to follow all federal and provincial travel guidelines and advisories. Currently, the Government of Canada travel advisory is at a level three, which states that all Canadians should avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice.

Based on this advisory, Alberta Blue Cross is only selling travel insurance for trips within Canada.

We will resume selling travel insurance for international trips when the following two changes occur:

  1. The current level three travel advisory is downgraded or completely removed.
  2. The Canada-U.S. border is re-opened.

The advisory and border closure are reviewed by the federal government every 30 days. We are continuing to monitor the travel advisory and border reopening and will be there to support you and your travel coverage needs when the border is reopened.

If your travel coverage is part of your individual health plan and you choose to travel while an advisory is in place, any incidents related to COVID-19 will not be covered.

We recognize that some people may require out of country emergency medical coverage for “essential travel” and Alberta Blue Cross will continue to provide coverage to support our customers, including new travel plans as well as extensions for our individual health and group plan customers. This will include coverage for COVID-19 up to $5 million.

For more information regarding travel coverage, please visit our website at ab.bluecross.ca/travel/travel-insurance.php or you can also call our travel department at 1-800-394-1965 and select option four.

We will continue to keep our members informed about any updates to the travel guidelines and we look forward to serving your travel coverage needs once it’s safe to travel again.

36 Comments

  • Brenda Kardash says:

    Will we be getting a reduced monthly premium now that we are not longer covered for Travel? I am in Montana and have purchased US health care insurance through a US company. Please let me know what my new reduced premiums will be.
    Thank you,
    Brenda

    • Hi Brenda, travel is one of many benefits that our customers have access to through their individual health plan. If you are traveling, your travel benefits continue to provide coverage for travel emergencies not related to COVID-19. Thank you for sharing your feedback and we encourage you to contact us directly at 1-800-394-1965 if you have any additional questions or comments regarding your inquiry.

  • Joan Penny says:

    I’m in Alberta and following the AHS practices. Will the premium be adjusted ?

    • Hi Joan, travel is one of many benefits that our customers have access to through their individual health plan. Currently our customers continue to access many other important services such as prescription, dental, vison and extended healthcare benefits. If you choose to travel, your travel benefits continue to provide coverage for travel emergencies (not related to COVID-19). Thank you for sharing your feedback and we encourage you to contact us directly at 1-800-394-1965 if you have any additional questions or comments regarding your inquiry.

  • Damigu says:

    If my child travel to the united states to go to school (High School), will she still be covered under my plan ? Should I be getting any supplemental coverage ?

  • Sandy O’Connor says:

    While I understand your position on not offering travel insurance, I believe it would be reasonable to consider reducing premiums for a service that has been discounted for such a lengthy time.

    • Hi Sandy, travel is one of many benefits that our customers have access to through their individual health plan. Currently our customers continue to access many other important services such as prescription, dental, vison and extended healthcare benefits. If you choose to travel, your travel benefits continue to provide coverage for travel emergencies (not related to COVID-19). Thank you for sharing your feedback and we encourage you to contact us directly at 1-800-394-1965 if you have any additional questions or comments.

  • Terry Petersen says:

    It is time you reduce our premiums!

  • Judy Girard says:

    Will our premiums be adjusted to reflect the fact that there is an advisory against travel? The main reason we picked our plan is that it covered travel and this is a long time to pay high premiums for something we can’t use. We are considering cancelling if adjustments are not made.

    • Hi Judy, travel is one of many benefits that our customers have access to through their individual health plan. Currently our customers continue to access many other important services such as prescription, dental, vison and extended healthcare benefits. If you choose to travel, your travel benefits continue to provide coverage for travel emergencies not related to COVID-19. If you would like to review or adjust your coverage options, we encourage you to contact us directly by calling 1-800-394-1965, then select option 2.

  • dennis gafuik says:

    thanks for information,

    I have an android but your brochure prompted me to take picture of my id cards. Good idea.

  • Shelley Kaminsky says:

    I totally agree with many others that have just expressed their feelings about the premiums we are paying for our coverage that we are not using. Definitely travel coverage is a huge part of our premium and the main reason we choose Blue Cross in the first place. Additionally, massage services were limited throughout the year due to shutdowns, another coverage that we have not been able to take advantage of. I would greatly appreciate Blue Cross looking at providing another reduction in our premiums for some period of time consistent with the inability to travel. Thank you.

    • Hi Shelley, thank you for sharing this. We greatly appreciate any feedback received and will ensure this is shared with the right team so we can learn and improve based on our member experiences.

  • Karen Fisher says:

    Last year Alberta Blue Cross did reduce our premiums due to COVID 19 (for a few months ) due to not being able to travel as per direction from government and Health officials. Your wording “if you choose to travel” does not fit for people who are actually following government directives. We pay $300 per month for our retiree plan which does not really provide sufficient coverage for our health care needs as is never mind having to pay for travel insurance that we are not requiring at this point, again I repeat, due to following government and health directives. In fairness to their membership I think if Alberta Blue Cross “chose to”, could again reduce our premiums.

  • ROBERT LAVALLEE says:

    Can we buy travel insurance to to USA for April 1st to April 30th 2021 ?

    • Hi Robert, the Government of Canada’s travel advisories are still in place, so we are still not actively selling travel coverage. If you need coverage for an essential trip, you can call our travel department (1-800-394-1965 and select option four) for more information.

  • Harry says:

    It is completely irresponsible for Blue Cross to continue charging full premiums due to reduced travel; in 2020 our retiree plan premiums were reduced for a short time Blue Cross has not responded to the many requests for premium reductions during travel advisory, and when will Blue Cross finally respond to the question of further temporary premium reductions.

    • Hi Harry, travel is one of many benefits that our customers have access to through their individual health plan. Currently our customers continue to access many other important services such as prescription, dental, vison and extended healthcare benefits. If you choose to travel, your travel benefits continue to provide coverage for travel emergencies (not related to COVID-19). Thank you for sharing your feedback, and we encourage you to contact us directly at 1-800-394-1965 if you have any additional questions or comments regarding your inquiry.

  • Joel says:

    Hello Blue Cross!

    I read your responses to the members’ requests and most of them seem to be cut and paste responses that never answer the questions!
    At the minimum, your should be refunding a portion of the additional travel insurance costs which is separate from the premium we pay for the other services.
    Please don’t send me your standard response!
    Thank you!

    • Hi Joel,

      We respond to each message based on the information provided to us. Many of the member questions received require the need for more information that is often personal in nature and related to the member’s plan. For the protection of our members privacy we cannot request this publicly so our responses are often meant to continue the conversation offline via our customer services phone line.

      If you would like to speak to our team about travel please contact us at 1-800-661-6995.

  • Bob says:

    Hello Blue Cross!

    I read your responses to the members’ requests and most of them seem to be cut and paste responses that never answer the questions!
    At the minimum, your should be refunding a portion of the additional travel insurance costs which is separate from the premium we pay for the other services.
    Please don’t send me your standard response!
    Thank you!

    • Hey there Bob,

      We respond to each message based on the information provided to us. Many of the member questions received require the need for more information that is often personal in nature and related to the member’s plan. For the protection of our members privacy we cannot request this publicly so our responses are often meant to continue the conversation offline via our customer services phone line.

      If you would like to speak to our team about travel please contact us at 1-800-661-6995.

  • Gekke Henkie says:

    The continued response is NOT an answer. Just repeating over and over again that “travel is one of many benefits” does not relate to the fact that “some of those many benefits” are not available. People are not asking to make it premium-free, but they are asking for a reduction, because ‘some’ (not all) benefits are not applicable. Another way of looking at it is to reduce the premiums by the amount that people now have to pay to get the additional coverage with another insurance company. However, it seems that if the government doesn’t require AB-BC to reduce their fees, they don’t care enough for their customers to voluntarily do so. Money/profit appears to be more important than customers.

    • Hello Gekke,

      If you would like to review other plan options that don’t include travel coverage and can also reduce your monthly premiums, please contact us directly with your full name, contact information and member ID at connect@ab.bluecross.ca or call our team at 1-800-661-6995.

      Please note, even though there is currently an international travel advisory in place, if you still choose to travel then you have up to $5 million of coverage for any emergency medical incidents not related to COVID-19.

  • Terry Petersen says:

    The main reason I have blue cross retiree plan is for the travel insurance that I can’t use.If you dont want to cover us for covid give us a discount! I had no problem getting travel insurance through snowbirds that covered covid last year and it was less than blue cross If you are going to give the same reply as most people seem to be getting don’t bother. I am sure I am wasting my time but at least now I feel better!

  • Terry Petersen says:

    I just looked back at the email you sent me that says “how we are adapting to travel in 2021” You aren’t adapting to anything, you are just charging us for something we cant use!!!

  • Mike says:

    Very disappointed in the lack of response to reducing monthly fees for services we can’t use. Not what I expected in terms of payment for services from AC.

    • Hi Mike, we appreciate your feedback.

      If you would like to review other plan options that don’t include travel coverage and can also reduce your monthly premiums, please contact us directly with your full name, contact information and member ID at connect@ab.bluecross.ca or call our team at 1-800-661-6995.

      Please note, even though there is currently an international travel advisory in place, if you still choose to travel then you have up to $5 million of coverage for any emergency medical incidents not related to COVID-19.

  • Wayne says:

    You are not listening.
    If travel restrictions are in place you need to refund a portion of our premiums.
    If we follow travel restrictions you are saving big money for reduced claims you need to provide reductions or refunds.
    There were no exclusions to type on illness when we signed up.
    Very poor canned comments to people like me who chose your service because of travel benefits.
    Not acceptable response Blue Cross
    Will be looking to move away from BC

    • Hello Wayne, thank you for taking the time to share your feedback.

      If you would like to review other plan options that don’t include travel coverage and can also reduce your monthly premiums, please contact us directly with your full name, contact information and member ID at connect@ab.bluecross.ca or call our team at 1-800-661-6995.

      Please note, even though there is currently an international travel advisory in place, if you still choose to travel then you have up to $5 million of coverage for any emergency medical incidents not related to COVID-19.

  • Diane says:

    Yup – you have a public relations nightmare here, Blue Cross. Our Auto insurer has sent us TWO rebates this past year because many people were no longer driving to work, nor leaving their homes to drive anywhere as often. Canned responses to customers only raise our ire, in case you haven’t noticed.

    Best that your Board come up with some solution to this issue. There are MANY reputable health insurers in Canada.

  • George says:

    The only way anything will ever change for the betterment of their customers is if the mainstream Media avidly take up this obvious issue & carry it & repeat to broadcast it for many many months to completely showcase this Blue Cross major flaw.

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