President's Message Issue 34

Winter 1999 CSANews Issue 34  |  Posted date : Mar 04, 2007.Back to list

As we settle in for our winter in warmer climates, the CSA is gearing up for a very busy winter. For your executive and directors, our winters are far busier than our summers back home in Canada.

I would like to take this opportunity to cordially invite you all to our Annual General Meeting on January 22 at the Florida State Fairgrounds. It's your opportunity to meet the board and executive members of the 2000-2002 term, and to find out first-hand the news of your association. The doors open promptly at 8:00 a.m., with the meeting beginning at 9:00. Seating is reserved strictly for CSA members, so be sure to bring your up-to-date membership card with you. After the meeting, feel free to remain in your seats and enjoy some of the spectacular Extravaganza entertainment.

Over the past few months, a number of our Alberta members have expressed concern regarding some confusing information mailed by Alberta Health. On the surface, it appeared that Alberta was no longer paying $100 towards out-of-country medical costs. That is not the case. Should an Alberta resident fall ill outside of the country, Alberta will still pay $100 per day towards in-patient costs. (Although that amount still contravenes the Canada Health Act.)

What has been amended is the Blue Cross coverage for seniors. According to the notice that was sent out to seniors, some benefits increase coverage, while other, lesser-used benefits have been discontinued. A very small part of this coverage included outside of Canada inpatient and outpatient costs. This seldom-used benefit, which provided hospital coverage on a last payer basis, has been discontinued. Last year, 97% of claimants for this benefit indicated that they had purchased additional private travel insurance to cover unexpected out-of-province health care services.

In a nutshell, by the time the claim reached Blue Cross, the provincial and supplementary insurance had (for the most part) taken care of the claim.

At risk of sounding like a broken record (or broken CD these days!), I cannot stress strongly enough the importance of purchasing supplementary health insurance. Every time you cross a border without emergency medical insurance, you're assuming a very real risk of wiping out your savings, and it's just not worth it. The cost of supplementary insurance is a fact of life which we all must consider, but it is not a luxury item. You've all worked exceptionally hard to reach this station in your lives don't throw it away merely to save some money.

It has been my distinct pleasure to serve as president of the CSA for the past two years, and I look forward to continuing in this role for another term. As an organization, we have made, and continue to make great strides in promoting and preserving the rights of Canadian travellers particularly seniors. As we enter the new millennium, the challenges will be undoubtedly be great, but I have no doubt that together we will be able to rise to each and every occasion.

I look forward to meeting and greeting many of you at the Extravaganzas and Winter Information Meetings this winter.

My very best wishes for a safe and festive holiday season and continued good health and happiness in the New Year.