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FALL 2013
corporation which owns the land. In that event, if a
sale is made, the sale is of the share, the unit itself
and the transfer of the lease between the owner and
the corporation for the land under the unit. Again, if
a capital gain is realized, there is tax payable on that
gain, but there is no withholding as in a real estate
transaction. Again, a tax return should be filed for
the year of the sale. In both situations, of course,
there are state fees on the transfer of the ownership
of the mobile home unit. 
Dear Bird Talk,
I was unable to get a favourable quote from
Medipac (last fall) as I have a 4.6 cm abdominal
aortic aneurysm. I am 67 years old. My surgeon
will not operate until it gets to 5.5 cm. I have been
spending three months in Myrtle Beach for the
last 12 years and am now encountering difficulties
in getting travel insurance, as most insurers
want to know if it’s stable for the last six months
or longer. As I am having an ultrasound every
six months, it’s difficult to say if it’s stable as it is
increasing in size…although nominally.
My inquiry is this. Medipac has now increased
its aneurysm size to 4.6 cm for coverage. My
cardiovascular surgeon and, apparently, most
surgeons will not operate until it’s 5.5 cm,
which seems to be the norm for corrective
surgery. Statistics seem to say that you have a one
in 100 chance of a rupture at 5.5 cm. My question,
I guess, is why will Medipac not provide coverage
up to 5.5, if surgeons will not operate on anything
less? My uncle had a 9.0 cm abdominal aneurysm
and they never operated on him. He died at 91
from breathing problems. Why would Medipac
increase their coverage to 4.6, but stop there?
Ruptures can occur at any stage.
As an aside, my wife and I both enjoyed the
magazine. Bird Talk is very informative and it
is refreshing to get a magazine that is not 90%
retirement homes and European cruises. Thanks
for listening to my frustration.
Marcel Fortier
Orleans, ON
Ed.: I totally understand your frustration. I am 68 and
have a 4.2 cm aneurysmmyself. My doctor advises
me that he will book my operation when I am 5
cm and, by the time he can get an operating room
scheduled, I will probably be 5.5 cm. I suggest that
you ask your doctor to do the same. Your uncle was
possibly not a candidate for the operation due to his
breathing problems and, as best I can determine, the
5.5 cm size is the point at which the risks of rupture
outweigh the risk of an operation.
It is very likely that we can provide complete
insurance for you through our underwritten plan,
but we will need your medical information and it
could be more expensive, depending on your exact
is exactly the situation which we have with the
provinces relating to the ridiculously low payments
for medical bills outside of Canada. The current
federal government agrees with us regarding the
meaning of the Canada Health Act and has sent a
letter to all provinces asking them to comply. Very
few have done so and Alberta’s paltry $100 per
day in-hospital payments when outside of Canada
are egregious, to use a legal word. The costs of
mounting this Supreme Court challenge would also
be prohibitive and beyond the financial capability of
CSA and its members.
We have tried, though. Several years ago, we took
the Ontario government to court when the then-
NDP government cut the benefits from $400 per
day to $100 per day. Three judges ruled on our
case, with one of themwriting a scathing minority
opinion of the Ontario government’s actions. The
other two judges said that the Ontario government
needed more time for “consultation” with the
federal government, as was outlined in the act. This
was nonsense, in my opinion. This issue has been
ongoing since 1975, when B.C. unilaterally cut its
out-of-Canada hospital payments to $75 per day,
where it remains today. What more consultation
could they possibly need??? Fortunately, when the
Harris government was elected in Ontario, they
restored the payments to the $400 level, as they had
promised CSA that they would. We were working on
a formula to keep up with inflation, but they were not
able to implement it as they were voted out of power.
The current Ontario Liberal government has been
unresponsive to CSA’s many requests to pay what the
Canada Health Act requires.
Dear Bird Talk,
We recently bought a manufactured home in
Florida. We have heard that if we sell this unit
down the road, we will be taxed by the U.S.
government. There are many different opinions
on this. Can you advise us of the drawbacks of a
Canadian selling mobile homes in Florida?
Lorraine Hoculik
Niagara Falls, ON
Ed.: Wallace Weylie, CSA legal counsel replies: There
are two types of ownership of a mobile home in
Florida, and each is treated in a different manner
with regard to taxation. If the owner of the unit
owns the land as well as the manufactured home,
the property is treated as real estate and is subject
to the rules of FIRPTA, the Foreign Investment in Real
Property Tax Act. Those rules provide for a 10% of
the purchase price withholding at the time of sale,
which is sent to the IRS as security for the payment
of capital gains tax on the sale. If there is no gain,
there is no tax. In many cases, there is an exception
to that procedure, but a tax is still payable on any
gain. On any such sale, a tax return must be filed
for the year of the sale, whether there is a gain or
not. The other form of ownership is one in which
the owner is a shareholder in the ownership of the
park, usually through ownership of a share in the
Dear Bird Talk,
I would like to share with Canadian Snowbird
Association members our experience this past
spring with Medipac Insurance. We had just
begun our return to Canada from a five-month
stay in south Texas and chose to stop for our
first night at Shreveport/Bossier City, Louisiana.
About midnight, my husband Steve awoke with
chest pain, sweating and nausea. I called Medipac
at about 12:30 a.m. and spoke to Heidi, an RN,
who asked questions about his condition. She
reassured us, but said that Steve needed to go to
a hospital.
I kept Medipac informed as Steve was taken
to the heart catheterization lab where balloon
angioplasty was performed to clear the blockage
by 3:30 a.m. the same night. Medipac was in touch
each day checking on Steve’s progress and, later,
making plans for his flight from Shreveport to
All of the staff at Medipac were terrific. They
were patient, friendly, helpful, reassuring and
efficient. In a stressful situation, they only aided in
reducing stress. Even Steve’s American cardiologist
complimented Medipac on being genuinely
concerned about their patient and being proactive
in managing Steve’s care.
Medipac had all medical invoices sent directly
to them to handle, so we have not seen a bill.
My hotel and food expenses in Bossier City were
covered, as well as my expenses to bring our truck
home and, of course, Steve’s flight home was paid.
The story ends well with Steve back in good
health and both of us back home in Canada.
With the excellent quality of client care provided
by Medipac, I would not even consider another
insurance company and I would strongly
recommend Medipac to anyone travelling outside
of Canada.
Lynn Reid & Steve Chyril
Ed.: We are all getting ready to head south and I
thought that it might be appropriate to remind
everyone what Medipac is all about. Thank you, Lynn
and Steve, for your very kind words. Travel safely
everyone and we hope to see you at one of
our events.
Featuring the
& concerns
of our members
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