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Dear Bird Talk,

We are snowbirds from Saskatchewan. We winter in Mesa for

around 175 days a year. In the summer of 2016, we would like

to take an Eastern Canada trip for about two months. Can we

do that and still go to the states for the 175 days in the same year

and retain our Saskatchewan medical coverage?



Ed.: A timely question, as Saskatchewan has just met CSA’s

request to extend your allowed days out of province to

seven months. This means that your Eastern Canada trip

could be up to about six weeks before raising concerns.

I would contact your Health Ministry and formally request

an extended leave for this year and you will probably get it.

You really do need two months for that beautiful part of the


Dear Bird Talk,

Very recently, the Ontario Medical Association launched a

Social Networking project using Facebook, Twitter, etc., with

the objective of garnering public support against the Ontario

Ministry of Health’s cutbacks on physicians’ fees under OHIP.

Has CSA considered using similar tactics to apply pressure on

the provinces to comply with the portability provisions of the

Canada Health Act?

Repeated lobbying at the federal and provincial levels seems to

have little effect, somaybe a 21st-century approach is worth a shot.

Bob Bovaird

Colborne, ON

Ed.: During the past several years, we have had good

success at the federal level, but the health-care decisions

are really a provincial jurisdiction. They have not been very

co-operative regarding the reimbursement of proper hospi-

tal expenses, because it simply costs money. The feds have

requested, in writing, that the provinces comply with the

Canada Health Act, but few do. The federal government has

been very reluctant to enforce the penalties for non-compli-

ance of the CHA, which is to effectively cut off a province’s

health-care funding for everything.

Your idea is a good one and we have considered a social

media campaign before, but I will mention it to board mem-

bers again and see if it can be looked at more seriously.

Dear Bird Talk,

I’d like to report to you a medical situation that happened last

winter (2015) in Florida. My wife badly cut the skin on one of

her fingers. She went to a walk-in clinic and she was treated

by a PA (thinking that she was being taken care of by a REAL

doctor). Back home, she sent all of her U.S. bills + claiming form

to Québec’s RAMQ. Bad surprise! She was told by RAMQ that

she was not eligible for any reimbursement BECAUSE she had

been treated by a PA and that RAMQ was paying back ONLY

for bills from a REAL doctor.

So be aware of this! We don’t know about the system in other

provinces of Canada, but be sure to get treatments in the U.S.

from a DOCTOR and not from a PA.

Olivier Normandeau


Ed.: Every province is a little different in what they will pay

for treatment. Unfortunately they pay so little, in most cas-

es, that it really does not matter very much. Medipac travel

insurance would certainly pay your bills from a PA and most

other travel insurers will, as well.

Dear Bird Talk,

My husband and I have recently bought a house in Sarasota,

Florida. Our son has power of attorney for us for our care and

property here in Canada. Should we have put his name on the

ownership of the house in Florida?

Rachel Leroux

Kemptville, ON

Ed.: These things are always a little tricky. First of all, you

must get a living will and a power of attorney in Florida. The

U.S. is a different country and your Canadian documents

may not apply and, at best, will dramatically slow any pro-

cess down. Adding his name to the deed does not make

much difference, in my opinion, but you may wish to speak

to CSA’s lawyer Wallace Weylie for certainty. I personally

would not do so, as I have seen ex-spouses get entangled

in these things. As well, the children might decide that the

home should be sold so that they can get some cash. Every-

one loves and trusts their children, but…?



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