Tips For Snowbirds Heading South

Considering flying south for the winter? Before you wing your way towards warmer temperatures, here are a few tips to keep in mind.

Know how long you can be out of province. Most provinces require you to actually reside in them for at least six months plus a day each year to maintain healthcare eligibility. If you exceed the allotted time, you may need to undergo a waiting period to re-establish residency.

Know your provincial healthcare plan. Look at your province’s healthcare program and how it will meet your needs. For example, review your province’s residency requirements, whether your province provides extended supplies of prescription drugs while travelling, and at what rate you’ll be reimbursed for emergency care.

Choose the right travel insurance plan. One night in a U.S. hospital typically carries significant costs, whether or not you were in good health when you started your travels. “All travellers should take care to understand their policy regarding prior medical history,” says Brigitte Gougeon, associate vice president of TD Insurance. “Ask questions. If unsure about your health history, talk to your doctor and check with an insurance advisor if you have questions about what travel insurance will provide the best fit for your circumstances, or if you’re unsure about what’s covered under your current policy.”

Get finances in shape. Before heading south, get your finances in order. This can include setting up a U.S. bill payment service with your bank to make paying your bills easier, or simply setting up online banking and pre-authorized bill payments. You can also avoid hassles by checking the expiry dates on credit and debit cards, your driver’s license, passport and house and vehicle insurance.

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SOURCE: News Canada