North

Yukon bills Ontario man $18K for medevac

The Yukon health department is reminding people that their public health insurance does not typically cover ambulance or medevac costs in other jurisdictions. An Ontario man is on the hook for an $18,000 medevac while he was visiting Yukon.

Health department says it's willing to work out repayment plan

Inside Alkan Air's air ambulance, a King Air 350. (Alkan Air)

An Ontario man has received a harsh reminder of the limits of his public health insurance — an $18,000 bill from the Yukon government.

The man became seriously ill while on a recent visit to the territory, CTV News reports. He was flown to Vancouver and later sent the hefty bill by the Yukon government.

"We get some of these medevac stories two or three times a year," says Marcelle Dube from Yukon's health department.

"People coming to visit the Yukon and not aware that they are not covered in case they have to take an ambulance trip or, God forbid, an air medevac trip."

​Dube says the territorial government is willing to work out repayment plans with people who owe it large sums for ambulance services. But she says if they refuse, the debt will eventually be written off and handed to a collection agency.

Dube admits it may come as a surprise to many Canadians that there are no agreements between provinces and territories to cover medical travel. It's up to travelers to ensure they have additional insurance.

"It's not standard across the country," she says. "Most jurisdictions, and I may even say all jurisdictions, do not cover ambulance travel or medevacs."

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