Universal Travel Health is dedicated in serving patients thorough and up-to-date travel medical advice and services.
What are the fee’s and whats included?
There are three main fee’s related to the travel clinic.
- One Time Flat Consultation/Administration Fee ($75 for in-person and $100 for virtual only) this is the only mandatory fee that is charged only one time per patient per itinerary
The other 2 fee’s are optional/conditional only if they are required or you pursue to receive vaccines
2) Vaccine Cost 3) Vaccine Administration
1) The Consultation/Administration Fee helps to cover all of the following services/costs for each person and itinerary:
- Overhead costs for running the clinic (rent, phone, electronic medical records, booking system, Printing , Travax Software, etc.)
- Time and expertise of Physician/Nursing/Staff for providing travel advice
- Vaccination supplies (Syringes, Needles, Cotton Balls, Bandaids) + Waste disposal of biohazard needles
- Recording and Updating of all vaccination records (virtual record taking, printing of vaccination cards, physical record taking) as well as sending of records to your GP if applicable
- Any medication prescriptions, blood work requisitions necessary for travel
- Generating invoices as needed for travel consultations and vaccinations to be able to submit to insurance for claims
- Any Followup Visits needed for review of immune blood work or repeat vaccines required for the original itinerary
2) Cost of Vaccines: There are two categories of vaccines – a) OHIP funded vaccines and b) Non-OHIP funded vaccines. All regular vaccinations that are mandatory for all Ontarians (ex. Tetanus, Polio, Flu, Measles, etc.) are covered with your OHIP. All travel vaccinations that are not mandatory for all ontarians (ex. Typhoid, Yellow Fever, Dukoral, etc.) – are not covered by OHIP and you will have to pay out of pocket for them. The list of all vaccines and their costs, as well as their Drug Identification Numbers (DIN) are located HERE. You can check with your insurance provider ahead of time to see if certain vaccines are covered by your drug plan by giving them the DIN number.
3) Cost of Administering the Vaccines: If you do choose to purchase your vaccines directly from our clinic, then we include the administration cost within the cost of the vaccine so you don’t have to pay extra since you are already paying for the convenience of purchasing the vaccine from us. If you choose to purchase your vaccine outside our clinic from a pharmacy, there is a $25 charge per vaccine to administer them.
I already know what vaccines I need (ex. Yellow fever), so can I just get the vaccine and not do the consultation?
The “consultation” fee covers a lot more than the actual consultation fee, it actually is also an “administrative” fee as well. The list of the other costs/necessities other than the medical consultation are listed in section 1 A) above. Therefore the one-time $75 fee would still apply.
Also even if you do know what vaccines you need, we still have to ensure that this vaccine or treatment is safe for you to administer as some vaccinations to carry some medical risk. (For example, Yellow Fever is a live-virus vaccine and cannot be given in immune-compromised individuals) . Also some patients have come to our clinic because they were told they “Need” something – but when we actually looked at the facts – it was not needed.
Why isn’t travel medicine covered under OHIP?
Travel consultations are not covered under the government publicly funded OHIP plan as they are considered “not medically necessary” and rather “a luxury”. Billing the government for a travel visit would be considered fraudulent and so the government mandates that patients must pay out of pocket for travel services.
Out of all the vaccines that are approved for use in Canada, only a select few of them are paid by
See OHIP bulletins for additional information : https://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/pro/programs/ohip/bulletins/4317/bul4317b.aspx
Why aren’t vaccines covered under OHIP?
All Government-Funded Vaccines will be covered with your OHIP Health Card. These are all routine vaccinations that are recommended for all Canadians (whether travelling or not travelling) and are supplied to us directly from public health so we do not pay for these vaccines (they are paid by Public Health through your hard-earned tax dollars) . This includes things like the yearly flu shot, tetanus shot every 10 years, routine childhood vaccinations such as measles, mumps, rubella, varicella, etc. It is a principle of travel medicine that all regularly recommended vaccines are first addressed and updated before moving on to more exotic travel vaccines and this is why we discuss and administer these vaccines whenever necessary in our clinic.
All non-routine vaccinations (ex. Hepatitis A/B, Typhoid, Cholera/Dukoral, etc.) which are more specific to travel are not covered with the health card and so you will have to pay out of pocket for them and if you have extended health coverage, you can have the costs reimbursed from your insurance company after the visit. These vaccines are purchased by our clinic individually from the manufacturers or distributors for your convenience since many of these vaccines are not commonly found at pharmacies, and also to prevent you from having to make multiple trips since they can be easily administered during your appointment in the clinic.
The list of all vaccines and their costs, as well as their Drug Identification Numbers (DIN) are located HERE. You can check with your insurance provider ahead of time to see if certain vaccines are covered by your drug plan by giving them the DIN number.
Why does each person in my family have to pay for a consultation fee if we are all travelling together and being seen by the doctor at the same time?
As mentioned in questions 1 and 2 , the consultation fee covers a lot more than the travel advice for the location you are going to. Its also the administrative costs that need to be covered for each person.
Why can’t my family doctor do Travel Medicine?
Many family doctors may feel comfortable and competent with offering travel medicine services while the majority may not be. The majority of Travel Medicine is a specialty that is not covered during standard medical training. Also it is a field that is rapidly evolving on a day-to-day basis. Therefore keeping up with all the daily changes of what’s happening in the travel industry, in travel health and in other countries from a medical safety perspective takes a lot of extra time, expertise and resources to be able to offer the most up-to-date knowledge and information – which unfortunately most family doctors simply may not have the ability to keep up with given all of their other fields of knowledge and responsibilities.
Is your services and vaccines covered by my private insurance plan?
Our consultation fee is usually covered by health insurance plans that have a “Health Spending Account” but may not be covered by other plans that to not have this feature.
The vaccine costs are usually covered by most insurance plans as well. Usually the only difficulty is that there is some variability about HOW MUCH of each vaccine they will cover. Sometimes they cover 100% of the invoice cost, and sometimes only a partial amount (anywhere from 20%-100%). You are welcome to try and call them ahead of time to ask and make sure, but sometimes it may not be predictable until after the fact.
Do you offer Yellow Fever Vaccination and Cards?
Yes we are an accredited Yellow Fever site and offer both the Yellow Fever vaccine as well as the internationally recognized Yellow Fever certificate.
How far in advance should I get the vaccines done?
Usually the sooner the better – we usually recommend at least 1-2 months before travel is best . However we can still figure out other ways to help if needed in case you come as a “last minute traveller”.
What if I’m not sure if I’ve received the vaccine before?
Its always ideal for you to bring any previous copies of immunization records so we can help you figure out what you may already have received and that are still valid so to avoid needing to re-administer vaccines.
However we do have the ability to order blood tests for immune titres for certain immunizations (such as hepatitis A and B) and we are happy to arrange that for you especially if we have enough time before your departure to receive the blood test results (usually 1-2 weeks) and also administer all the vaccines necessary in case you are not immune.