Albertans are currently allowed to be out of the province for 6 months, after which they may lose their provincial health care coverage. Several other provinces have extended their out-of-province limits to 7 months. The following letter from The Canadian Snowbird Association (CSA) is an update about their work to increase the limits for Alberta snowbirds. Links contained in the following letter provide more detailed information.
On October 9, we met with the Minister of Health Fred Horne and senior members from his office. The meeting, a CSA first in Alberta, and the Minister’s comments, were “encouraging.” On October 10 we met with the Leader of the Official Opposition Danielle Smith and the Official Opposition Seniors Critic Kerry Towle, the results were “very positive.” Earlier in the day, we met with the Official Opposition health Critic Heather Forsyth who is “very supportive” of our request.
On October 28, the Alberta Legislature began their Fall session. The CSA continues to work with elected representative in Alberta in order to extend out of country health coverage for frequent travellers. There is another proposal which may be of interest to our members. Bill 208, the Seniors’ Advocate Act, is a private member’s bill which proposes to establish the Office of the Seniors’ Advocate.
According to the bill, the role of the Seniors’ Advocate is “to represent the rights, interests and viewpoints of seniors.” In this capacity, the Seniors’ Advocate may:
- Communicate and visit with a senior
- Assist in appealing or reviewing a decision related to long-term and residential care
- Represent seniors under the Adult Guardianship and Trusteeship Act, and
- Advocate on any other regulated matter.
The full text of the proposed legislation can be accessed here.
For more information regarding Bill 208, and to express your views on the proposal, please contact Kerry Towle, MLA (1-888-655-2535 or Innisfail.SylvanLake@assembly.ab.ca) and your local MLA (contact information for Alberta MLAs can be found here.