Due to ongoing work to transition to Workday Student, faculty and staff will be unable to submit a Tuition Waiver for 2024 summer credit courses after July 31, 2024. Learn more

Emergency medical coverage

If you experience a medical emergency while travelling outside of Canada and you are enrolled in the UBC Extended Health Plan, contact Global Excel Management immediately.

Global Excel Management will refer you to medical help and in some circumstances, will arrange for payment of your medical emergency expenses to the provider directly. If you are travelling outside of BC but within Canada (except Quebec) and need emergency medical care, present your BC CareCard/BC Services Card and the healthcare provider will bill BC’s Medical Services Plan. If you are travelling in Quebec, you will probably be required to pay for your medical services and seek reimbursement later from MSP. You can also contact Global Excel Management if you require help.

Effective July 1, 2023, UBC's new Emergency Travel Assistance (ETA) provider for faculty and staff enrolled in the extended health plan will be Global Excel Management (GEM). GEM replaces the current provider, Allianz Global Assistance (Allianz) as they will no longer be providing out-of-province emergency travel assistance.

For more information see Our Emergency Travel provider is changing

What is a medical emergency?

A medical emergency is an acute illness or accidental injury that requires immediate, medically necessary treatment prescribed by a doctor. This could include:

  • a sudden, unexpected injury;
  • an acute episode of a medical condition that was not identified or being treated before you left BC; or
  • an unexpected and unforeseen acute episode of a previously identified medical condition that was stable and controlled when you left BC.

What do I do in an emergency medical situation?

If you are in an emergency medical situation while travelling outside of Canada, call Global Excel Management immediately.

GEM’s operations centre is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

In the USA and Canada, call: 1-800-511-4610
Elsewhere, call: 1-519-514-0351 (call collect through an international operator)
Fax: 1-519-514-0374

24/7 assistance http://www.globalexcel.com/sunlife

If you cannot contact GEM before receiving medical care, be sure to call them as soon as possible afterwards. Your payment for medical expenses may be denied or limited if you significantly delay in calling GEM. More importantly, all invasive and investigative procedures, including any surgery, angiogram, MRI, PET scan, or CAT scan, must be pre-authorized by GEM – except in extreme circumstances where emergency surgery must be performed immediately after admission to a hospital.

GEM will manage your case and if possible, will arrange for payment of your medical emergency expenses to the provider directly. Physicians and hospitals can also call to confirm benefits and arrange direct payment.

If you do not contact GEM before seeking medical help, any expenses you must pay in order to submit the claim (such as fees for obtaining medical records, translation expenses, etc.) are your responsibility.

What information do I need to provide Global Excel Management?

Give Global Excel Management the following information:

  • Your name or, if your dependent is the one needing assistance, your dependent’s name.
  • Your current location, including city, state and country.
  • Where you are calling from (e.g., hotel/residence, hospital, physician’s office).
  • Your current phone number (e.g., at your hospital, the nursing station nearest you, hotel) so that GEM can get in touch with you. Give details of your hotel name, phone number, and room information in case GEM needs to leave messages.
  • Your UBC benefit plan contract number – 025205.
  • Your UBC benefit plan member ID number – your seven-digit UBC employee ID number.
  • description of the situation.

What emergency services are provided by Global Excel Management?

Global Excel Management provides emergency travel assistance services that include:

  • referring you to a medical facility, physician or pharmacist,
  • confirming your coverage and benefits,
  • facilitating payments to a hospital or medical provider, whenever possible,;
  • monitoring the medical situation if you are hospitalized, and
  • overseeing your transfer to a different hospital or treatment facility, or transport home if it is determined to be safe to do so.

What costs are covered?

Eligible medical expenses as a result of a medical emergency may include the following:

  • services and supplies while in hospital, including a semi-private hospital room,
  • out-patient and physicians’ services and
  • licensed ground or air ambulance service to the nearest hospital equipped to provide the required treatment.

Global Excel Management will also cover the cost of:

  • hotel accommodation and meals, if your return trip is delayed by a medical emergency involving you or another person travelling with you who is also covered under your plan;
  • replacement of transportation tickets, if you lose the use of your return ticket due to a medical emergency;
  • safe return home of any unattended dependent children, if you are hospitalized;
  • a visit by a family member, if you are travelling without a relative and are hospitalized for more than seven consecutive days;
  • the return of your personal or rented car, if you are unable to drive;
  • arrangements for replacing lost or stolen travel documents and luggage;
  • translation services to help you communicate with local medical personnel;
  • sending urgent messages to your home, business or other location; and
  • return of remains to BC, in the event of death.

While these services are typically utilized in emergency situations while travelling outside of Canada, they can also be used within Canada if an emergency situation arises when you are travelling in Canada, outside of BC. You are covered for a period of 365 days of absence per trip. If you are hospitalized during this period as a result of a medical emergency, in-patient services are covered for up to 90 days.

What if I need emergency dental care?

If you receive emergency dental care while outside BC or Canada, your UBC Dental Plan will cover costs based on the terms of the plan up to the BC Dental Association Fee Guide limits in Canadian funds. All receipts must be translated into English, and amounts for procedures will be converted to Canadian funds. Submit your claim when you return home using a paper dental claim form. If your claim was a result of a dental accident, use the Emergency Travel Medical Claim form.

How does Sun Life determine when a medical emergency is over?

An emergency ends when you or your family member is medically stable and therefore able to return to BC. If you choose not to return to BC, you will not be reimbursed for any further expenses.


The benefits information on this website is provided as a descriptive summary only. While the University has endeavored to accurately reflect its benefit programs, policies and plans, the information on this website does not create any contractual or other rights between the University and its faculty and staff members. To the extent that there are any conflicts or discrepancies between the benefits information on this website and the benefit plan documents (including group insurance contracts and benefit booklets) or any applicable collective agreement, employment agreement, or UBC policy, the benefit plan documents and collective agreement, employment agreement, or UBC policy will govern in all cases.

UBC Crest The official logo of the University of British Columbia. Urgent Message An exclamation mark in a speech bubble. Caret An arrowhead indicating direction. Arrow An arrow indicating direction. Arrow in Circle An arrow indicating direction. Arrow in Circle An arrow indicating direction. Time A clock. Chats Two speech clouds. E-commerce Cart A shopping cart. Facebook The logo for the Facebook social media service. Home A house in silhouette. Information The letter 'i' in a circle. Instagram The logo for the Instagram social media service. Linkedin The logo for the LinkedIn social media service. Location Pin A map location pin. Locked A locked padlock. Mail An envelope. Menu Three horizontal lines indicating a menu. Minus A minus sign. Pencil A pencil indicating that this is editable. Telephone An antique telephone. Play A media play button. Plus A plus symbol indicating more or the ability to add. Search A magnifying glass. Settings A single gear. Speech Bubble A speech bubble. Star An outline of a star. Twitter The logo for the Twitter social media service. Unlocked An unlocked padlock. User A silhouette of a person. Vimeo The logo for the Vimeo video sharing service. Youtube The logo for the YouTube video sharing service.