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HomeTravel Insurance ResourcesDo Visitors To Canada Get Free Health Care?

Canada has excellent healthcare professionals, hospitals, and medical facilities. However, as a visitor to Canada, if you do not have travel medical coverage purchased from your home country, you could find yourself with some very hefty medical bills. Canadian residents are very fortunate to have free basic healthcare coverage. Unfortunately, visitors to Canada do not qualify for this free coverage.

What Should I Know About Obtaining Medical Insurance While Visiting Canada?

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Anything can happen while traveling to and in Canada. Things that we cannot predict can happen, whether it is a sudden illness or an accident that requires medical care. This is why it is so important to protect yourself from exorbitant, and unaffordable medical bills by purchasing medical travel insurance.

Whether you are traveling to Canada for school, work, business, or pleasure, it is important to make sure you are well protected for your trip to Canada. Obtaining insurance as a visitor to Canada provides you with medical and dental coverage during your stay in Canada in the event of an accident or illness.

You should choose a travel insurance company that has travel assistance available to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Who Should Buy Travellers Medical and Dental Insurance While Visiting Canada?

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There are several reasons you may be traveling to Canada. For example,

  • You may choose to come to Canada on a vacation to tour the many beautiful luxuries Canada has to offer.  Many exchange students come to Canada for educational purposes and to learn the English language.
  • When your home country is short on employment, you may choose to come to Canada on a work permit.
  • You may have Canadian permanent resident children and grandchildren you would like to visit frequently and enjoy longer stays.
  • These individuals normally apply for a Super Visa.
  • Perhaps you are a Canadian returning to Canada and are waiting for your Provincial Health Insurance coverage to take effect.
  • People that are immigrating to Canada are not yet covered by a provincial health care plan.

Whatever the reason is that you are visiting or coming to Canada, it is very important to obtain medical and dental coverage that is sufficient and will provide coverage during your entire stay.

What Type of Medical Coverage Will I Need, When Visiting Canada?

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Most insurance companies offer different levels of coverage. Some of these types include $50,000, $100,000 or $150,000 of coverage. Most options include:

  • Doctors fees
  • Prescription Drugs
  • Hospitalization Fees
  • Physiotherapy Fees
  • Chiropractic Fees
  • Osteopathy Fees
  • Podiatry Fees
  • Emergency repatriation to home country with a medical escort
  • Emergency Dental Fees
  • Accommodation and meals for delayed return to the home country due to a medical emergency
  • Transportation of Family or Friend
  • Out of Pocket Expenses
  • Return of Deceased

To determine which plan is best for you, speak to your insurance broker as they are professionals in the field.

When Would I Need to Purchase Extra Coverage?

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If you have a pre-existing medical condition, you may have to purchase additional coverage depending on your age and what your medical issues are.

Insurance companies vary on the types of options available to you. Standard medical insurance does not cover high-risk sports and activities.

You will need to purchase additional coverage if you plan on participating in any high-risk activities, such as skydiving, windsurfing, white water rafting, and many other high-risk activities.

Advantages of Buying Medical Travel Insurance Online

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There are many advantages to buying Medical Travel insurance online. When you visit a website that does your comparison shopping for you, it makes it so easy. Many of the websites offering to find you the best quote have access to discount visitors’ insurance plans.

Tips for Buying Medical Travel Insurance

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  • Always ensure you purchase your travel medical insurance prior to arriving in Canada. This will help to avoid any delays, or gaps in the waiting period for coverage.
  • To lower the cost of the plan, ask for a lower deductible.
  • When traveling as a couple, it is a wise idea to have separate insurance policies, unless a companion discount is offered.
  • Shop around for the best coverage at a great rate.

Benefits of Buying Visitors Travel Medical Insurance With a Canadian Insurance Company

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  • There are many benefits to buying medical and dental coverage from a Canadian Insurance company.
  • Many medical providers in Canada prefer to deal with Canadian insurance companies for conveniences of their own.
  • For one, there is direct billing between many of the hospitals and Canadian insurance companies.
  • In the event, direct billing is not available, and you have to pay upfront, the claims process in Canada would be much faster as they can more quickly verify Canadian medical expenses. Therefore you would be reimbursed much quicker.
  • Canadian regulators have some of the highest standards in the world.
  • Canadian Insurance companies are also re-insured by Assuris. Assuris is a Canadian Government Agency that protects the policy owner from an insurance company that becomes insolvent. Assuris will pay up to $60,000 for medical expenses should this happen.

Do I Have to Purchase My Own Travel Medical Insurance?


Anyone has the ability to purchase travel medical insurance for anyone else. If you have family members in Canada, you will be visiting they can actually purchase a travel medical insurance policy for you. If you are obtaining employment in Canada as a Nanny, your employer should purchase Nanny Insurance for you until you become eligible for Provincial healthcare.

Is a Medical Exam Required Prior to Purchasing Travel Medical Insurance?

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There is no medical exam required to purchase Visitors to Canada Travel Insurance. However, there are several medical questions on the application that must be answered honestly to avoid the non-coverage of medical fees.

What If I Decide to Stay Longer in Canada?

Woman Hike Canadian Lake

Most insurance companies will offer extensions to your visitors’ travel to Canada coverage. Make sure you call your insurance company prior to the expiration of your visitors’ travel to Canada coverage.

What if I Leave Canada for Short Periods While Visiting Canada

Most insurance policies will cover short stays outside of Canada, as long as the majority of your visit is in Canada. To be sure about this type of coverage talk to your insurance company.

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