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HomeTravel Insurance ResourcesDo Visitors to Canada Need Health Insurance?

When you are visiting outside of your home country anywhere in the world you should always purchase health insurance. Visitors to Canada do need to purchase private health insurance as they are not entitled to the free healthcare that Canada provides to its residents and Canadian citizens. Health care in Canada can be very expensive, so you need to ensure you have sufficient coverage to protect yourself and your family when visiting Canada.

Benefits of Purchasing Private Health Insurance Prior to Visiting Canada

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When you are planning a trip to Canada, it is recommended that you purchase health insurance prior to your arrival in Canada. There are many benefits to buying it prior to your trip such as:

  • Time to shop around for the best coverage and best rates
  • Time to speak with a health insurance provider to see what your insurance needs are
  • Avoids coverage delays upon arrival in Canada
  • Peace of mind while traveling to and visiting Canada
  • You will have full coverage for unexpected illnesses or accidents while visiting Canada

Who Requires Health Insurance When Visiting Canada?

Passport Visas

The following individuals should have private medical in place until their Government medical coverage take effect

  • Super Visa Applicants
  • Foreign Volunteers
  • Professional Sports Teams
  • Foreign Celebrities

Anyone that is not a permanent resident of Canada or a Canadian Citizen should purchase medical insurance when visiting Canada.

Why Should I Have Medical Insurance When Visiting Canada?

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The following should have insurance when visiting Canada:

  • Foreign Visitors
  • Foreign Students
  • Foreign Workers
  • Canadians returning to Canada that have a w

There are many reasons you should purchase medical insurance when visiting Canada. Your home country insurance plan may not cover you for medical expenses while you are out of your home country. Your home country’s insurance plan may not be adequate enough to protect you while traveling to Canada.

Anything can happen when you are traveling in Canada, unexpected illnesses or accidents can take place, and you need to know you are fully covered while receiving the medical attention and care you need. Medical care in Canada is very expensive if you do not have proper medical insurance coverage.

Ensuring you have adequate medical coverage avoids medical expenses that could amount to thousands of dollars. Purchasing medical insurance for visiting Canada provides you with peace of mind so you can enjoy your visit without this unnecessary worry. If you are applying for a Super Visa, one of the requirements is that you must have private medical insurance coverage to be in Canada.

What Kind of Medical Insurance Coverage Should I Have When Visiting Canada?

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When you are visiting Canada, you want to make sure you have adequate coverage to protect yourself from expensive medical bills in the event you get sick or suffer an accident during your stay. There are variables that must be considered when purchasing visitors to Canada’s medical insurance policy. Some of these variables to be taken into consideration are:

It is recommended that you purchase medical insurance coverage for the following:

  • Emergency Transportation
  • Hospitalization
  • Outpatient Services
  • Physician and Surgeon Services
  • Other Medical Professional Services (Chiropractor, Physiotherapist, etc.)
  • Nursing Care
  • Diagnostic Tests
  • Laboratory Tests
  • Prescription Drugs
  • Dental Emergency Services
  • Accidental Dental Services
  • Maternity
  • Medical Appliances
  • Meals and Accommodation
  • Repatriation to Residence
  • Return of Travel Companion
  • Out of Pocket Expenses
  • 24/7 Assistance Line
  • Trip Break
  • Side Trips
  • Subsistence Allowance
  • Funeral
  • Return of the Deceased
  • Flight Accident

What is Repatriation to Residence?

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Under a medical insurance plan, repatriation to residence means the return transportation of the insured person’s remains to their home country, their permanent residence, in the event they suffer a covered injury or illness which causes death.

Why Should I Choose A Canadian Insurance Company to Purchase My Visitors to Canada Health Insurance?

When you choose to purchase your visitors to Canada health insurance from a Canadian insurance company, the claims process is much smoother. This is due to the fact that healthcare providers and healthcare facilities have a good working relationship, and a lot of time is saved, validating and monitoring the medical care you are receiving.

Many Canadian insurance companies offer direct billing, which also expedites the claims process. When you purchase Visitors to Canada health insurance from your home country, in the event something happens where you require medical attention, you may have to pay upfront first.

Then once you return home, start the claims process for reimbursement which could take a long time. To apply for a Super Visa, you must purchase medical insurance from a Canadian Insurance Company.

What Visitors to Canada Health Insurance Requirements are Involved With a Super Visa?

When you have a family member who is Canadian Citizens and permanent residents living in Canada, and you make frequent, long trips to visit, a Super Visa is the best route to take.

A Super Visa can be valid for up to 10 years. With a Super Visa, you can stay in Canada for up to 2 years and can apply for an extension.

  • When you apply for a Super Visa, there are certain medical insurance requirements you must meet.
  • You must be insured for at least $100,000, which is issued by a Canadian insurance company.
  • The insurance plan must be valid for at least 365 days with no expiry date exclusion.
  • You should have a plan that covers returning to your home country without having to cancel your coverage.

Super Visas were first introduced in Canada in 2011. This was to alleviate the large quantity of backlog of applications for visitors who were requesting longer stays in Canada.


So, the answer to the question do visitors to Canada need health insurance, the simple answer is yes. If you do not have visitors to Canada medical insurance coverage, you could end up with extremely high medical expense fees that you may not be able to afford.

For peace of mind, while visiting Canada, it is best to purchase medical insurance before your visit. Purchasing visitors to Canada medical insurance from a Canadian Insurance Company will provide you with a much quicker claims process in the event you become ill or suffer an injury during your stay.

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