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Health Insurance for Visitors to Canada

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When you live far away from friends and family, it’s nice to be able to visit with them from time to time. It’s common knowledge that purchasing travel insurance for yourself when leaving the country is the smart thing to do, but many don’t know that people can apply to have insurance while visiting you here in Canada.

If you have loved ones who live outside Canada, they may not have access to insurance coverage for medical emergencies. Your provincial plan only covers residents, and wouldn’t pay any expenses for visitors to the country. Depending on where they’re from, their own country may not provide adequate coverage for their medical services.

Likewise, even if your guests are Canadian but from a different province, they may not have the same level of coverage provided in yours. Hopefully the visit is incident-free, but what if? Your loved ones need health insurance coverage, just in case.

It’s no secret that medical fees are high everywhere you go. We all want and deserve the best care, and that comes with a price tag if you don’t have insurance. What happens if someone gets hurt? They’ll be billed hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in medical fees if they aren’t insured.

When you think about it, that’s a very sad story that doesn’t have to happen in the first place. Travelling to see family should be a time of happiness and togetherness. With medical insurance for travelling to Canada, your loved ones can have peace of mind, knowing they are taken care of.

Benefits of Emergency Health Insurance

As residents of Canada, we don’t often think about the actual price of medical services because we typically receive treatment and walk out without paying a dime. If you actually look at the medical costs, it’s pretty shocking.

According to the Queensway Carleton Hospital’s website, day surgery for a non-Canadian resident costs $2,330. The cost of a ward room per day is $2900… that’s just for a ward! An emergency visit costs $930. Most visits to the hospital involve several different treatments and a single visit could ruin a person financially.

If you have family or friends from outside the country coming to visit you, be sure to let them know that it would be in their best interest to purchase a health insurance plan for their visit. The last thing they need is an enormous medical bill to deal with after they return home!

Uh Oh! What Do We Do?

Let’s pretend you have a cousin visiting you from Europe and she doesn’t have any travel insurance. She arrives and everything is going great until she falls on the sidewalk and breaks her ankle. An ambulance takes her to the hospital where she gets an examination, an x-ray, a cast fitted, crutches, and prescribed medication.

ambulance vehicle parked outside of hospital emergency department

How much do you think that would cost in Canada? To an uninsured non-resident, you’re looking at thousands of dollars for several hours of medical attention. If your cousin had an insurance plan, she would only have to pay whatever remaining fees there may be after her plan covered the majority of the bill.

Those fees are too much of a risk to not buy a plan. If your visitors aren’t already aware of travel insurance, be sure to pass the message along to them. They will thank you for it.

What’s Covered?

Depending on their needs, emergency health insurance can be chosen for either single or family coverage. Every plan is different, but most plans will cover the basics, which are

  • Physician service fees
  • Hospitalization
  • X-rays and lab tests
  • Prescribed medication
  • Emergency dental services (relief of dental pain)

An insurance broker can help find the perfect plan for those visiting friends and family in Canada. There are many options to choose from, all with the purpose of preventing financial ruin.

How Does it Work?

If your visitor purchases an emergency health insurance plan, they will not have to pay for emergency medical treatment.

When your visitor is choosing a plan, they can see the differences and make a choice based on what’s best for them. The rates are calculated based on the applicant’s age, as well as the ages of others who will be covered under the plan, and the amount of coverage they wish to purchase.

When You’re Leaving Canada

Similarly, when you’re travelling outside of Canada, your provincial plan will not be much help to you. Your provincial plan is usually very minimal.

If something happens to you or you get sick while travelling, you won’t want to deal with a financial headache on top of everything else.

The best thing for you to do is to purchase a travel insurance plan that will cover emergency health services. Depending on your needs and whether there are other members of your family requiring coverage, you have many options to choose from that will meet your needs..

Obtaining Emergency Health Insurance

When planning a trip, most people tend to focus on the specifics of where they’re going to go and what they’re going to see. They don’t necessarily put much thought into purchasing an insurance plan. For this very reason, you should get in contact with a customer service representative on your relative’s behalf prior to their arrival.

He or she will be able to answer any questions and make recommendations on the best plans to purchase according to the needs of the travellers. When your visitors arrive, focus on their comfort and having a great time together. Don’t worry about the what ifs…after all, that’s exactly what insurance is for!

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