Visitors to Canada Need Health Insurance

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From far and wide, people are travelling to Canada! Make sure your friends and relatives have their travel insurance in place when they visit!

According to Statistics Canada, Canada is welcoming more than 31 million travellers from abroad every year! Whether they are visiting from the U.S., Europe or Asia, it’s important the visitors know that although Canada’s healthcare system pays for physician and hospital care for residents, it does not extend those same benefits to visitors.

All visitors should get health insurance to cover any medical costs before coming to Canada.

But I’m covered by my home country, right?

Don’t let your guests assume their home country healthcare coverage will pay for costs if they have an unexpected illness or accident while in Canada. Here are a few facts:

  • United States
    U.S. citizens with Original Medicare are generally not covered out of country. Those with private health insurance may have some coverage for care needed to treat an emergency, but will usually have to pay out of pocket and then submit for reimbursement after they return home. Visitors should make sure they understand the specifics of what is covered.
  • United Kingdom
    Canada is not part of the European Economic Area (EEA) and does not have a reciprocal healthcare agreement as a non-EEA country. That means healthcare costs incurred in Canada will not be covered by the National Health System (NHS) and having travel medical insurance in place during your trip is vital.
  • China
    Citizens covered by the New Rural Co-Operative Medical Care System (NRCMCS) and residents of urban areas are not provided free healthcare while travelling abroad, and must either pay for treatment or purchase travel medical health insurance.

Remember to have your visitor check with their home country if they are covered for any healthcare costs for the time they plan on being away from home.

But healthcare in Canada isn’t that expensive… is it?

Just like any other country, costs for medical treatment in Canada can be pretty shocking.

According to the Queensway Carleton Hospital’s website, day surgery for a non-Canadian resident costs almost $4,500, and the cost of a ward room per day is $3,000! An emergency visit costs $930. Most visits to the hospital involve several different treatments and a single visit could ruin a person financially. A simple accident resulting in a broken leg could end up costing well over $6,000 — and that does not include follow-up treatment.

What will travel medical insurance in Canada cover?

To avoid an enormous medical bill in Canada, purchase travel medical insurance as an economical safeguard that can cover

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

Each plan available is a little different, so a visitor should make a choice based on what’s best for them. The rates are calculated based on the applicant’s age, the ages of others who will be covered under the plan and the amount of coverage they wish to purchase and the number of days that will be covered.

Can I help my visitors get travel insurance?

Yes! Call SBIS today and be sure to read these great tips for more information selecting travel medical insurance. There are a variety of plans available to meet the emergency medical insurance needs of visitors to Canada. Insurance options can cover a large or small group for an extended or short period. So talk to one of our experts for help planning the coverage today! And we hope you enjoy your time together.


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