Do I Need Medical Insurance to Travel to Canada?

Canadian healthcare worker holding heart in front of Canadian flag

Planning a trip to Canada to visit family or explorer the sites is no doubt exciting. But before packing your suitcase, make sure you have the right insurance in place.

Read on to learn if you need medical insurance to travel to Canada and the importance of this coverage for your upcoming visit.

Travel Health Insurance Canada

Is medical insurance required for a Canadian tourist visa? In short, it depends. While there are few cases where proof of medical insurance is required (namely for the Super Visa), visitors arriving in Canada are not required to have travel medical insurance.

However, just because medical travel insurance isn’t a requirement doesn’t mean it’s not beneficial to have. Remember that Canada does not pay for hospital or medical services for visitors. The government recommends that everyone who stays in Canada, regardless of the amount of time, should get health insurance to cover any medical costs before they visit.

Super Visa Medical Insurance

While visitors to Canada typically don’t need to show proof of medical insurance, Super Visa Insurance is the most important exception.

The so-called “Parent and Grandparent Super Visa” is a temporary resident visa that’s valid for up to ten years. It allows visitors to remain in Canada for up to two years at a time without the need to renew their visas. This makes family reunification a lot easier for travelers to come to Canada on short notice while avoiding long waiting periods.

Part of the Super Visa application includes proof of health insurance. The applicant must purchase one year of emergency health insurance from a Canadian insurance company (with a minimum of $100,000 coverage).

If you choose to extend a traditional multiple-entry visa beyond the six-month maximum stay, you may also be asked by CIC to obtain one year of insurance.

Prescription drugs in Canada are not covered by Canadian healthcare

Cost of Medical Care Without Insurance in Canada

Regardless of the length of your stay in Canada, it’s important to have medical insurance to protect yourself from the high costs associated with the Canadian medical system.

Canadian healthcare has a reputation for being affordable, however universal healthcare coverage only extends to Canadian citizens and permanent residents. Even then, many people still opt for private healthcare that includes medical coverage the universal health insurance plan doesn’t cover.

Remember that your American health insurance plan will not cover the cost of medical expenses in Canada unless it provides global coverage. In most cases, you will have to pay for health care services out of pocket.

Medical services in Canada are still relatively expensive and vary by province. You should expect to pay $100-600 to see a doctor during the day, but this could double at night. This fee would not cover any emergency medical treatment or prescription drugs. Other emergency treatment, like a hospital stay, can cost you upwards of $10,000 per day.

Luckily, Canadian health insurance for non-residents is available from a variety of different insurance providers. Easily compare plans today with help from BestQuote to find travel health insurance for your upcoming trip to Canada.

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