What to Look For With Travel Health Insurance in Canada

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A Canadian flag waves in the breeze in front of Parliament Hill.

Depending on the nature of your visit, travel health insurance for Canada can be a requirement for crossing the border. In other cases, carrying travel medical insurance in Canada is a good idea, but not a legal mandate.

Let’s take a closer look at health travel insurance for visits to Canada. We’ll cover who needs this type of insurance, key qualities of a good Canada travel health insurance policy, and more.

Does Canada Provide Health Coverage to Visitors and Guests?

The Government of Canada does not extend its universal healthcare system to those who aren’t citizens or permanent residents.

Do tourists get free healthcare in Canada? Unequivocally, the answer is no. The same is true for many other types of visitors, which we’ll explain in more detail below.

Some visitors may have an easier time accessing coverage. International students with study visas can generally secure coverage in their university’s province, for example.

However, many other visitors to Canada need to buy travel insurance, also called Visitors to Canada (VTC) Insurance. The government requires them to address the costs of an illness or injury experienced while in the country. Insurance helps those who incur high healthcare costs avoid serious financial problems.

Do I Need Health Insurance While Travelling in Canada?

When Travel Health Insurance in Canada is Mandated

Let’s strictly consider the legal requirement for visitors to have travel health insurance in Canada. There’s a clear line between those who do and don’t need to carry that coverage.

There are three groups that must provide proof of insurance coverage:

  • Visitors on work permits
  • Visitors using temporary foreign worker visas
  • Visitors holding a Super Visa

Canadian immigration and border officials will ensure you have a health insurance plan that meets relevant requirements before you enter Canada.

When Travel Health Insurance in Canada is a Good Idea

Tourists visiting Canada from their home countries generally don’t need to demonstrate proof of insurance. However, carrying emergency medical coverage is still a good idea. Without insurance, you’ll have to pay for any medical expenses incurred during your visit.

Additionally, some Canadians returning from extended stays abroad may need coverage until they are added to their province’s plan. The same is true for new permanent residents.

A view of Toronto’s skyline, including the CN Tower, during mid-day.

What Should I Look For In a Canada Travel Health Insurance Plan?

Similar to the last question we answered, there are also two ways to approach this concern:

  • The minimum requirements of a health plan for visitors who must have coverage for medical care
  • The qualities that make a travel insurance plan effective, dependable, and relevant to you

What You Need in a Required Plan

When Canada requires you to have coverage, you must align with those requirements. That makes it easy to determine which insurance options qualify.

It’s best to double-check the terms and conditions yourself. However, providers highlight certain plans that meet the insurance rules set for super visa visitors or IEC guests.

What You Need for Effective Travel Health Insurance Coverage in Canada

Even if you aren’t required to carry coverage, a travel health insurance policy can prevent serious financial issues. Medical bills can quickly add up. What should you look for when purchasing optional coverage?

Beyond the basics — protecting against unpredictable accidents and sudden-onset, serious illnesses with emergency coverage — everyone has different healthcare needs. You may be generally healthy and only require that emergency coverage. Or, you could have pre-existing conditions that need to be addressed in a travel health insurance policy.

You may want to find an insurance company that can add additional coverage. One example is a provision for medical evacuation to your home country. You may also want to choose a higher deductible to reduce the cost of your policy. That’s common for travellers in good overall health.

You’re in the best position to determine your own needs. Using a comparable quote travel insurance website can help you find the most options. You’ll have an easier time finding the Canada travel health policies that are most relevant to your needs. You can also compare similar policies to find the best quote overall.

Best Quote Travel Insurance connects you with a wide range of travel insurance providers. Whether you need coverage or simply know it’s a good idea to have it, make sure you get the best deal possible. Get a quote today!

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