Living in Canada comes with the advantage of having access to universal health care that covers a large portion of your medical expenses in the event of illness or accident. However, it’s important to note that this coverage is not immediately available to new immigrants or Canadians returning to Canada after an extended period abroad. Fortunately, there are insurance solutions specifically designed to provide all the coverage you need as soon as you arrive.
How do I become eligible for government-funded health insurance?
If you are a newcomer to Canada, you must register for the government health insurance plan in your new province. For example, residents of Ontario must apply through the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP). The same procedure applies to both immigrants to Canada and Canadian expatriates returning home.
It is important to complete the registration after your arrival. Keep in mind that there may be a waiting period before you receive your health insurance card, so we recommend that you send in your application as soon as possible. You can find detailed information on the application procedure on your province’s website.
Why do I need health insurance?
Many people don’t realize the potential financial burden associated with medical treatment at a clinic or hospital after a medical emergency in the absence of coverage. Without health insurance, you are responsible for all medical costs related to accidents, injuries and sudden illnesses. Medical bills can skyrocket and you’ll have to pay for these expenses out of your pocket.
For this reason, the Canadian government recommends that newcomers purchase private health insurance while waiting to become eligible for their provincial health insurance plan. Your insurance plan must provide coverage for medical expenses and emergency costs.
Until my provincial health insurance plan is available, what type of insurance do I need?
Visitors to Canada insurance provided by Ontario Blue Cross covers emergency medical and dental care as well as hospitalization fees before your provincial health insurance coverage takes effect.
Originally designed for tourists travelling to Canada, this plan also meets your needs if you are:
- A new immigrant to Canada: The insurance plan offers the necessary coverage during the waiting period for the provincial health insurance card.
- An international student or foreign worker: If you are a student or worker from overseas, your health insurance plan will cover your emergency medical expenses during your stay in Canada.
- A Canadian returning home after a long absence: If you are a Canadian expatriate, you can rely on this insurance plan to ensure coverage during the waiting period for your provincial health insurance.
- A Super visa applicant: Health insurance coverage is essential while visiting family or grandchildren in Canada.
Once I’ve received my health insurance card, do I need additional coverage?
Although your provincial health insurance plan will cover many medical expenses in the event of accident or illness, it is important to note that not all medical expenses are covered. Some examples include:
- Certain prescription drugs
- Dental care
- Eye exams
- Services provided by specific health care professionals such as physiotherapist, chiropractor, massage therapist, etc.
To address these gaps in coverage, it is important for Canadians to purchase private supplemental health insurance to ensure that all additional expenses that are not covered by the provincial plan are taken care of.
In conclusion, while Canada offers universal health care coverage, it is important to understand the eligibility process and potential waiting periods involved. By obtaining appropriate coverage, such as Visitors to Canada insurance, you can ensure that you have access to necessary medical services and alleviate the financial risks associated with accidents or illnesses. Don’t hesitate to explore insurance options and secure your well-being during your time in Canada.