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Out-of-country travel medical insurance

Your provincial health plan may not cover out-of-country medical expenses, so be sure you have private coverage before you travel.

​Your provincial health coverage will likely not cover the cost of emergency medical care that you receive outside Canada. Emergency out-of-country medical insurance can cover the significant costs of medical services if an illness or accident occurs.

You may already have this coverage through:

  • a workplace group benefits plan, or
  • a premium credit card that you use to book your travel.

If you are not covered by either of these, you can buy out-of-country medical insurance from most insurance companies or through bank branches.

2 things to watch for

1. Dollar limits

Some coverages – especially those offered through a credit card – have a dollar limit. The amount may be too low for your needs. For example, a $100,000 limit on medical expenses may be enough for most situations. But if you and other family members are in a car accident and are hospitalized for an extended period, your medical bill could be far higher. If you have any doubts, consider buying additional protection from a private insurer.

2. Pre-existing conditions

Check with the insurance company about coverage for an existing condition. For example, you may not be covered:

  • if you have a pre-existing medical condition that is not stable before you travel, and
  • that condition causes you to seek medical treatment while abroad.