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.
2 questions to ask
- Are there maximum dollar limits on your coverage?
- Do you have a pre-existing condition that may not be covered?