Why visitors to Canada need travel insurance

Millions of people visit Canada each year. Some of them are family members, friends and even business colleagues, and they come for a variety of reasons. Whether they stay for a few days or a few months, it’s important that visitors to Canada get travel insurance.

Just as you would be stuck with the bill if you required medical treatment while travelling to the US or another foreign country, visitors to Canada are required to pay out of pocket for medical expenses if they don’t have travel insurance when they’re in Canada.

Let’s put things into perspective. A report by the Canadian Institute for Health Information based on 2.4 million recorded hospital stays found that the average cost per patient for a stay in a Canadian hospital is approximately $7,000, with a wide variation in cost by medical condition:

The study focused on the cost of treating those patients admitted to hospital for at least one night and does not include the cost of emergency care, day surgery, long-term care, hospital clinics or fee-for-service payments to physicians.”

Most international travellers cannot afford thousands of dollars in medical bills, which is why anyone planning to visit Canada should explore their options for emergency medical travel insurance coverage before coming into the country.

Similar to a standard travel insurance policy that you would get for a vacation, travel insurance for visitors to Canada would include coverage for emergency medical treatment, emergency transportation and prescription drugs needed because of a medical emergency, as well as other standard travel insurance coverage options.

The cost of travel insurance for Canadian visitors varies depending on the traveller’s age and current medical needs, and the details of the trip. Get a travel insurance quote or learn more about Blue Cross travel insurance for visitors to Canada.

What if you are a Canadian travelling to another province?

Many Canadians don’t think twice about travel insurance when they plan a trip within the country. Most assume their provincial health insurance plan will cover them if they travel to another province. This is mostly true, but your provincial health insurance plan does not fully cover you when you travel to other provinces.

There are a number of important things you need to know about travel insurance and travelling out of province. Without travel insurance:

  • Provincial health insurance covers only some of the costs: Your provincial health insurance plan will most likely cover you for the basics, such as a doctor or hospital visit to treat a minor illness, but you may have to pay out of pocket for costs that go beyond your coverage, such as dental emergencies, medical supplies or prescriptions.
  • Provincial health insurance plans vary: Each province has its own list of covered benefits. One province may limit what prescriptions are covered, and another may not cover air ambulance. When you purchase travel insurance, if an emergency situation arises, you will have access to transportation to get home for the medical care and medication you need.
  • You may have to pay for treatment up front: Depending on where you travel, paying for medical treatment up front and being reimbursed later may be your only option. If you have travel insurance, you will be able to coordinate a payment within a reasonable time frame, saving you the upfront costs.

Before you leave for your next fishing trip up north, cross-country road trip or a trip to the East Coast to visit your family, travel worry-free by getting a travel insurance plan with Blue Cross, so you can enjoy your trip with the peace of mind in knowing we have you covered.