The Ultimate Guide to Medical Insurance for Canadian Expats

According to the News and World Report, Canada became the second-best nation globally because of many opportunities, terrific infrastructure facilities, comprehensive health systems, and a good education system.

It is also simple to procure work permits in Canada, and approximately 200,000 foreigners come to the country every year to work.

At the same time, going out of Canada and move to another country for work is an American dream for many individuals. Unfortunately, falling sick while working in the new country might be a nightmare.

Most countries oversea provides complete public health to permanent residents and citizens. However, ex-pats with temporary work permits are not eligible to enjoy the public healthcare benefits abroad.

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How Healthcare Works

Canada’s public and free healthcare systems are generous to permanent residents and citizens. However, for ex-pats, it’s not completely free. Non-residents are expected to cover certain costs on their own.

Fortunately, ex-pats looking to make the country their permanent home may apply for and get a Medicare card once they register as a resident.

The card may take three months or so to be issued. Plus, there is a timeframe when medical insurance for expats needs to kick in. Meanwhile, you will need to supplement with private insurance and the following types of insurance:

  • Travel insurance
  • Public insurance
  • International insurance

Health Insurance for Expats

In Canada, more individuals and companies buy an extended health plan, which provides medical insurance to reimburse costs and services that provincial plans don’t cover.

These health plans normally cover prescription medicines and paramedical services, like massage, out-of-country emergency care, hearing aids, and chiropractic treatment.

Provinces in Canada also cover little to no medical costs outside the country. This means Canadians must buy travel medical insurance when leaving the country.

Ex-pats without provincial medical coverage need to get global health insurance because medical procedures may still be costly.

As an expatriate, you might want to get an ex-pat health plan that can cover medical treatments in the US due to the country’s proximity.


Who Qualifies for Medicare

Every permanent in Canada may enroll in the Medicare plan. For temporary residents, the enrollment rules will differ from one province to another and may depend on the country’s reason and duration.

If you just want to visit the country, you will not be eligible for a Medicare plan. Plus, you will be accountable for your medical expenses.

In this case, some provinces might want you to buy travel insurance as one of the visa requirements. It is vital to confirm the regulations of provinces where you want to travel.

The Best Healthcare Insurance Plans

There are many options when it comes to international health insurance for Canadians living abroad. For instance, Cigna Global Health plans are excellent options for every Canadian because of their policies and flexible design.

Cigna plans also offer a unique level of services, and you might have direct access to leading hospitals and doctors throughout the globe. Apart from Cigna, other medical insurance plans you can consider are:

  • GeoBlue
  • Aetna
  • IMG Global

Medical Insurance Costs

On average, medical premiums for Canadian families are approximately CAD$158 every month. For male individuals, insurance costs around CAD$48 every month, whereas for female individuals, it costs about CAD$81 per month.

Though, these are nothing but just averages. To determine how much private and public medical cover may cost you in the country, you can build a plan with one of the insurance providers.

Importance of Medical Insurance for Expats

An international medical insurance policy for expatriates in Canada is readily available, especially if you’re about to go and live abroad.

One obvious reason people get insurance is that you simply transfer risks to your insurer by paying premiums. The more risks you decide to take, the lower your premium.

Plus, most countries like Thailand and Italy demand ex-pats to buy international medical insurance as you will not qualify for local healthcare coverage. 

Since governments don’t want ex-pats to be a burden to their local healthcare systems, they urge ex-pats to get international medical insurance, including a policy that covers Covid-19.

Acquiring Medical Insurance Plan and Card

As the costs for healthcare continue to increase globally, Canadian expatriates must get global medical insurance so as to prevent financial risks.

Expats moving out of Canada must prioritize getting a medical insurance plan and card upon their departure. Application forms are always available online. 

All you need to complete the entire process is identification in the form of a passport or birth certificate and confirmation of a permanent resident card.

Final Remarks!

Many individuals are choosing to move abroad for retirement or employment reasons. Whichever reason you have for moving abroad, it is vital to carefully research many factors, including the cost of living, housing, and health insurance.

While doing your research, remember to refer to a handful of sites in your final destination, which feature personal articles and blogs on recommendations and practical advice.