Travel Medical Insurance for Visitors to Canada

Winter 2011 CSANews Issue 81  |   Posted date : Dec 02, 2011.Back to list

Bird talk - Le Jaseur
Dear Bird Talk,

We have recently had our niece and her family visit us here in B.C., from Colorado. I was interested in what travel medical coverage cost them and how it compares to Medipac. When I asked them, they informed me that they had not taken out any travel medical insurance; since Canada has ‘socialized medicine,’ they assumed the cost (if needed) for any medical emergency would be minimal. I felt this was very naive on their part and furthermore, could end up being very costly. Without knowing for sure myself how they would be treated, I did not comment further.

If anyone knows the correct answer, I’d like to let them and any other American relatives know, so that they will make sure to take out insurance before visiting here in Canada.

Rhonda More
Armstrong, BC

Response:
Ed: It amazes us that anyone would think their medical care is FREE in another country – naive, indeed. Most Canadian hospitals have standard rates which they charge to non-residents; Canadian doctors are not limited by the government plans and can charge what they want. A typical fee would be about $2,500 per day plus doctor fees, test costs and drugs. Many U.S. programs, especially through employers, do have some coverage outside of the U.S. and your friends and relatives should check their coverage before buying.

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