Visit-USA Act - Canadian health coverage

Summer 2012 CSANews Issue 83  |   Posted date : Jul 05, 2012.Back to list

Bird talk - Le Jaseur
Dear bird talk,

I read with interest the articles and letters about the proposed Visit-Usa act in the spring issue of CSANews. I was wondering what the effect will be on Canadian health coverage for Canadians who would be out of Canada for more than 183 days.

I believe that, at present, the time out of the country is limited to an absence of 183 days and that being out of the country any longer can result in cancellation of coverage under the Canada health Plan. I would appreciate your comments.

Robert Wilson
Calgary, ab

Response:
Ed: There are several issues to resolve with a U.S. Snowbird Visa and CSA is already discussing the possible solutions with Canadian politicians. The first is allowable absence from your province of residence, which varies from six months in most provinces, to seven months in Ontario and up to nine months in Newfoundland and Labrador. The simple answer is to just deem a Canadian as resident even if they spend longer than six months outside of Canada, provided they have the Snowbird Visa. This would maintain their tax payable in Canada, as it should be, and minor amendments could be made to provincial health-care regulations to maintain health coverage. Lots of work to do, but this is all a very real possibility.

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