Visitors to Canada Emergency Medical Insurance

The plan for visitors to Canada, Super Visa applicants, landed immigrants and returning Canadians

If you suffer an unexpected illness or accidental injury while visiting Canada, the medical benefits of the Visitors to Canada plan will ensure that you have peace of mind and are well protected.

What you need to know

The available in Canada plans usually cover expenses related to the medical attention you need if a medical emergency begins unexpectedly after your effective date of insurance. (An example of a non-emergency symptom that might not be covered could be a mild eczema – it might require medical attention in the future, but not immediately.)

The plans would usually cover medical consultations, treatment/procedures and surgery, prescribed medications, required medical tests, hospital stay, paramedical services from licensed practitioners, ambulance transportation. In most cases surgeries/procedures and the more expensive tests like MRI, CT-scan, ultrasound must be authorized by the insurer.

Most plans offer limited coverage for emergency dental services.

Other covered expenses would be related to meals, hotel, phone calls, taxi, childcare, bringing someone to your bedside, and returning you home if your medical situation requires it (this means the insurer might insist that you leave Canada prematurely to seek medical attention in your country of origin). Death related expenses might also be covered.

Covered expenses and benefits are subject to the policy’s exclusions and limitations and your deductible amount.

We strongly advise that you read your policy for the full list of covered expenses and pay extra attention to the limitations and exclusions section.

All insurance companies have eligibility requirements that are clearly listed in the first pages of the insurance contract. In most cases, people diagnosed with terminal illness, people on dialysis or on oxygen treatment, people that have been advised by their physician not to travel, are not eligible for medical insurance. Some insurers will also ask you to complete a medical questionnaire to satisfy their eligibility requirements.

Insurers offer the Visitors to Canada plans with a limit to the amount of covered expenses. You can chose the limit mount at the time of purchase. The offered limit amounts are usually $10,000, $25,000, $50,000, $100,000, $150,000 and $300,000.

If you buy a plan with a limit amount of $25,000 and you end up with a medical bill of $70,000 of covered by the plan expenses, the insurer will only pay $25,000.

As per the Canadian Institute for Health Information, the 2021 average cost of a Standard Hospital Stay in Canada was $7,619, varying from around $6,500 in New Brunswick to almost $13,000 in the Northwest Territories. That means a week in the hospital would generate a $50,000 to $100,000 bill.

Most insurers offer two plans – a cheaper one that does not cover pre-existing conditions and a more expensive one that would cover pre-existing conditions with some limitations related to the stability and the type of the condition.

Opening the claim file happen BEFORE you use medical services. Most insurers require that you call before using medical services. If you fail to do so, they would cover only 75% or 80% (varies by insurer) of the incurred expenses up to the purchased maximum amount. Calling the insurer before using medical services minimizes frauds on claims and keeps the cost of insurance down. The information you would be asked to provide when you call is the name of the insured, the policy number and a general description of the symptoms.

Most insurers are ready to pay directly your expenses as long as the medical service provider has the proper accounting setup to deal directly with the insurer. In most hospitals, you would need to pay out of pocket for the initial file opening and the emergency registration fee and then get reimbursed. If you need to be admitted to the hospital, chances are that the insurer and the hospital would be able to manage payments together.

Most walk-in clinics, dentists, laboratories, pharmacies would ask you to pay. Then you can submit your expenses to the insurer to get reimbursed.

You can cancel a plan before your arrival to Canada. Some insurance companies would charge you a cancellation fee, which for the Super-Visa plan can be around $150. Once you are in Canada, you cannot cancel the plan you purchased.

You can modify the start date and expiry date of your coverage if you contact the insurer before the s

If you leave Canada earlier than planned and you have no claims, you can request a reimbursement for the time you are insured, but would not be in Canada. To do so, you would be asked to provide a copy of your boarding pass as proof of departure.

You can also request a reimbursement if you obtain a provincial medical insurance before the expiry of your plan.

You can extend your insurance before its expiry if you are in good health and you have no claims.

You cannot change the amount of insurance of the plan.

Most insurers would cover you during your trips as long as the time of travel is within the effective and expiry date of the policy.

If you purchase a policy with a deductible amount, you commit to pay yourself for the initial expenses on each claim up to the amount fo the deductible. If you have chosen $500 deductible, the first $500 of expenses on each claim must be covered by you. The insurance company will pay for the eligible expenses above the first $500. Taking a deductible reduces the cost of the insurance.

For longer term policies you might want to pay monthly or in a few payments. With most insurance companies, that might be possible, but only by buying a short-term policy and then extending it. By doing so, you are taking on three risks. The first one is forgetting to extend the policy once it expires. The second risk is not being allowed to extend the policy (this will occur if you have claimed on the policy or if at the time of extension you are not in good health). The third risk is paying higher rates for the extensions because of higher attained age and updated pricing.

It is advisable that you purchase a policy covering the whole length of your stay in Canada.

To satisfy the Super-Visa requirements, the coverage must be with an insurance amount of at least $100,000 and with continuation of 365 days. To reduce the cost of the coverage, you might want to look into the option of taking a higher amount of deductible.

Yes, you can cancel your medical insurance as long as can provide a proof of Super-Visa refusal. Some insurance companies will charge a small cancellation fee. If you cannot provide a refusal proof, you might still be able to cancel the medical insurance but the cancellation fee might be higher.