How Much Does Your Provincial Health Plan Cover When You Travel Outside of Canada?

As Canadians, we don’t really need to think about healthcare costs—we’re fortunate to have provincial healthcare plans. But how much does healthcare cost outside of Canada?   

Did you know that many service costs like ER fees, ambulance rides, air evacuations and prescription drugs are not covered? Radiology and lab charges are also only minimally covered. In fact, provincial health care coverage pays for less than 10% of total out-of-country medical expenses. We’ve put together a handy guide so you can check out what some provinces cover for these types of medical costs: 

Real-life traveller story demonstrates the value of travel insurance

The peace of mind you get with emergency medical travel insurance is simply invaluable. While we might be used to free healthcare in Canada, remember that medical expenses abroad often cost thousands of dollars and will likely require you to pay out-of-pocket. For a real-life example, read Kate’s “Real-Life Family Story | Travel Insurance Claim Experience”; her provincial healthcare plan covered less than $4,000, while TuGo covered over $190,000!  

As always, when purchasing travel insurance, it’s best to check in with your local insurance broker. And be sure to review your policy to understand the coverage you’ve purchased. As for you snowbirds or long-term travel readers, you should also find out how long you can stay away, to still be eligible for provincial healthcare benefits.   

Happy travels,

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in August 2017 and has been updated for freshness and/or accuracy.  

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