Picture of a black and white stethoscope on table

Health Care in Canada

All citizens and permanent residents are eligible for public health insurance, which covers most medical issues. Newcomers to Canada, however, may not have the same access to services.

The Canada Health Act says all insured persons are entitled to the insured benefits offered within that province. “Insured persons” are lawful residents who have lived in the province for three months and live there for at least 183 days a year. Tourists, visitors, and “transients” are excluded.

For newcomers, the level of coverage depends on your immigration status. Generally speaking though, immigrants have limited access to free medical care and will likely have to pay for some treatments or insurance.

The provinces and territories offer free emergency medical services, but some restrictions may apply.

Refugees are eligible for care under the Interim Federal Health Program, which provides limited benefits to protected persons who are otherwise not eligible for provincial or territorial plans. It includes doctor and hospital visits, immunizations and pre- and postnatal care.

Temporary foreign workers working in Canada should have insurance provided by their employer.

Extended Health Plan

An extended health insurance for Canadians is designed as a supplementary medical plan to fill the gaps your Provincial medical care policy does not cover. In order to apply for such coverage your Provincial medical insurance must be currently active.

Unfortunately, not every Canadian is covered by their employer’s health plan. So many foreign workers and their family members are vulnerable to health care expenses that are not covered by the provincial medical insurance plan. Such costs include dentist’s visits, prescription drugs as well as other personal health care expenses associated with a certain condition that is not covered by the province. Consequently, it leads to a huge medical bill, which, hopefully, can be avoided with an extended Canadian health insurance supplement.

A dentist chair in a brightly lit room

Canadian Insurance companies that we are working with offer a great variety of individual Canadian health insurance plans, so you can select the type of benefits and level of coverage that suit you, your family and your budget.

Benefits of Getting an Extended Health Care Plan

  • Flexible, affordable health insurance for Canadians

Understanding that different individuals have their own medical care needs, flexibility of private Canadian health insurance policies allows you to pay only for the coverage you really need.

  • Supplementary Medical Coverage is tailored to your Province

Provincial coverage plans vary across Canada. Recognizing this, insurance companies adjust the coverage from province to province so you will have the protection you need from unexpected health care expenses – no matter where you reside.

  • Potential Tax Advantages for Small Business owners/Self-employed

Are you a small business owner or self-employed? You may be able to deduct supplemental personal health insurance Canada premiums from your business income.

  • Flexible Payment Options

Most of the companies provide flexible payment options and accept different type of credit cards from banks all over the world, to make the purchase process as simple as possible.

In Arbetov Insurance, we work with the biggest Canadian health insurance companies and can offer you the coverage you need at the cost you can afford.

International Students: Securing Health Insurance

A dreadlocked student smiling in the street carrying a back pack

For many international students studying in Canada, health care also plays an important role. International students find that their ‘homework’ begins long before arriving in Canada. Before setting foot in the country, they must obtain a study permit, coordinate travel plans, and prepare for their upcoming studies. One of the most important steps that an international student must complete is making sure that they will have health insurance coverage during their time in Canada.

The province in which a student will be studying will play a big role in the type of health coverage he or she must obtain. In Canada, each province determines its own healthcare rules, and because of this the eligibility requirements and types of services offered to residents can vary greatly from province to province. Students should be aware of their health coverage options before coming to Canada, so they can take steps to ensure they will have insurance during their studies.

Health Care Options for International Students

Students in Canada are usually required to opt into some sort of health insurance plan, be it public or private.

The following provinces and territories offer health coverage to international students:

  • Alberta;
  • British Columbia;
  • Manitoba;
  • Newfoundland and Labrador;
  • Northwest Territories; and
  • Saskatchewan

The eligibility requirements, as well as the types of health services offered, will vary from province to province. For example, students may be eligible for coverage in Manitoba if they hold a study permit valid for a period of at least six months. On the other hand, students in Alberta are not eligible unless their study permit is valid for a minimum of twelve months.

Some provinces, such as Newfoundland and Labrador, begin health coverage for international students immediately upon arrival. In others, health coverage does not take effect until after a period of residency, usually 90 days.

The following provinces and territories do not currently offer health coverage to international students:

  • New Brunswick;
  • Nova Scotia;
  • Ontario;
  • Quebec;
  • Prince Edward Island; and
  • Yukon

Students in these provinces often must purchase private health insurance. However, certain exceptions may apply that allow specific students to apply for provincial healthcare. For instance, Quebec has signed bilateral social services agreements with nine European countries. Students from these countries may be eligible to receive public healthcare while studying in the province. Also, while Ontario does not offer health insurance to students under its public program, a program called the University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP) has been adopted by most universities in the province.

Also note that, visitors to Canada such as Tourists and IEC/Working Holiday participants are not initially eligible for coverage provided by any Government Health Insurance Plan in Canada. That is why, it is very important to purchase Visitors to Canada insurance coverage to avoid unexpected financial expenses, if there is a need for urgent medical assistance.