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Last updated on February 4th, 2020

Medical Coverage for Newcomers and Returning Canadians

All permanent residents can apply for coverage under Canada’s health insurance system, however depending on the province they reside in, new Canadians may have to wait before becoming eligible for the Provincial Health insurance. For example, in Ontario, New Brunswick and Quebec the waiting period is 3 months, while in B.C it is 2 months plus the remainder of the month they arrived in Canada. In Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan there is no waiting time to get the coverage if you arrive from another country. Depending on which province or territory you decide to make your new home, you may have to wait a period of time before you are eligible for public health insurance. During this time, you should apply for temporary private health insurance coverage. This insurance is often referred to as the Visitors to Canada insurance.

This type of insurance will help protect you from unexpected losses due to emergencies. When you are a new immigrant, the last thing you need is to be burdened by medical bills, which could be extremely high if you or a member of your family end up in a hospital or have a medical emergency. Private insurance companies offer protection against the unexpected. Included in such policies are hospitalization, ambulance transportation, diagnostic services, such as x-rays and paramedical expenses. In addition, dental emergencies are usually covered as well, up to a certain amount, depending on the insurance company. You are also covered outside of Canada, should you decide to take a trip, as long as the majority of your time is spent in Canada.

There are a few important things to know about the Visitors to Canada policies. One is that this is the only type of insurance available to immigrants or returning Canadians, awaiting their provincial health coverage. It is also important to remember that these plans should be purchased before the arrival to Canada in order to avoid any waiting period. We get many questions about whether this insurance covers regular check ups, pregnancies and child’s immunizations. Unfortunately, these are all considered “routine care” in the insurance world and are therefore not covered. Pregnancy is covered only by a few companies and only in cases where the pregnancy starts after the effective date of the policy and the coverage is offered only for emergency situations and only up to 9 weeks before the due date of the expectant mother.


Please call us at 1-877-211-4301 or send us an email to [email protected] and we will be happy to help you find the best coverage for you and your family. Being financially protected, while you are settling in a new country should be the least of your worries.

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