A report by Canucks Abroad estimates that 2.8 million Canadians are currently abroad, working, studying, retiring or traveling across the globe. It’s important for Canadians to know what health plans they need to cover medical costs if and when the need for medical coverage arises while they’re non-residents of Canada.

The first thing you should know is not to rely on provincial medical coverage while you’re living abroad.

Why You Shouldn’t Rely on Provincial Medical Coverage While You’re Living Abroad

As a Canadian national, you can rely on your provincial health plan to cover medical costs while residing within Canada. But when you decide to live abroad and no longer reside within Canada, provincial health plans will most likely not be sufficient.

Although maintaining your provincial health plan makes you eligible for Canadian travel insurance, the Canadian travel insurance plan will only cover you for up to six to eight months at the most, and will only cover emergencies and not serious and chronic illnesses such as diabetes and cancer.

Further, if you are a Canadian expatriate living abroad, your provincial medical, including OHIP, MSP and other provincial medical plans, will almost certainly cease to cover you after a set number of months.

In this article, we will discuss the necessity of Canadians obtaining international health insurance while residing abroad.

Why is International Health Insurance Important for Canadian Expats?

It doesn’t matter how short your stay abroad is, we strongly recommended that you obtain medical insurance before departure. As many Canadians already know, provincial medical plans will not provide coverage of any medical expenses when they’re traveling abroad.

In many countries, medical treatment can be very expensive. In the event of injury or sickness, out-of-country medical bills can result in a heavy financial burden and even put your health at risk. Finally, your Canadian extended health plan will not cover you abroad as an expatriate. Travel medical insurance that Canadians purchase for short trips abroad will only cover emergencies and rely upon you keeping your provincial medical plan in place. Finally, domestic Canadian extended medical policies will not cover you internationally. Thus, it is vital for you to obtain international health insurance as a Canadian living abroad, to protect your physical and financial health.

Local Health Plans for Canadians Abroad are Usually Not a Solution

Some Canadians are tempted to rely on local health care plans from the government in their new country, but more often than not. those plans have the following problems:

  • Local government plans are often very basic. Private plans may only provide marginal care from an undependable local insurer.
  • They won’t cover you regionally or back in Canada.
  • You may not have access to private care
  • You may be subject to long waiting times
  • Local plans are not portable (and if you as an expatriate wish to move around, the local plan will not follow you whenever you move)

The above reasons are compounded in second and third world countries, so it makes sense for Canadians to obtain comprehensive global health plans via our firm.

What Does International Health Insurance Provide for Canadians Abroad?

Many international health insurance plans offer Canadian expats a high level of coverage and a direct payment method where possible. These plans will relieve your worry about upfront medical payment. Core coverage includes hospitalization, routine medical check-ups, extensive cancer coverage, etc. For Canadian expatriates, you are essentially purchasing a global health plan that replaces your former provincial medical and extended health policy – one that covers you worldwide including or excluding the USA in most circumstances.

You also have the ability to add helpful options including dental & vision, international medical evacuation & repatriation, out-patient care, pregnancy coverage, and more. The premiums will depend on a wide variety of factors, such as age, gender, country location, deductible level, coverage options and much more. It all can be confusing, so many Canadian expatriates contact us to discuss their global health insurance needs. We are a leading source for international health coverage for Canadians because we are the top individual expat insurance brokerage in Canada.

Go With a Large Global Insurance Company & a Canadian Expat Specialist

There are some Canadian expat health insurance providers that attempt to provide global health coverage, but we have found that Canadian expatriates are much better served by dealing with large global insurance providers, given the medical networks, resources, and expertise that is lacking in Canada. Our most popular international health plan for Canadians is the Cigna Global Health Options plan. In addition to individualized personal service, Canadian expats appreciate working with a respected expat expert based in Canada.

How Can Canadians Obtain an International Health Insurance Plan? 

As medical costs are continuously rising worldwide, Canadian expats should obtain international health insurance to avoid the significant financial risk. Expat Financial is dedicated to providing expat insurance solutions for Canadians around the world.

Expat Financial is a division of TFG Global Insurance Solutions Ltd., which is a Canadian insurance brokerage which specializes in providing global insurance plans for people who live abroad. Along with individual international health insurance plans, we are very experienced in sourcing group plans for multinational firms with expats in most areas of the world. We also offer excellent service before and after you purchase your international health insurance plan.

If you have questions about our international medical insurance plans or you want to discuss your needs and produce a customized quote, please contact us or complete the quote form.