Checklist 8: What to know about medical insurance
Canada’s universal health care system is one of the best in the world. But did you know not everything is free? Here are 7 things you need to know,
1. Doctor’s services, care, surgery and hospitalization are covered, including in-patient and out-patient services.
2. Things like eye care, dental care are typically not covered, although it may depend on your province. Some services like chiropractic and physiotherapy may be partially covered.
3. Prescriptions are not covered.
4. Many employers offer extended medical benefits to offset costs for things like dental care, eye care and prescriptions. There are also some government-funded assistance programs for low-income persons.
5. Depending on which province you settle in, you may have to pay a mandatory monthly premium (e.g., B.C. and Alberta); in other provinces, taxes are simply deducted from your paycheque (e.g., Ontario).
6. For brand-new residents, some provinces also have a three-month waiting period before you are covered under the health care plan. So apply right after you land to minimize your waiting!
7. Similarly to when you travel, you should have medical health insurance to cover you during that waiting period. You never know what kind of emergency care you may need. Without insurance, you’ll be faced with a hefty medical bill if you access health care services. Ensure the insurance will cover you as an immigrant, not just a visitor to Canada (i.e., travel insurance).
See all the checklist in this series
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