No one intends to become ill while traveling or studying abroad, but the wise traveler plans ahead. It is best to completely understand the health care system of whatever country you’re in; Canada’s health care system is no exception.
All international students who study in Canada are required to have health insurance. Medical coverage available to international students varies from province to province, In provinces in which international students are not covered under provincial health care plans, you will have to make arrangements for private health insurance coverage.
The provincial health care system in Canada covers basic and preventive medical services, as well as emergency care. As an international student with a valid study visa, you should be eligible for a provincial health care card so that you may access these services.
However, there are many medical services that are not covered by the Canadian provincial health care system. These services include dental care, vision care, prescription medications, and some diagnostic testing services.
Additionally, some services such as hospitalization are only partially covered by the provincial health care system. Without additional medical insurance, even a brief hospital stay can cost you thousands of dollars. Some hospitals refuse to admit new patients without proof of private health insurance coverage in Canada.
The medical care offered by your province or territory might not be covered in other provinces and territories. For this reason, you may require private health insurance if you plan to travel.
Private health insurance is also available for services that may not be covered under your province or territory’s health insurance plan. These services generally include prescription drugs, dental costs, private hospital rooms, ambulance services, and prescription glasses. Some provinces’ plans also exclude arguably “marginal” operations such as IVF treatment.
As an international student studying in Canada, it is advisable that you purchase private health insurance before your trip, to make sure you are covered in all cases.