On Expedition in Ontario: A Guide to Health Insurance in Ontario for Visitors

Posted on December 21, 2018

Are you travelling to the Ontario area soon?

Perhaps you're visiting Toronto or one of the many neighbouring cities.

Either way, you'll likely need health insurance.

In this article, we'll take a look at health insurance in Ontario for visitors and what you need to do to ensure that you and your family are covered.

You don't want a fun trip, or a work trip, to turn into a financial disaster.

Read on for more information.

Health Insurance in Ontario for Visitors from Canada

If you're a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident, you might think that you're already covered by Medicare. This is partially true, but not completely.

While visiting Ontario, if you have an accident or fall ill, Medicare will take care of all of your medically necessary procedures. You won't need to worry about that.

But, any services deemed unnecessary, including hospital transfers, ambulance rides and transferring you to a hospital in your home province won't be covered.

Additionally, if you need any prescription drugs, as usual, those will come out of pocket if they're not administered at the hospital.

Because of these stipulations, insurance providers recommend that you have supplementary insurance so that you don't get caught out.

How Do I Know If My Insurance Covers These Supplementary Items?

If you do not have private insurance, none of this is covered. You should be aware of that before travelling.

Your private insurance is typically very clear about what it does and does not offer. A key point of many private insurance companies is that they do cover ambulance rides, drugs and hospital transfers.

Go over your policy or give your insurance company a call if you're unsure what exactly they do cover. Someone will likely be able to help you go over what they will help with and what they won't.

After speaking to a representative, you may also be able to switch insurance plans to something more comprehensive if you feel your insurance doesn't cover you enough for your trip to Ontario.

Does Travel Insurance Cover Necessary Extras?

Generally, most travel health insurance will cover the necessary extras you may accrue when visiting Ontario. Check with your travel insurance provider to ensure that they do cover you for ambulance rides, prescriptions and other necessities outside of the province.

Making sure you're covered before you leave Ontario is much better than leaving and not knowing, only to find out you're not covered.

What About Work Travel Insurance?

If you get private insurance through your work, as many Canadians do, it may cover travelling to another province and any issues you may have whilst visiting. Again, look at your insurance and what your provider offers for you.

In the event that your work is asking you to travel to Ontario, they should cover you in the event of an emergency. If they don't, you should speak with your employer and have a look at your insurance policy. This should be standard for companies who frequently have members of staff sent to Ontario.

Is There Anything I Should Bring When I Travel to Ontario?

When travelling to Ontario, you should always bring your provincial health card, as well as any information you have about your private health care coverage. This can include enrollment information, as well as any numbers they use to identify patients.

If you are taken ill or must ride in an ambulance, you'll need both of these in order to be treated in a hospital. In severe instances, you may be treated before showing your health care card, but you'll need to show it at some point to prove you're eligible for the care you received.

What If I'm Not From Canada?

If you're travelling to Ontario and are not from Canada, unfortunately, Medicare does not cover any of your health care. The exception, of course, is if you're a student or visiting the country as an employee. In both cases, you will have been set up with a Medicare card that will work for all medically necessary procedures in Ontario.

However, you should also look into getting private healthcare to make sure that you're covered in the event of needing an ambulance, medication or a transfer.

What If I'm Not from Canada and Am Only in Ontario for a Short While?

If you're not from Canada and don't live as a resident in Canada, you'll need some form of health insurance. Speak to your local travel agent or your insurance company about what they do when their members travel to Canada.

Very likely, there will be a plan available that will cover some of your time in Ontario. This way, you'll have peace of mind that you can get treated without wracking up a huge bill.

While Canadians do have single-payer health insurance, it is only for Canadians and lawful Canadian residents. As a tourist to Ontario, you don't qualify.

Find the Appropriate Insurance

If you have more complex needs, you should ensure that your travel insurance will cover anything that could arise. Make sure that your pre-existing condition will be covered, and that it says so in writing. Otherwise, an insurance company does have the right to deny your claim.

Health insurance in Ontario for visitors is a must, especially if you want to keep your family safe and well taken care of during your visit.

For more information about a private healthcare plan that works for you, visit us here for a free quote.

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