Finding Insurance Taxing? Apply for a Refund

You may be eligible for a refund of 19 to 28.53 per cent on your travel medical insurance. Just remember to keep your receipts, and recall the following three conditions.

1. You must claim the refund from Revenue Canada on your tax return. This is not a refund the insurer will provide.

2. You will only get a refund on that portion of your family’s eligible medical expenses* that exceed 3 per cent of one spouse’s taxable income, or $2,152––whichever is less.

3. You will only get a refund if your income is high enough that you will owe taxes.

*Medical insurance premiums (including out-of-province travel medical insurance) are eligible medical expenses, while your facelift, hair replacement surgery, and certain other expenses are not.

If you buy travel insurance that includes coverage for trip cancellation, trip interruption, or lost baggage, ask your insurer for the cost of the medical coverage alone. Only that portion may be claimed as a medical expense.

Keep in mind that the total of federal and provincial refund rates will vary. So the amount of your refund will depend on where you live.


Follow this advice to maximize your refund

  • Add up the expenses for you, your spouse, children younger than 18, and adults who depended on you for support in 2013.
  • If you did not claim 2012 expenses, claim the expenses for the 12-month period ending in 2013 when your costs were highest. Never claim costs twice.
  • Have the spouse with the least net income, yet enough taxable income to make use of the claim for medical expenses, claim the refund.
  • If you missed claiming your travel medical insurance or other medical expenses, go online to revise your tax return or apply for a change once you receive your notice of assessment.
  • Claim medical expenses incurred outside of the country, along with what you paid in Canada for any necessary medical treatments, prescription drugs, and modifications to your home or vehicle to make it wheelchair accessible.

While the tax credit will not compensate fully for the cost of travel insurance, it helps. So don’t miss out on an opportunity.

And remember, if you file your taxes online, you won’t need to send your receipts—but that doesn’t mean you won’t be asked for them later. Hang onto them for at least three additional years.



For more information on travel tips and travel insurance, visit the Ingle International blog page.

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