Welcome to Canada – A Traveller’s Guide to Staying Safe and Healthy While Visiting Canada

Whether visiting family or friends for a short period, touring the country, or planning to immigrate, visitors to Canada are vulnerable to the costs of the Canadian health care system.

According to the Canadian Tourism Commission, Canada receives over 17 million visitors each year, and each one of them should have travel health insurance to protect them against the high costs of health care in Canada.

Health Care in Canada is not free!

Visitors need to know that foreign insurance plans may not cover Canadian medical costs and most government health insurance plans in countries around the world will not cover accidents or medical emergencies incurred by their residents while travelling in Canada.

Canadian provincial health insurance does not cover non-resident visitors, even if they are visiting family – uninsured visitors are expected to pay in full for medical bills incurred in Canada.

Also, provincial health care in Canada can lapse. If you’re a Canadian who has been out of the country for a long period, you have to reapply for coverage when you return. The same process applies for new immigrants and international students studying in Canada. These groups are vulnerable to the high costs of Canadian health care during this wait period, which depending on the province, is at least 3 months.

Who is considered a visitor to Canada?

A visitor is any non-resident visiting from another country, including:

  • International tourists
  • Temporary foreign workers
  • New immigrants
  • Returning Canadians
  • Travelling youth
  • Super visa applicants

All visitors within these categories require travel and health insurance while in Canada, and it is up to them to make appropriate arrangements prior to their departure.

Why do visitors to Canada need travel health insurance?

A medical emergency of any kind can happen anytime, anywhere, and to anyone. Travel health insurance is a safety net if emergency medical attention is required. The following are examples of the high costs of medical care in Canada:

  • Up to $5,000 per day in a metropolitan area hospital
  • $15,000+ per day for one night in the intensive care unit
  • Extra costs for physicians’ feeds, diagnostic services, lab tests, and ambulances

Getting the right insurance

Unless you’re applying for a visa, travel health insurance is usually not mandatory, but the Government of Canada encourages visitors to get the right health insurance to cover medical costs before they arrive in the country. The process of applying for a Visitors to Canada plan is very simple. Consider the following when purchasing a visitor to Canada plan:

  1. Timing
  2. Coverage
  3. Side trips
  4. Pre-existing medical conditions
  5. Super visa applicants


Purchase travel insurance prior to departing your home country—a waiting period will apply if coverage is purchased after arrival. Coverage begins when visitors leave their home country and continues while they are en route to Canada, and while they travel back to their home country. Prepare in advance and get your insurance as soon as you book your trip!


Visitors to Canada plans offer a range of coverage options from $10,000 to $1 million of coverage per person. Plans include options with medical, non-medical, or combined coverage, with the following benefits:

  • Treatment for unforeseen medical emergencies
  • Hospital fees, including doctors, nurses, drugs, and tests
  • Specialists and therapists
  • Emergency dental
  • Accidental death and dismemberment

Additional benefits, such as trip cancellation/interruption and lost or stolen luggage, can be purchased separately.

Pre-existing medical conditions

Plans are available for individuals with pre-existing conditions up to age 79, with no medical questionnaire. There are also options for those 80+ in age, with some limitations. Expenses are covered for emergencies related to stable pre-existing conditions.

Coverage for trips outside of Canada

Planning on travelling outside of Canada during your visit? No problem — Visitors to Canada plans can offer insurance coverage for side trips as well as trips for after your stay in Canada. Options for side trips are available as long as the majority of your trip is spent in Canada.

Super Visa

Overseas parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens and permanent residents in Canada can apply to stay with their families in Canada for up two years, with the following travel health requirements prior to arrival:

  • travel insurance from  a Canadian insurance company to cover health care, hospitalization, and repatriation for a minimum of one year
  • minimum health coverage of $100,000
  • proof of insurance available for review by a port-of-entry officer

What are my insurance options?

MSH International has developed a plan that’s been designed for a wide range of visitors to Canada—Super Visa applicants, travelling youth, new immigrants, and returning Canadians.

Discover Canada: Super Visa and Visitors to Canada is an affordable, comprehensive assistance and medical travel insurance plan for anyone in Canada without government health insurance.

Discover Canada offers the best comprehensive coverage options to all demographics.
Plan highlights of Discover Canada include:

  • competitive rates
  • higher coverage limits
  • more deductible options
  • higher age limits on family plans
  • comprehensive wellness and non-emergency care benefits

Benefit packages include maximum limits of up to $1 million, which gives peace of mind to even the most conscientious consumers.

Canada welcomes visitors from around the world, but not their medical bills, so ensure you understand the details of travel health insurance before coming to Canada. If you’re still unsure if a Visitors to Canada plan is right for you or your visitors, our Insurance Solutions team is available to answer any of your questions or provide you with a quote.

Get a quote now: https://www.ingleinternational.com/en/travel-insurance/visitors-to-canada, or contact us at helpline@ingleinternational.com or call us at 1 800 360 3234!

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