Would travel insurance that excludes the U.S. be less expensive, considering the high cost of medical care there?
Answer: Yes, and it is available from several Canadian travel insurers. Ask for it if you’re sure you won’t be travelling to the U.S. For example, for short-term coverage for Canadians, the Non-USA travel insurance Plan (worldwide excluding USA) by T.I.C. (Travel Insurance Coordinators) costs $1.15 per day for an individual up to 30 years of age, whereas the USA plan (worldwide including USA) costs $1.75 for the same age bracket. But be careful.
If your travel takes you to the Caribbean, or Central America or Mexico or if you’re going on a cruise, and you suffer a life-threatening medical emergency and you have to be evacuated to the closest hospital, which may well be in the U.S., you may get stuck with a huge hospital bill that the insurer is not responsible for. And whatever plan you buy, make sure it provides repatriation to a hospital at home as a benefit—not just evacuation to the closest available hospital.