You’ve Got Questions? We’ve Got Answers (Part 2)

We get plenty of interesting questions from readers like you—be they looking to purchase travel insurance coverage or simply confused about how much time they can spend in the US.

Here’s a look at some of the questions you’ve asked us lately…


Q: I am planning to travel abroad for an extended period of time—at least 10 years. How will this affect my health care? Will I have trouble re-entering the country?

A: Did you say 10 years? If you’re a Canadian citizen, you won’t have trouble re-entering the country. But health care is a different story.

Related: How Long Can Canadians Stay Out of the Country?

All provinces have rules about how much time you must spend in-province each year to qualify for health care benefits. In most cases it’s six months; in some (like Newfoundland or Alberta) it’s five.

You will definitely need expatriate insurance while you are away. You can find more information—or make a purchase—here.

Q: Do your travel days count in your number of days outside the country? For instance, if you leave Canada on August 1 and return on August 4, is that counted as two days or four days?

A: Four days.

Related: As Border Controls Tighten Up, Know the Limits

Q: I am a Canadian who is vacationing abroad. Am I covered for any medical expenses that I incur while out of the country? I recently had to go to the hospital and was charged a large sum—will I be able to recover any of it?

A: Did you purchase travel insurance before your trip? If so, file a claim with your insurer immediately. If not, you’ll have to try to get reimbursement from your provincial insurance, but you will need to have all receipts, hospital records, and medical reports. You will have to act quickly because all provinces have rules about how long you are allowed to be out of the province and still retain your eligibility for coverage. I hope you have learned the lesson that travelling outside of Canada without travel insurance is high risk and can be extremely expensive.

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