Newcomers and Healthcare in Canada
A lot of newcomers to Canada will be curious to know exactly how Canadian healthcare works. All Canadian citizens and permanent residents may apply for public health insurance. This is something that can save you a great deal of money as you live in Canada, whenever you get sick or have an accident that requires medical care the costs will be covered. All you have to do is present your health card to the hospital or clinic and they will take it from there.
There are slight differences between what each province will cover you for, so you should check to see exactly what it is that your health insurance plan covers.
If you are used to healthcare in your home country then this will not seem like too much of a surprise that all emergency medical services are free. The main thing that you need is the public insurance health card. You should apply for this as soon as you land in Canada.
Waiting period to get public health insurance for newcomers
You may have to wait up to three months after you land in Canada before you can get your government health card. Again, you should get in touch with your provincial or territorial ministry to learn the exact details. It is a good idea to look into private healthcare during this time so that you make sure that yourself and your family are covered.
For detailed information on private medical insurance for Canada (if you have a 3-month wait period before enrollment in Medicare) please click here.
What do I do if I lose my health card
If you have lost your health card you need to make sure that you order a replacement as soon as possible. This can be done through the provincial or territorial ministry. You should not wait as you may need to go to the doctor unexpectedly, and if you don’t have your health card this could cause a delay in getting the treatment you need.
Do you need extra health insurance
The free healthcare that Canadian citizens and permanent residents enjoy will give you access to basic medical services. You will find that not everything is covered when it comes to things like prescription medication, dental care and visits to the optician.
You can purchase private healthcare to top up your coverage if you find that you need extra. However, you should also check with your employer before accepting any job offers if they provide a benefits package. As an immigrant to Canada, I was unaware that this is something that many companies offer their employees here. A benefits package will cover some or all of the costs for dental, medications and a lot of other services.
Overall Canada’s healthcare is excellent, you will not be left to pay huge bills if you suffer an accident, there is a great feeling of comfort and gratitude to know that you will be looked after should you get sick or need emergency medical care.