Health Insurance in Canada: Zuhaira Marzuqa Bashir


Health insurance is compulsory for all overseas students studying in Canada. Several Canadian provinces, although not all, offer health insurance to overseas students as part of their provincial plan. Despite the fact that all provinces and territories in Canada will provide free emergency health care to anyone without a health card, the services will be limited.

All Canadian citizens and permanent residents have adequate access to medically necessary hospital care without having to pay out of pocket. While universal healthcare is legislated at the federal level, local provinces and territories manage healthcare programmes, therefore coverage details vary depending on where a person lives. All Canadians have access to universal health care, which only covers medically essential services and is considered basic health care coverage.

Health care plan

Because taxes fund Canada’s universal health care, health treatments are largely free or very inexpensive. The province manages the healthcare system at the provincial level, and each province has its own set of rules. There are thirteen different provincial and territorial health insurance programmes to choose from. When you have a provincial health insurance card, most medical services are free.
Residents of each province or territory receive health insurance cards. There may be a waiting period before you may apply for a health insurance card, depending on where you live.


Residents participating in their health care plan covers by each province or territory for medically necessary health treatments. Visits to a physician or family doctor, medical testing (such as blood work or an x-ray), and hospital stay in a normal ward are all included. Additional medical services provided as part of universal health care will differ by province.

Insurance for International Students

Unless they have private health insurance, those who are not permanent residents or citizens of Canada should expect to pay for medical services out of pocket. Many immigration programmes demand that temporary residents obtain private health insurance for the duration of their stay in Canada. There are several choices for temporary residents.

They can get private insurance from an insurance company; if they work in Canada, their employer’s health insurance may cover them. If they are studying in Canada, they can enrol in insurance through their school.

The provincial Ontario Health Insurance Plan does not cover international students in Ontario (OHIP). As a result, all Ontario higher education institutions offer health insurance to international students. At public universities, health insurance is often provided through the University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP), whereas colleges and other private schools may provide alternatives from other carriers. Health insurance provided by educational institutions does not cover international students.

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Emergency Situation

In the event of an emergency, even if a patient does not have a government health card, all provinces and territories will provide free services. However, depending on a person’s immigration status, there may be considered limitations on the services that can be provided.

Even if you have health insurance, you will have to pay a portion of a medical emergency out of pocket. Taxes and deductions includes in the total amount paid. This sum, however, is insignificant in comparison to what you would have to spend if you did not have health insurance. For example, if you don’t have health insurance, an MRI scan might set you back anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000.

A medical emergency can easily cost thousands of dollars. Nobody intends to become ill. However, you want to be ready in case the worst happens. Better to be safe than sorry.

If you want to know more about insurance, talk to an expert


Author: Zuhaira Marzuqa Bashir



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