I recently wrote a post on what provincial healthcare covers while travelling within Canada, and I thought it would be helpful to expand on what it covers when you’re abroad. So here goes:

If a medical emergency happens outside of Canada, provincial healthcare covers less than 10% of the total cost! Service costs like ER fees, ambulance rides, air evacuations and prescription drugs are not covered at all, while radiology and lab charges are only minimally covered.

Here’s an example:

48-year-old James travelled to Montana. He suffered a massive headache and lost consciousness.

medical emergency while outside Canada.
Using an ambulance to deal with a medical emergency while travelling outside Canada.

A brain aneurysm ruptured causing massive bleeding and required surgery. To speed his recovery, he was put into a medically-induced coma. After 22 days and a second surgery, James was stable. He was then air evacuated back to Canada.

Type of FeeCost
Air evacuation$10,884.3

Total cost: $446,313

Provincial healthcare contribution: – $10,619.32 (2.5% of the claim total)

Amount covered by travel insurance: $435,693.81

As you can see, inpatient hospital fees are costly! If you’re from…

  • BC, MSP covers $75 per day
  • Alberta, Saskatchewan or Quebec, provincial health covers $100 per day
  • Ontario, OHIP covers $200-400 per day
  • Manitoba, Manitoba Health covers $280-570 per day
  • The Maritimes, provincial health covers $350-570 per day

With that in mind, it’s pretty evident how important travel insurance coverage really is. Services that Canadians often take for granted, like a day (or more) of hospital treatment, can cost thousands of dollars!

Again, it’s always best to check in with your insurance broker and review your policy wording to understand your coverage while away from home.

We’re here to help too, if you do have questions. Feel free to ask away!

Happy travels,


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