No student intends to fall ill while traveling or studying abroad, especially when they have to live alone. It is always a wise decision to make arrangements beforehand. Therefore, it is best to understand the healthcare system of whatever country you’re in. And Canada’s healthcare system is no exception.
Canada is known for its high-class, publicly-funded healthcare system. However, international students aren’t automatically eligible to avail themselves of free health care in every province and territory.
All international students who live in Canada are required to opt for health insurance throughout their study duration. Medical coverage available to foreign-national students in Canada varies from province to province. So, if a student lives in a province where international students aren’t covered under provincial health care plans- they’ll have to take private health insurance coverage.
An Overview of Provincial Health Coverage in Canada
As health care in Canada is paid for through taxes, health services are either mostly free or available at a fraction of a cost. The healthcare system is administered at the provincial level. As each province operates differently, there are 13 distinct provincial and territorial healthcare plans. Accordingly, each province issues health insurance cards to its residents.
With a provincial health insurance card, residents do not have to pay for most of the medical services. Also, depending on the region one lives in, there may be a waiting period before they can apply for a health insurance card. Students applying for study permits under Saskatchewan Provincial Nominee Program or any other programs should connect with their consultants to know about the health care plans. They can, therefore, take health insurance coverage as per the requirements.
Why Is It Necessary for International Students to Get Health Insurance?
Any international student studying in Canada is required to have health insurance. Several provinces in Canada provide health insurance to international students under their health plan, but not all do. Although all provinces and territories extend emergency medical services to individuals who don’t have a health card, these services are generally constricted.
Medical services are generally expensive, and having no health insurance means students have to pay for the costs upfront. Sure, no individual plans to get sick, but one should always be prepared to face medical emergencies.
Where Can Students Get Health Insurance For Their Study Duration in Canada?
If you are planning to study in Manitoba, Ontario, Nova Scotia, or any other province of Canada, you can get health insurance coverage from your university, through private firms, or online.
Various universities in Canada have their own health insurance plans. Although, these plans may be mandatory or optional. Contact your university or visit their website to check whether they offer health insurance coverage to their students. If not, you can opt for health insurance with a private firm before migrating to Canada. Another option available to students in- applying for international health insurance online. Based on your requirements, you may go ahead with any of these options and obtain your health insurance.
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