As a new immigrant, one of the things you need to sort out in your first week is to register for healthcare service. If you are a permanent resident, you should apply for public health insurance . With it, you don’t have to pay for most health-care services. The eligibility requirements, as well as the types of health services offered, vary from province to province. So, it is important to know what the plan in your province covers. As an international students, you will be required to opt into some sort of health insurance plan, either public or private.
The following provinces and territories offer health coverage to international students:
- British Columbia;
- Newfoundland and Labrador;
- Northwest Territories; and
Even though the above provinces and territories, the requirements are different. For instance, students in Manitoba need to hold a study permit valid for a period of at least six months. However, students in Alberta only qualify if their study permit is valid for a minimum of twelve months.
Usually, Canadian educational institutions mandate that students get private health insurance if no public option is available. Most schools have their own plans that students can choose to opt into. This makes it easy for students to get private health insurance.
All provinces and territories provide certain free emergency medical services, even if you don’t have a government health card. So, if you have an emergency, go to the nearest hospital. A walk-in clinic might charge fees if you don’t live in that province or territory.
Waiting Period to get Public Health Insurance
In some provinces you must wait, sometimes up to three months, before you can get government health insurance. Contact the ministry of health in your province or territory to know how long you will need to wait. If you live in such province, ensure you have private health insurance to cover your health-care needs during the waiting period.
How to Register for Healthcare Service
You need a health insurance card from the province or territory where you live to get health care in Canada. This card has to be with you each time you need medical services. As stated above, the provinces and territories have different requirements. For more detail., visit the health care page of your province or territory listed below
Do You Need Extra Health Insurance
Government health insurance plans only give you access to basic medical services. So, if your health care needs are not covered by the government, you may need private insurance. This will help you to pay for things that government plans don’t fully cover.
The most common types of plans are extended health plans. These cover costs for:
- prescription medications
- dental care
- ambulance services
- prescription eyeglasses