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Health insurance

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Health insurance in Canada

All Canadian citizens and permanent residents may apply for public health insurance and receive most healthcare services at no fee. This healthcare system is funded by taxes. Whenever using these services, an insurance card must be presented.

There are individual healthcare plans in each territory and province, so be sure what the plan will cover in each region. They will all offer free emergency services, even without a health insurance card. However, always check for restrictions due to your immigration status. For any emergency, go to the closest hospital, as that clinics may charge a fee if you don’t live in that territory or province.

Waiting period for public health insurance

Depending on the province or territory, getting your government health insurance card could take as long as three months. To find out the estimated wait time, reach out to the ministry of health in your area. While you wait, be sure to have private health insurance coverage.

Getting a health card

Under the law, all residents of Canada can receive necessary medical services. The universal system includes public and private healthcare services.

Public services include those that are deemed to be medically necessary, which will be covered by government health insurance plans. Examples of this may include physician visits or required surgeries.

Private services are not covered by government health insurance plans, but they can be covered by plans offered by an employer or the patient. A few examples are dentist appointments, along with treatments from a chiropractor or naturopath.

How to choose the insurance company

When looking for insurance, you can work with the insurance company directly, or you can hire an agent or an insurance broker. The insurance carrier can most certainly answer all of your questions, as well as provide you with information regarding the policy, any fees and the coverage.

Some insurance carriers do not sell to the public, so you’ll need a broker, especially if you’re looking for a better selection of plans. Plus, they work with several different providers, so they can offer you a real variety. They can also provide more detailed information.

Finding health insurance can sometimes be a difficult process, so take any necessary steps that you can to simplify your decision making. As always, be sure to understand everything in its entirety before you sign any agreements.


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