What is Canada's best travel health insurance (2023)?
After saving for the trip you've long dreamed of, picture yourself strolling through the enchanting streets of a foreign city, when suddenly, a medical emergency pops up. It's a scenario none of us want to picture, but it can happen to any of us.
That's where travel health insurance comes in. Travel health insurance or travel medical insurance covers medical expenses, emergency medical evacuation, trip cancellations/interruptions, and related unforeseen events while traveling. But how do you get the perfect policy?
We take you through the best travel health insurance policies from top Canadian providers, and their pros and cons. You can use our comparator to compare multiple travel health insurances and get free personalized quotes so you can pick a policy that truly suits you best.
Best travel health insurance Canada plans
- CAA Travel Health Insurance: Unmatched 24/7 Virtual Emergency Medical Assistance
- RBC Travel Health Insurance: Direct Payment of Emergency Bills for Ultimate Convenience
- Blue Cross Travel Health Insurance: Limited Pre-Existing Condition Requirements
- Manulife Travel Health Insurance: Specialized Packages for Students, Traveling Canadians
- TD Travel Health Insurance: Up to $5 Million Medical Coverage for Added Security
Our top 5 travel health insurance plans for 2023
CAA Travel Health Insurance Canada: Unmatched 24/7 Virtual Emergency Medical Assistance
With over 115 years of experience, CAA has been a trusted source for Canadians' safety, mobility, and protection. They are known to advocate for road safety, offer diverse services like Roadside Assistance, and CAA travel health insurance, and serve over two million Members in South Central Ontario and Manitoba.
CAA provides both Single Trip and Multi-Trip Annual travel medical insurance with coverage of up to $5 million for medical repatriation, medical and dental emergencies and Covid-19-related medical care. There is also a single-trip medical Canada plan to protect you while traveling across the country.
Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of their policies overall.
Pros of CAA travel health insurance
- Multiple vacation packages ranging from a single trip to multi-trip travels
- CAA health insurance travel coverage up to $100,000
- 24/7 virtual emergency medical assistance is available
- Access to a vast network of healthcare providers
Cons of CAA travel health insurance
- Medical Questionnaire required for travelers above 60 years of age
- Coverage might include limitations with a maximum of 4-30 days per trip
RBC Travel Health Insurance Canada: Direct Payment of Emergency Bills for Ultimate Convenience
As the insurance arm of Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), one of the world's largest banks, RBC provides diverse solutions, serving individuals, businesses, and groups in areas like life, home, auto, RBC travel health insurance, and more.
RBC offers a range of travel medical insurance plans to suit various needs. The Classic Medical Plan provides unlimited emergency medical coverage, direct payment of medical bills, and 24/7 global assistance for travelers aged 0-64, with no health questions and coverage for stable pre-existing conditions.
The TravelCare Medical Plan caters to travelers aged 65 and up, with similar benefits but a few health questions required, and coverage for pre-existing conditions based on the TravelCare category. There is also the 4-Day Getaway Multi-Trip Annual Medical Plan for unlimited short trips for travelers aged 0-74, with no medical questions and coverage for stable pre-existing conditions.
Here are its pros and cons.
- Essential coverage options for all ages, between 0-74
- Direct payment of emergency bills
- Family plan pricing is available
- Various plans including coverage for pre-existing conditions
- A maximum limit of $20,000 may be imposed without a valid government health coverage plan for the entire trip
- Direct billing does not guarantee that all medical expenses will be covered
Blue Cross Travel Health Insurance Canada: Limited Pre-Existing Condition Requirements
Blue Cross Travel Health Insurance offers comprehensive coverage and support for your well-being while traveling. With a focus on medical emergencies, hospital stays, and essential medical services, Blue Cross ensures you're protected no matter where your journey takes you.
This coverage includes protection for situations like injuries or illnesses during your trip. It also provides benefits for medical repatriation, paramedical services ($400), hospital allowance, emergency dental treatment ($2,000), and pain relief due to dental issues, ensuring you have financial protection for unexpected health-related incidents while traveling.
- Free for kids medical insurance available
- Provides $10 Million travel insurance coverage with only a 7-day pre-existing condition stability requirement.
- Option to save an extra 10% as a member
- May not cover conditions when medications have been changed
- Potential limitations in coverage based on the destination of travel
Manulife Travel Health Insurance Canada: Specialized Packages for Students, Traveling Canadians
Manulife Travel Health Insurance serves as a prominent global financial services conglomerate, facilitating simplified decision-making and improved lifestyles for individuals. Operating under the name John Hancock in the U.S. and as Manulife internationally, the company offers a spectrum of financial guidance, insurance, wealth, and asset management solutions catering to individuals, groups, and institutions.
Manulife travel medical insurance also offers travel Emergency medical insurance for COVID-19 and related complications covered up to $5,000,000 if you are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by a Health Canada-approved vaccine or for up to $1,000,000 for non-vaccinated policyholders.
- Packages available specific to students, traveling Canadians, and visitors to Canada
- Coverage of pre-existing conditions
- Up to $10 million in emergency medical benefits
- Medical questionnaire for those aged 60+
- If you are unable to call before seeking treatment you pay 20% of the expense out of pocket
You can now get a quote from Manulife Travel health insurance right here.
TD Travel Health Insurance Canada: Up to $5 Million Medical Coverage for Added Security
TD Insurance, a part of TD Bank Group, operates in the general insurance and life and health insurance sectors. They're a major player in home, auto, and critical illness insurance, ranking among the top groups in Canada. Their expertise extends to affinity marketing, collaborating with groups to offer insurance to members.
TD travel health Insurance is committed to transparently informing customers about compensation for licensed representatives through a disclosure document. Under its plans, it provides 24*7 medical assistance worldwide and up to $5,000,000 coverage in medical emergencies including physician's bills, diagnostic services, ambulance services, medical appliances, and even emergency return home.
Let's take a look at its pros and cons.
- Complimentary travel medical coverage for dependent child(ren) when two adults are covered under select family plans
- Medical coverage up $5 million on eligible costs
- Bedside companion benefit
- Fees (physiotherapy, chiropractic, etc.)
- Care for accidental dental injuries
- Fewer coverage options for single trips
- Limited to a maximum trip duration of up to 30 days
What is travel health insurance?
Travel health insurance or travel medical insurance covers medical expenses when you are outside your province or abroad. Your universal health insurance (provincial coverage like Ontario Health Insurance Plan or MSP in BC) may not fully cover accidents or illnesses that occur while traveling, leaving you responsible for potentially high medical bills.
Travel medical insurance is therefore designed to fill this gap and help you avoid unexpected financial burdens due to healthcare costs while traveling.
What is the difference between travel insurance and health insurance?
Travel insurance primarily covers trip-related issues like trip cancellation, luggage loss, and travel delays, safeguarding your travel investment and plans. In contrast, health insurance focuses on covering medical expenses within your home country (or province), ensuring access to healthcare services.
Travel health insurance, a subset of travel insurance, specifically addresses medical emergencies while traveling abroad, including unexpected illnesses, hospitalization, and medical evacuation. It is crucial for international travel to ensure you have financial support and access to medical care during your trip. To ensure comprehensive coverage, it's advisable to have both travel insurance and travel health insurance especially when planning overseas trips.
What does travel health insurance cover?
Travel Health Insurance typically covers:
- Emergency Medical Treatment: Coverage for unexpected illness or injury requiring medical attention while traveling.
- Hospitalization: Expenses related to hospital stays, surgeries, and medical procedures.
- Medical Evacuation: Costs of transporting you to a medical facility if local facilities are inadequate.
- Prescription Medications: Reimbursement for necessary medications prescribed during your trip.
- Emergency Dental Care: Coverage for urgent dental treatments due to unforeseen accidents.
- Repatriation: Arrangements and expenses for returning your remains to your home country in case of death.
- Trip Interruption: Reimbursement for non-refundable trip costs if you need to return home due to covered reasons.
- Lost Luggage: Coverage for lost, stolen, or damaged luggage and personal belongings.
- Trip Cancellation: Reimbursement for canceled trips due to covered reasons.
- Travel Assistance: Access to a 24/7 helpline for travel-related emergencies and information.
It's important to carefully review the specific policy details carefully, as coverage can vary between insurance providers and plans. If you'd like to explore the best travel health insurance options in Canada, you can do it right here using our comparator below. Compare multiple coverage and insurance companies and get tailor-made quotes in a few moments.
How much is travel health insurance?
When considering the monthly premiums for your policy, several key factors come into play.
- Age: Younger travelers often pay lower premiums than older individuals.
- Duration of Travel: Longer trips may lead to higher insurance costs.
- Destination: Coverage costs can vary based on the country or region you're traveling to.
- Coverage Limits: Plans with higher coverage limits may come with higher premiums.
- Pre-existing Conditions: Coverage for pre-existing medical conditions can impact costs.
On average, premiums can range from a few dollars per day to more significant amounts for comprehensive coverage. However, it will also depend on your provider and your preferences.
So, how much does travel health insurance cost? The table below shows the premiums for different destinations to help you better understand the charges.
|Age||Destination||Time of Travel||Pre-existing Medical Condition||Coverage Cost|
|25||British Columbia||30 days||$481.70|
The costs mentioned are for more comprehensive packages while basic ones would be available for less than $100. Please note that these are just estimates, and actual travel insurance costs can vary widely based on the traveler's age, destination, travel duration, and pre-existing medical conditions. It is therefore essential to obtain a personalized quote to get an accurate cost estimate for your specific travel situation.
You don't have to look further to get quotes. Use our comparator tool below to compare coverages from the best providers and get free personalized travel health insurance quotes in no time.
Compare the best travel insurance plans on the market!
How does travel health insurance work?
When you purchase travel health insurance, you're essentially buying a policy that provides financial protection against unforeseen medical expenses while traveling abroad. In case of a covered medical emergency, you can contact your insurance provider's 24/7 emergency assistance line for guidance on seeking medical care.
It is advisable to have your policy details and emergency contact information easily accessible during your trip.
Do you need health insurance for other Canadian provinces?
When traveling to another province in Canada, your government health insurance plan like the Ontario Health Insurance Plan or MSP in BC might not cover all medical expenses. While the Canada Health Act mandates coverage for emergency care within different provinces, each province has its own time limits for coverage.
In most cases, medical bills are directly sent to your home province, except for Quebec, where visitors may need to pay upfront and seek reimbursement. This is why it might be a good idea to get your private plan before you travel.
Do you need travel health insurance USA plans from Canada?
Travel health insurance from Canada to the USA is strongly recommended for several crucial reasons. Firstly, Canada's healthcare coverage does not extend to the United States, where healthcare costs are notoriously high. Without insurance, you could be left with exorbitant medical bills if you fall ill or have an accident while visiting.
Additionally, in emergencies, you might require costly medical evacuation, which travel health insurance can cover, particularly given that natural catastrophes like floods, cyclones, and wildfires are becoming far too common.
How to get travel health insurance?
- Research and Compare: Begin by researching reputable providers and comparing their policies. You can do this right here using the HelloSafe comparator.
- Select Your Coverage: Determine the type of coverage you need based on factors like your destination, trip duration, and specific requirements. Choose a policy that aligns with your travel plans, whether it's a single trip, multi-trip, or long-term policy.
- Apply and Provide Information: Fill out the insurance application form, providing accurate information about yourself, your trip details, and any pre-existing medical conditions if required. Be thorough in your disclosure to ensure your coverage is valid.
- Purchase Your Policy: Once your application is approved, pay the premium for your chosen policy. You'll receive a confirmation and policy documents, which you should keep with you during your travels for reference in case of emergencies.