Best Medical Insurance for Visitors to Canada

By Krista DeKuyper | November 7, 2023 | Visiting Canada, Visitor's Insurance

When planning a visit to Canada, it’s crucial to consider the importance of medical insurance. Canada has a well-regarded healthcare system, but it does not cover visitors, making it essential for visitors to have their own medical insurance. In this blog post, we will explore the various options available, factors to consider when choosing insurance, top providers, comparing coverage and costs, additional benefits, understanding exclusions and limitations, obtaining medical insurance, making claims, and the difference between travel insurance and visitor medical insurance. By the end, you’ll have a clear understanding of how to find the best medical insurance for visitors to Canada.

Understanding the Canadian Healthcare System: Navigating the Basics

Before delving into medical insurance options, it’s important to understand the basics of the Canadian healthcare system. In Canada, healthcare is publicly funded and provided by provinces and territories. However, this healthcare system is designed to cater to Canadian residents and does not offer coverage for visitors. As a visitor, you will be responsible for your own medical expenses if you do not have insurance.

Coverage Options for Visitors: Exploring Medical Insurance Choices

Fortunately, there are various coverage options available to visitors. These options range from single-trip plans for short visits to comprehensive plans for long-term stays. Some insurance providers also offer plans specifically designed for certain types of visitors, such as students or seniors. It’s important to assess your needs and choose a plan that provides adequate coverage during your stay in Canada.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Insurance: What to Look For

When choosing medical insurance for your visit to Canada, there are several factors to consider. These include coverage limits, pre-existing conditions, deductible amounts, emergency coverage, prescription drug coverage, and exclusions. It’s essential to carefully read the policy details and understand what is covered and what is not before making your decision.

Here are some questions to ask yourself when decided what kind of coverage you’re looking to get:

  1. What is the duration of my visit to Canada?
  2. Do I have any pre-existing medical conditions that need coverage?
  3. Am I looking for basic coverage or comprehensive coverage?
  4. What are the coverage limits of the insurance plan?
  5. Does the insurance plan cover emergency medical expenses?
  6. Does the insurance plan cover prescription drugs?
  7. Are there any exclusions or limitations that I should be aware of?
  8. Does the insurance plan provide coverage for medical evacuation or repatriation?
  9. What is the deductible amount for the insurance plan?
  10. Are there any additional benefits, such as dental or vision coverage, that I require?

Top Providers for visitors to Canada Insurance: Highlighting the Best Options

To help you find the best medical insurance provider, we have identified some top options to consider. These providers offer comprehensive coverage, competitive pricing, and excellent customer service. Some reputable providers include Manulife, Sunlife Financial, and Allianz Global Assistance. It’s advisable to compare the coverage and costs offered by multiple providers to ensure you make an informed decision.


Manulife is the biggest health insurance provider across Canada. Their visitor to Canada travel insurance plan is by far the most popular. All their plans meet the requirements of the parent and grandparent supervisa as well. They have 3 tiers to their visitors to Canada plan. Basic, standard and enhanced.

Learn more about Manulife’s medical insurance for visitors to Canada


GMS (Group Medical Services) offers a visitor to Canada insurance plan designed to provide comprehensive coverage for individuals visiting Canada. GMS offers flexible coverage options for different lengths of stay, ensuring that visitors can find a plan that suits their specific needs. Their insurance plan includes coverage for emergency medical expenses, hospital stays, medical transportation, and prescription drugs.

Learn more about GMS’s medical insurance for visitors to Canada


Allianz Global Assistance offers a visitor to Canada insurance plan that provides comprehensive coverage for individuals visiting Canada. Their insurance plan is designed to meet the unique needs of visitors, offering flexible options for different durations of stays. With a reputation for reliability and a focus on customer satisfaction, Allianz Global Assistance is a trusted provider for visitors seeking medical insurance coverage while in Canada.

Learn more about Allianz’s medical insurance for visitors to Canada

Comparing Coverage and Costs: Making Informed Decisions

When comparing medical insurance options, it’s crucial to not only consider the cost but also the coverage provided. Some plans may have lower premiums but offer less comprehensive coverage, while others may have higher premiums but provide more extensive benefits. Evaluate your specific needs and consider both coverage and costs to make an informed decision that suits your budget and requirements.

Additional Benefits of Medical Insurance: Beyond Basic Coverage

Aside from basic medical coverage, some insurance providers offer additional benefits such as dental coverage, vision care, and emergency evacuation. These benefits can enhance the overall value of your insurance plan and provide additional peace of mind during your stay in Canada. Determine which additional benefits are important to you and consider them when selecting a provider.

Understanding Exclusions and Limitations: Knowing What’s Not Covered

It’s crucial to understand the exclusions and limitations of your medical insurance policy. Most insurance plans have specific exclusions, such as coverage for pre-existing conditions, certain high-risk activities, or pregnancy-related services. Understanding these exclusions will help you avoid unexpected expenses. Make sure to carefully review the policy documentation and seek clarification from the insurance provider if needed.

Obtaining Medical Insurance: How to Apply and What to Expect

Obtaining medical insurance for your visit to Canada is a straightforward process. Most insurance providers offer online applications, making it convenient and efficient. During the application process, you will need to provide basic personal information, travel details, and any pre-existing conditions you may have. After submitting your application, you can expect to receive a confirmation email with your policy details and documentation.

Making Claims and Seeking Assistance: Understanding the Process

In the event that you require medical assistance during your visit, it’s important to understand the process of making claims and seeking assistance. Most insurance providers have a dedicated claims process outlined in their policy documentation. This process typically involves submitting the necessary documents, such as medical receipts and claim forms, within a specified timeframe. It’s advisable to keep copies of all relevant documents and maintain clear communication with your insurance provider throughout the process.

Travel Insurance vs. Visitor Medical Insurance: Understanding the Differences

While travel insurance and visitor medical insurance may seem similar, there are important differences to consider. Travel insurance typically covers various aspects of travel, including trip cancellation, lost baggage, and travel delays, in addition to medical coverage. Visitor medical insurance, on the other hand, focuses solely on medical coverage during your stay in Canada. When choosing between the two, consider your specific needs and prioritize the coverage that is most important to you.

Conclusion: Finding the Best Medical Insurance for Visitors to Canada

In conclusion, securing medical insurance is vital for visitors to Canada as the Canadian healthcare system does not cover them. By understanding the Canadian healthcare system, exploring coverage options, considering important factors, comparing providers, examining additional benefits, understanding exclusions, and following the application and claims processes, you can find the best medical insurance for your visit. Remember to choose a plan that suits your needs, offers comprehensive coverage, and provides peace of mind during your stay in Canada.

If you want to compare health insurance visitors to Canada plans, use our instant quoting tool! With no sales pressure, you can freely look at the carriers and plans that fit your needs.