How to get Health Insurance in Canada

If you have just arrived in Canada and looking to get health insurance, follow the steps in this guide. In Canada, Healthcare is a fundamental human right of every citizen and permanent resident. It is a publicly funded healthcare system, meaning that basic medical services are covered by the government.

How to get Health Insurance in Canada

However, obtaining health insurance is still important because not every medical service is covered by free medical care. For instance, you need insurance to obtain services like coverage for prescription drugs, dental care, vision care, and more.

With public healthcare, you can get essential medical services like doctor visits, hospital stays, and diagnostic tests. This is available to all Canadian citizens and permanent residents, regardless of their financial status but it’s not always enough, this is why you need other health insurance options.

How to get health insurance in Canada

To get health insurance in Canada, you can either go for provincial and territorial health insurance or get private health insurance.

Provincial and Territorial health insurance plans

Healthcare in Canada is administered by individual provinces and territories. Every province and territory in Canada has its health insurance plan and these plans cover additional services beyond the basic Medicare coverage.

To obtain provincial health insurance, you need to understand the specific coverage offered in your region.

Who is eligible for provincial health insurance in Canada?

Canadian citizens and permanent residents

All Canadian citizens and permanent residents are eligible for provincial or territorial health insurance. And to get one for yourself, you must apply in the province or territory where you live.

Temporary residents

If you are a temporary resident in Canada, such as a student or a worker with a valid work permit, you may be eligible for health coverage.

However, the eligibility rules and coverage depend on your status and the province or territory where you live.

How to Apply for Provincial Health Insurance in Canada

Determine if you qualify

Before applying for health insurance, make sure you check your immigration status and understand if you qualify for any health insurance based on your immigration status.

Choose your province or territory

You must apply for health insurance in the province or territory where you live and to achieve that, you need proof of residency, such as a lease agreement or utility bills.

Complete the application

Once you confirm your province, contact the local health authority or visit their website to obtain the necessary application forms.

Fill out the forms accurately and provide the required documents, including proof of identity and residency.

Wait for a reply

In some provinces, you have to wait for your insurance to be processed before your health insurance coverage becomes active. During this time, you may want to consider private health insurance to bridge any coverage gaps.

Private health insurance in Canada

While Medicare and provincial/territorial plans cover many medical services, they do not cover everything.

To fill the gaps in coverage, you can opt for private health insurance plans. Private health insurance plans can cover prescription drugs, dental care, vision care, and other services not included in the public system.

Types of private health insurance

  • Extended health insurance: This type of insurance covers a wide range of services, including prescription drugs, dental care, and vision care.
  • Travel insurance: If you plan to travel within Canada or abroad, travel insurance can cover medical emergencies while you’re away from home.

How to get private health insurance

You can get private health insurance through insurance providers, brokers, or as part of employee benefits packages.

To find the best deals, you have to compare different plans and find the one that suits your needs and budget. They are usually expensive but they are worth it.

Tips for getting around the Canadian healthcare system

  • Keep your health card handy

To access healthcare services, you need your provincial or territorial health card. Always carry it with you and ensure it’s up to date.

You should renew it before it expires.

  • Know your coverage

Understand what services are covered by your provincial or territorial health plan and any private insurance you may have.

  • Regular check-ups

Prevention is better than cure, right? Schedule regular check-ups with your family doctor or a primary care provider.

  • Emergency care

In case of a medical emergency, dial 911 or go to the nearest hospital. Once you are at the hospital, they will provide emergency care to you regardless of your health insurance status.


Can I buy my own personal health insurance in Canada?

Yes, you can buy your own personal health insurance in Canada. While the basic healthcare services in Canada are provided through the publicly funded system (Medicare) and provincial or territorial health insurance plans, there are still many healthcare expenses that they do not cover.

How much does health insurance cost in Canada?

The cost of health insurance in Canada varies depending on the type of coverage, your age, how long the insurance will last, and the province where you live.


To ensure that your family is safe during health emergencies, you need a health insurance plan, it saves money and stress. You can get the provincial or private health insurance plan, your choice will depend on the coverage you want and what medical service you need.

Before getting private insurance, you can check out the provincial insurance plan, and understand what services they cover. Your health is your most valuable asset, and Canada’s healthcare system is designed to protect it.

More Related Content


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here