Healthcare benefits for Canada’s permanent residents
Posted on March 24, 2020
Permanent residents in Canada should apply for public health insurance. With this, they are not required to pay for many healthcare services.
The healthcare system is publicly funded. This means that the cost of health and medical expenses for Canadian citizens and taxpayers is shared by the public. To be eligible for this, Canadian citizens and permanent residents should apply for a health insurance card to use public healthcare services.
Every province and territory will have its own health insurance plan. Apart from this, all provinces and territories will provide free emergency medical services, even for those without a government health card.
Some provinces provide health insurance coverage to permanent residents as soon as they arrive while for some there may be a waiting for three months. However, they can use private health insurance during this period.
With the public health insurance, permanent residents will get most healthcare services without payment. To avail the services, you must show your health insurance card at the hospital or clinic.
Under the healthcare system of Canada, hospital stays which are medically necessary which includes treatment for an illness, surgeries, childbirth etc. are covered. Prescription drugs while in hospital are also covered. You will not be asked to pay for such services. There may also be certain services which will be partially covered which requires payment from the patient. There are also some treatments or services that are not covered by insurance. The expenses must be incurred by the permanent resident. This includes cosmetic surgeries, dental care etc.
You can opt for an extended healthcare plan to avail of services not covered under the public healthcare system and to cover the expenses of other treatments.
Applying for healthcare in Canada:
You must apply for a health insurance card as soon as you land in Canada. You can find the required form at hospitals, doctor’s offices, immigration offices or pharmacies.
Healthcare requirements when you land in Canada:
Since you will have to wait for three months as a new PR visa holder, you will have to get private insurance coverage during this period. The next step is to identify a family doctor or general practitioner or GP which is necessary when you get your coverage.
You can find one by contacting your friends and families or checking with the province’s college of physicians and surgeons.
It is important to find a GP because they will help you access healthcare specialists as well as hospital beds and gets you the approval for diagnostic tests that you need.
Healthcare services in provinces:
Every province or territory will have its own health insurance plan, you must ensure you have knowledge of what your plan covers. Apart from this, every province or territory also provides free emergency medical services which you can avail in case you are outside your province during a medical emergency. But for any other services outside your province, you will need to get private medical insurance.
Canada’s healthcare system ensures everyone including immigrants have access to basic healthcare facilities and is one major benefit of getting a PR visa for Canada.