Does OHIP provide the coverage travellers need?

One of the best features of living in Canada is our healthcare system. When you get sick at home, as long as you have a government health insurance plan (GHIP, or OHIP if you reside in Ontario), you can go to the doctor, show your health card and get treated. As encompassing as the Canadian healthcare system is, it still has its limits.

Provincial and territorial government health insurance plans provide little to no coverage while you’re travelling outside Canada. Leaving the country can affect your government health insurance plan. Generally, it will only cover a very small portion of any out-of-country medical expenses. Usually, this amount is less than 10%.In the US, treatment costs for an unexpected injury or illness can be very expensive. This cost can range from $10,000 USD to $100,000 USD or more, depending on the severity. Most people do not plan for this expense when budgeting for travel.

But what if you happen to suddenly become ill or injured within Canada, but outside of your province of residence? What surprises many Canadians is that the situation is not much different when they stay within Canadian borders. Because the government takes care of our medical bills in our own province, we don’t see how much it costs for their services or stop to consider that the amount is more than we might think, or can reasonably afford.

Even if you’re a Canadian resident who’s just going to another province or territory, our provincial government health insurance plans don’t cover incidentals, such as ambulance services or medical air evacuation outside your home province or territory. They also don’t cover medical services such as ambulatory services, repatriation to the province of residence, prescription drugs such as painkiller and antibiotics, emergency dental care services, physiotherapy, chiropractic and osteopathy. 

Be prepared for unexpected expenses. Otherwise, you may have to pay more than is affordable for you, your health, or your finances.

Your government health care may not be valid in other provinces or territories. However, this does not mean you cannot take trips outside of your own province or territory.. That’s not very realistic or much fun. Having travel medical insurance can provide peace of mind, while planning a trip.

Travel medical insurance is similar to government health care coverage. However, it is tailored to travelers. It only provides coverage for unexpected medical emergencies. (i.e. versus for continuing care of medical conditions you have before you leave). 

This protection may offer up to $10 million in emergency medical and hospital coverage. It also provides 24/7 emergency travel assistance from a helpful and knowledgeable assistance team. This is in case you become ill or injured and need emergency medical treatment.. 

And when you present your travel insurance information (much like when you show your GHIP/OHIP card at home in Canada) your access to necessary emergency treatment and care is facilitated on your behalf by Allianz Global Assistance, which will arrange for direct billing with medical providers whenever possible so that you’re not stuck paying for treatment out of pocket.

Although some credit cards offer out-of-country medical insurance, there are often restrictions. For instance, your credit card’s emergency medical insurance might only be valid for a certain number of days within a specified period. This may leave you without coverage if you take an extended trip.

To avoid any surprises, it is important to review the terms and conditions of your insurance policy or speak to your credit card company to confirm coverage.

Learn more about travel insurance offered by Allianz Global Assistance or get a quote now.


Travel insurance is underwritten by CUMIS General Insurance Company, a member of The Co-operators Group of Companies, administered by Allianz Global Assistance, which is a registered business name of AZGA Service Canada Inc.

Travel protected with Allianz Global Assistance
Or call us at 1-844-310-1578 
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