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Old 10-21-2008, 11:39 PM   #1
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All the insurance companies say that you must be covered by your provincial health plan. Sure, I'm covered, right now. But with provincial health care you are cut off once you are out of the province for 3 months. So does this mean that the insurance you purchase won't work anymore??

Can someone please help me, this is stressing me out. I plan to be gone for 3+years and I don't know if I will even come back to visit in that time. But regardless, I'm sure there are Canadians here who have travelled for more than 3 months..!!?!
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Old 10-22-2008, 08:13 AM   #2
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Yes its kind of sticky situation but if you are leaving the country tell them that you are and they will keep your health care activated as long as you arent immigrating for good. I would contact your provincial health insurance company and talk to someone. They aren't gonna panic or black list you for contacting them. I think thats your best. Good Luck!
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Old 10-22-2008, 12:31 PM   #3
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In ontario you're good for a maximum of 7 months so I never really had to worry. I know that in ontario you can apply for a max 2 year leave of absence. My only advice would be to talk to your ministry of health. It's a pain in the ass, but a necessary one...
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Old 10-23-2008, 06:33 AM   #4
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Any Canadian wanna explain their healthcare system to us Americans? Or at least me?...

I'd love to hear the Brits/Aussies/Irish take as well...maybe one day we could compare and contrast the systems (as they are - not in a political "should be this way...Senator Mcbama proposes this...blah blah)
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Old 10-23-2008, 07:22 AM   #5
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what exactly are you asking for? I think each of the provinces are slightly different...

In Ontario we have OHIP, our Ontario Health Insurance Plan which covers you for everything except for drugs, dental and stuff like overnight stays in hospitals (well it actually does cover it for a bit but I think you'll end up paying something if you're not insured and have to be admitted for a while...like over 7 days or something).When overseas I'm covered for a max $400 or something by OHIP for a max of 7 months. I guess that's really all I know/need to know at the moment. Bascially almost all of our health care is paid for, which is why our taxes are so high (that and our subsidized schooling)
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Old 10-23-2008, 12:25 PM   #6
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Right well about all I know is that your high taxes go towards paying your healthcare. I'm sure you're aware its not like that here in the States.

So if you are sick and you want to visit a doctor to get antibiotics do you just call and schedule an appointment, show up, get looked over, perhaps get some medicine, get well?

And what if you have to visit a specialist - do you just call them up and go?
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Old 10-23-2008, 12:39 PM   #7
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This is how it works. If you are in a province in Canada, any fees from emergency medical stuff or doctors are free.

It is this BASIS that travel insurance is based on.

So yes, if you go travel, you should get extra insurance if you don't want to be stuck with a massive bill in case you need to get some strange shot due to an insect bite. They can also help you locate a doctor (although, in my experience, they're not great at doing this).

If you're young, travel insurance should be relatively cheap, and should be able to last over 3 months.

(I was on travel insurance for 5 months in 2005-2006 when I lived temporarily in Washington DC)
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Old 10-23-2008, 05:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbo108 View Post
So if you are sick and you want to visit a doctor to get antibiotics do you just call and schedule an appointment, show up, get looked over, perhaps get some medicine, get well?

And what if you have to visit a specialist - do you just call them up and go?
If you are sick and your doctor has appointments free, sure you can just call you doctor up and go (although that's pretty unlikely). Otherwise you can just go to walk in clinics and wait for like an hour (or 4...depending on the clinic) until they can see you....you can pretty much get anything done at a clinic though.

Otherwise you book a normal appointment with your doctor. Check-ups are free. Vaccines are free for children (the basic ones). You still get PRESCRIPTIONS for drugs so no you can't just show up to your doctor and get handed drugs, you have to go to the pharmacy and buy them (drugs are not free).

If you're really sick you go to a hospital and wait in emerg. Also free but the line-ups can be long. And pretty much everything there is covered like CT's MRI's cancer treatment, etc
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Old 10-23-2008, 05:39 PM   #9
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What medical services are insured by Manitoba Health?

Manitoba Health directly pays physicians’ services that are medically required for you or your dependants. If you are a Manitoba resident, and are physically present in the province for 183 days, you are eligible for insured medical services. Benefits include the following services:
  • Patients who are billed for insured services by physicians who practice outside the plan are entitled to reimbursement from Manitoba Health
  • Physicians’ services
  • Surgery / anaesthesia
  • X-ray and laboratory services in approved facilities when ordered by a physician
What other practitioners’ services am I insured for?
Optometrists
If you are under 19 years of age or 65 and over you may receive one complete routine eye exam every two years. Exams for all ages will be covered if deemed medically necessary by your physician or optometrist.
ChiropractorsManitoba Health will insure a maximum of 12 visits per Manitoba resident per calendar year. The adjustment of the spinal column, pelvis and extremities are insured chiropractic services.
Dental Surgeons
Manitoba Health will insure certain dental procedures when hospitalization is required.


Which hospital services are insured?


You are insured for the following hospital services:
  • Accommodation and meals at the standard level
  • Necessary nursing services
  • Laboratory, x-ray and diagnostic procedures
  • Medications administered in a hospital
  • Use of the operating room, care room and anaesthetic facilities
  • Routine surgical supplies
  • Occupational, speech and physiotherapy
  • Dietetic counselling
I've never really thought much about our healthcare but regardless of wait times Manitoba has a pretty good program.
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Old 10-23-2008, 06:20 PM   #10
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In addition, I'll say that to see a specialist, you must first of all get a prescription from a generalist. It can be a long process as one has to wait weeks or months to see a doctor, so double the time if you need a specialist.
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Old 10-23-2008, 07:07 PM   #11
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Yeah, i was just referred to a specialist and my doctor had to put in a request although fortunately I got in in under a month. My sister has a fairly complicated disease and in order to get into a lot of her specialist doctors her GP had to make appointments for her about 6 months in advance. But still, it's free right?
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Old 10-23-2008, 09:37 PM   #12
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I had the same dilemma until i looked it up for myself and it says that we are good for up to 24months. i'm only traveling for 1.5 years so i don't need to worry, but i'm not sure what you need to do to go away longer. They have a phone number on there where you can talk to someone and explain the situation, and i'm sure they could advise you on what to do.

it won't let me post the link but just google 'msp bc residents' it's the first site that comes up and there's a link that says 'leaving b.c.'
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Old 11-03-2008, 03:33 PM   #13
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Quote:
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I had the same dilemma until i looked it up for myself and it says that we are good for up to 24months. i'm only traveling for 1.5 years so i don't need to worry, but i'm not sure what you need to do to go away longer. They have a phone number on there where you can talk to someone and explain the situation, and i'm sure they could advise you on what to do.

it won't let me post the link but just google 'msp bc residents' it's the first site that comes up and there's a link that says 'leaving b.c.'

Okay to clarify. I am planning to travel LONG TERM. 3+ years. None of the insurance companies will cover me. They all say I have to be covered by my provincial health care...which as far as I can tell will only cover up to 2 years. I even asked them "but can I not just pay a higher rate?" and they said that for Canadians they have no other plan.

I am really at wits end here, I've been trying to sort this out for 6 months. Does anyone know?

Surely there are people in the world who have gone from one country to another without going home. I have met a few myself as they pass through Canada that have been gone from their home for years.
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Old 11-03-2008, 04:27 PM   #14
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How, exactly, do they know if you've been in the province or not for your 2+ years? couldn't you just fudge/fake this?

I guess maybe customs scans your passport on the way out but here in the US our government agencies don't have their shit together at all when it comes to sharing information.
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Old 11-04-2008, 03:51 AM   #15
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Quote:
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How, exactly, do they know if you've been in the province or not for your 2+ years? couldn't you just fudge/fake this?

I guess maybe customs scans your passport on the way out but here in the US our government agencies don't have their shit together at all when it comes to sharing information.

huh...now this is quite the interesting point
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They ask "How long will you be gone?" I say "I don't know..."
They look at me incredulously and I smile.


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http://www.westcoastabbey.com Spring 2009 - ??
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Old 11-04-2008, 05:15 AM   #16
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Yeah, there's no way they'd be able to figure that out in the US.

So I buy health insurance through my employer and its a pretty decent plan and doesn't cost too much I guess to cover me and my wife. If we wanna go to the regular doctor we call, make the appointment, then pay like $20 when we get there. If we want to go to a specialst we have to get a referral. From my experience, as long as you've seen your regular doctor lately (or even up to a year or two if they know you and know you're mostly healthy) they call (or fax or email) the specialist to pass along the referral. Then when I get to the specialst I pay like $40 or so.

Prescription drugs vary of course. And as for MRIs, other screenings, luckily I dont have experience with these on a personal level. I imagine I'd incur some fees but insurance would pay most of it. I believe thats where health care is really important - its not for the sniffles, its when you need specialized tests and procedures that would costs hunderds and thousands if you didnt have it covered by a private insurer.
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