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“I do not need a private insurance during a trip to another province.” Myth or reality?

It is a myth. As soon as you leave Québec, you must take out private insurance to cover health care and prescription drugs. Here are a few essentials to pack for a worry-free trip to Canada.

Doctors’ fees and billing

Elsewhere in Canada, doctors have the choice of billing their fees to you or to RAMQ.

You will not be required to pay for the services received. We pay the doctor according to the applicable Québec rates.

You will have to pay the doctor’s fees in full. You can then request a reimbursement, but remember that the Québec Health Insurance Plan reimburses doctors’ fees up to the rates in effect in Québec, regardless of the difference between Québec rates and those in other provinces, and regardless of whether you have paid more.

Doctors in other provinces can also determine the rate they charge without having to comply with the rate in effect in Québec or their province. For example, in British Columbia, a doctor can charge 4 times more than the applicable Québec rates for the same service.

Who will pay the portion not reimbursed by the Québec Health Insurance Plan?

You will. If you have private insurance, you can contact your insurer to find out how much you are entitled to be reimbursed.

Prescription drugs: Plan ahead

Prescription drugs purchased outside Québec are not covered by the Public Prescription Drug Insurance Plan. Anticipate the quantity of drugs you will need and buy them in advance.

Transportation fees: No reimbursement possible

The fees associated with transport to a hospital, whether by ambulance, taxi, bus, helicopter or plane, are not covered by the health insurance plan, even in an emergency.

Hospital services covered outside Canada

Hospital services include, for example, drugs and nursing care received during hospitalization or an outpatient consultation at a hospital emergency department. You will not have to pay for these services in Canada, as there is an interprovincial agreement between Québec and the other provinces. However, you must present your valid Health Insurance Card. Otherwise, you will have to pay the fees on the spot and ask us for reimbursement afterwards.

Let’s say your teenager is visiting Toronto as part of a school trip. A health problem forces them to go to the hospital emergency room, but they realize that they don’t have their Health Insurance Card. What will happen?

At the time of the visit, your teenager will have to pay for the hospital services received and, depending on the situation, for the doctor’s fees. Upon their return, you can request reimbursement if their card was valid at the time of their consultation.

Hospital services will be reimbursed in full, while doctors’ fees will be reimbursed at the applicable Québec rates.

Now that you’ve got that knowledge, you can take the necessary steps to travel the country with peace of mind. Do you have plans that involve palm trees, sand, sea and pool outside Canada for spring break? Taking out private insurance that covers you in all circumstances is just as important.

Have a great spring break!

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