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Travelling within Canada

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By plane, train, bus or automobile, thousands of Canadians travel from one province to another every day – for professional or personal reasons.

Many Canadians think that we have a “national health care plan” that protects us equally no matter where we are in the country, but that is not quite how it works. Canada does not have a single national health care plan, but rather a national health insurance program comprised of thirteen interlocking, yet independent provincial and territorial health insurance plans. They share certain common features and basic standards of coverage, but they are not all the same. Overall, “the national program” is designed to ensure that all Canadian residents have reasonable access to medically necessary hospital and physician services… but under the terms of the health insurance plan offered in their province or territory of residence¹.

What does that mean? It means that each of us are covered by our own provincial or territorial government health insurance plan (GHIP) for medically necessary hospital and physician services, no matter where we are in the country. As we all know, a GHIP does not cover all expenses related to a medical emergency when you are in your own province/territory of residence and will not do so either when you are elsewhere in the country.

Excluded medical costs are not the only risk to your wallet. A GHIP will not cover – to name a few – expenses related to lost or delayed luggage, trip cancellation/interruption or return of a vehicle. A GHIP will not provide any emergency travel assistance services either, such as directing you to a recommended service provider, or relaying important messages to your family or business during a medical emergency.

Whether you’re travelling within Canada or out-of-country, it’s always important to have the right coverage. Take some time to better understand when you can and cannot count on your GHIP and explore the option of adding travel insurance that meets your needs.



Article courtesy of Johnson Inc. ("Johnson"). Johnson Insurance operates as Johnson Insurance Services in British Columbia and Johnson Inc. in Manitoba. Johnson is an insurance intermediary specializing in home, auto and travel insurance, as well as group benefits. For more information about Johnson, go to (Quebec residents please visit:

This article is provided for your general information only. Nothing in this article alters the terms or conditions of any insurance policy. Read your policy for a complete description of coverage and contact your insurance provider or intermediary for coverage and policy details.

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