Health Benefits – “Medicare”
The Canadian health care system is commonly known as medicare. Under this system, fees for medical treatment are paid by taxes. With some provinces you have to pay a monthly health care premium, however in other provinces the provincial government pays the cost of medicare. Having medicare benefits means that you do not have to pay when you visit a doctor or a hospital as long as the services you receive are considered essential. Essential services are those such as examinations and treatments from family doctors, many kinds of surgery, most treatments by specialists, hospital care, x-rays, many laboratory tests, and most vaccinations. However, dental services, for example, are not.
Medicare is available to all Canadian citizens and permanent residents. If you are on a Temporary Resident Visa (visitor, student, or work) you do not have medicare and you are responsible for making sure you have some kind of medical coverage, most likely from your home country. If you do not have something in place, you (or your husband) will have to pay for medical expenses in Canada.
If you are working, you may be able to access health insurance through your job to supplement medicare. It is important to talk to your employer about this possibility.