What is a snowbird?
A snowbird (also known as a “winter visitor”) is a seasonal traveller who escapes Canada’s harsh winter climate by migrating south to warmer destinations during the winter months. Florida, Arizona, Texas, Hawaii, and California are among the most popular locations for snowbirds to call home in the winter.
Do I need snowbird travel insurance?
The short answer is – probably.
Domestic Canadian health insurance will not provide coverage for citizens travelling outside of Canada, so snowbird insurance which includes emergency medical coverage is highly recommended for Canadians visiting the U.S.
The Government Health Insurance Plans (GHIP) is different for each province on what they cover and generally the amount is low. On average, they may cover up to $400.00 Canadian for a hospital stay and around 10% Canadian of the emergency room, urgent care or doctor visit.
In addition, without travel insurance, you will be required to pay out of pocket for medical expenses. Some medical facilities, such as hospitals, will allow a payment plan. But, for urgent care visits, doctors, dentists and expenses such as ambulance, will need to be paid out of pocket. For the most robust coverage, an all-inclusive plan may reimburse for unexpected, covered events such as trip interruption or trip cancellation.