The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and if it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation. U.S. medical insurance plans seldom cover health costs incurred outside the United States unless supplemental coverage is purchased. Further, U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do not provide payment for medical services outside the United States. However, many travel agents and private companies offer insurance plans that will cover health care expenses incurred overseas, including emergency services such as medical evacuations.
When making a decision regarding health insurance, Americans should consider that many foreign doctors and hospitals require payment in cash prior to providing service and that a medical evacuation to the United States may cost well in excess of $50,000. Uninsured travelers who require medical care overseas often face extreme difficulties. When consulting with your insurer prior to your trip, please ascertain whether payment will be made to the overseas healthcare provider or if you will be reimbursed later for expenses that you incur. Some insurance policies also include coverage for psychiatric treatment and for disposition of remains in the event of death.
U.S. citizen visitors are not required to have an HIV/AIDS test prior to entering Canada.
If you are entering Canada with prescription drugs and syringes used for medical reasons, be sure to keep the medication in its original and labeled container to avoid problems. Syringes should be accompanied by a medical certificate that shows they are for medical use and should be declared to Canadian Customs officials. It may also be wise to carry with you an extra prescription from your doctor in the event your medication is lost or stolen in order to attest to your need for such prescription medications.
Good medical care is widely available. The Canadian health care system is run on a provincial basis (e.g., the province of Ontario has its own hospital insurance plan; as does each of the other provinces and territories) and is funded by Canadian taxpayers. Tourists and temporary visitors do not qualify for this health care plan and should have their own insurance to cover medical expenses.
Health care professionals in the province of Québec might only speak French.