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Health care insurance - coverage

The Yukon Health Care Insurance plan provides coverage for medically required hospital and medical services, and certain dental-surgical procedures.

Yukon Health Care Insurance coverage normally becomes effective three months after the date you establish residency in Yukon. Through reciprocal agreements with other provinces and territories, if you are an eligible resident moving to Yukon from another part of Canada, the health insurance of your former province/territory will cover you for up to three months.

However, the department strongly encourages new and returning residents to purchase additional private health insurance to cover possible needs that are not normally covered by other jurisdictions. This includes ground transportation by ambulance or air medevac.

Health care insurance outside Yukon

Whether you leave the territory for business, a vacation or to visit families, you could be in for a severe financial shock if you have to see a doctor or go to the hospital while traveling.

If you are in an accident or become ill while traveling outside Yukon and need air or ground ambulance services, please note that your Yukon Health Care Insurance Plan (YHCIP) does not provide coverage for these services, or for the cost of any related services such as hospital transfer, escorts, and return transportation charges.  Even if you are making a day trip to Skagway, Alaska or Atlin, B.C., you should visit your insurance agent to make sure you have adequate health care insurance.

Travel must originate in Yukon in order to be eligible for medical travel benefits.

Coverage

Regardless of where you go in the world, if you maintain your Yukon residency and your registration with the Yukon Health Care Insurance Plan, you have basic coverage for medically necessary hospital and physician services. However, there are limitations to the coverage which you should know about before you begin your journey.

Private facilities

If a service provided is not an insured service under the Yukon health care insurance plan you will be required to pay for the service and/or seek reimbursement from your supplementary health insurance. Payment for hospital services occurs only when services obtained are provided in a publicly funded hospital.

As such, reimbursement for private facility fees, goods or services (such as private MRI’s) is not permitted.  In addition, Yukon health care does not cover food, lodging, transportation or other costs related to obtaining of health services at a private facility.

Before you go

Here are a few tips to help you protect yourself:

  • Check your existing medical coverage and its limitations. You may have supplementary benefits through a union or employer group plan.
  • See your travel/insurance agent, to arrange for extra health care coverage if needed. Be sure you and your family are covered for illness and disability as well as accidents.
  • Consider trip cancellation coverage, medical and hospital fees, ambulance and other medical travel.
  • Make sure you carry your extra insurance policies with you.
  • Check your Yukon Health Care Insurance Plan card to make sure the information is accurate. If it is not, contact the Insured Health Services before you go.
  • If you will be leaving the Territory for 3 months or more, fill out a Temporary Absence form.

Restrictions on Travel Coverage

Travel for the purpose of receiving medical treatment is not insured if an accident or illness occurs while you are out of the Yukon. This applies equally to the United States, Europe or any other province or territory within Canada.

If you need an ambulance or air medevac, even to return to Whitehorse from Skagway, the full cost will be your responsibility.

An accident or illness in Haines, Alaska could mean a medical evacuation to Whitehorse at a cost to you in excess of $1500.

Travel Outside Canada

There are financial limitations to your coverage for medical or hospital services outside Canada. The additional charges are your responsibility. Costs for treating an illness or injury in the United States, Europe or any foreign jurisdiction may be significantly greater than your basic Yukon physician and hospital insurance coverage. The amount you will be responsible for could amount to thousands of dollars. Purchasing additional health care insurance when traveling is recommended.

Physician services: doctor fees outside Canada are paid at Yukon rates. The actual rates charged by a physician may be higher. You will be required to pay the difference. Physicians outside Canada are not required to accept your health care card as proof they will be paid. You may be asked to pay in advance.

Hospital charges: American hospitals, especially in Alaska, Hawaii and western states charge a much higher rate than the Yukon for each day of care. The extra amount can exceed $1000 per day.

Travel Within Canada

All provinces and territories except Quebec have signed an Interprovincial Billing Agreement which provides coverage for insured hospital and physician services.

Extra coverage should also be purchased when traveling to other parts of Canada. In some areas, physicians will bill you directly for the medical services they provide to you. Some doctors have chosen to extra-bill patients, which means you will be asked to pay the difference between the approved provincial rate and the physician's rate.

Other medical travel costs could include hospital transfers, air ambulance charges, escort charges and the cost of return transportation to the Yukon.

If you cannot present a valid Yukon Health Care Insurance Plan card, out-of-Yukon hospitals and physicians may ask you to pay directly for their services, or they may bill you instead of the Yukon government. Physicians and hospitals in most parts of Canada will accept your health care card as proof they will be paid.

Health care insurance coverage for students

If you are going to university or other post secondary institution outside Yukon, Yukon Health Care Insurance will cover your doctor and hospital benefits while you are out of territory at school.

as long as you:

  • are a full-time student at a university or other recognized post-secondary institution
  • submit a temporary absence form -- before you leave -- to YHCIP for approval of continued coverage; you must do this every year you are attending post secondary school outside the territory
  • return to Yukon at least once during the school year or submit a letter explaining why you aren't returning
  • intend to return to Yukon after finishing your studies

Before you leave for school, you should:

1 Contact Insured Health Services to fill in a temporary absence form to ensure health care coverage while away at school

2 Obtain health care insurance to cover health care costs that are not covered by YHCIP. Additional health care insurance can be purchased through insurance agencies and many universities and colleges also have health care plans.

3 Ensure all vaccinations are up to date

  • Yukon students are eligible for free meningococcal vaccine
  • Meningitis is a fast-spreading virus that can have serious health consequences. Yukon Health Care Insurance Plan will not cover the cost of vaccine if not provided in Yukon.
  • Call the Whitehorse Health Centre or your local community health centre to make arrangements for the vaccine.
  • Check in with Health Services at the college or university that you will be attending to find out what, if any, other steps you need to take before leaving Yukon and what health services are provided by the institution.

Related links

Temporary absence from Yukon - If you will be away from Yukon for three months or more, you must fill out a Temporary Absence form.

Contact info

Health care insurance plan

Phone: 867-667-5209

Toll Free (Yukon, Nunavut and NWT); 1-800-661-0408 ext. 5209

Fax: 867-393-6486

Mailing Address:

Health care insurance plan (H-2)
Health & Social Services, Government of Yukon
Box 2703
Whitehorse, Yukon  Y1A 2C6

Location: 4th Floor, Financial Plaza | 204 Lambert St. | Whitehorse, Yukon [map]

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