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Emigrating and medication advice

Emigrating and medication advice

Old Jun 14th 2019, 11:10 pm
  #16  
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Default Re: Emigrating and medication advice

I'm not sure that you are doing the right thing in getting TRAVEL insurance when you are immigrating into Canada.

You need private medical insurance to bridge the gap between the date of arrival and approximately 3 months later. In fact, I'm not sure but that you HAVE to have private medical insurance to bridge the gap if you are immigrating, but others may know better. I certainly would NOT recommend relying on Travel Insurance for an immigrant!

As Bristol said, the month you arrive counts as month 1, so it is not 3 full months.

You do realise that you can't just waltz into a clinic and ask for a prescription for Thyroxine, don't you??

The doctor will want to run tests to see your exact medical condition, run tests to see what you need, etc etc. You will have to pay for everything, and the costs soon mount up.

Believe me ......... we had to take a visitor with Travel Insurance to a walk-in clinic when he became sick just 3 days before leaving from home. He had to pay in advance for doctor's visits (2), X-ray, and some blood tests and then claim back from the insurance after he got home. The cost was very close to $500.

Last edited by scilly; Jun 14th 2019 at 11:15 pm.
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Old Jun 15th 2019, 4:51 am
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Default Re: Emigrating and medication advice

Originally Posted by L0VE View Post
Yes, of course, I'll have insurance! I've had quotes just working which is the best for family and myself. However, I was looking at that for a medical emergency like my son breaking his leg, hospital admission etc But for a tiny cheap pill that I need to take it just seems a big hassle putting a claim in for that. So was wondering if I had any other options
So I presume I could find a private DR when I land to just get a prescription? If so any tips on how to find one, please? I know where we are going there are huge waiting lists to get a DR, but I gather it won't be the same to see a private DR before the health care system kicks in and I can visit the walk-in clinic.
Do have a look at our Wiki about cover for medical costs before you are entitled to Provincial Health care.... look for One Way Insurance - travel insurance won't work for you if you are emigrating as it's for people who are returning to the UK... or can be repatriated to the UK in the event of an accident. You will probably find downunder emigrant insurance to be a good one 0 it covers you for the initial flight over etc., and then up to 3 months when you arrive. https://britishexpats.com/wiki/Medic...avel_insurance - it may not cover you for getting this medication but good to have in the event one of you needs to see a doctor due to illness or an accident.

You can ask your GP for a month worth (and possibly 2) if you explain that you are emigrating and need medication to cover you until you can find a doctor in Canada.

There aren't private doctors in Canada per se What you will do is bring a copy of your medical records and a prescription from your Doctor in the UK, go to a Walk In Clinic - where you will have to pay to see the doctor (as you won't be covered under Provincial Healthcare initially) and explain that you need the medication (this is where the prescription from your Doctor - and perhaps a letter explaining the circumstances of why you need the medication and what dosage you have been given previously will come in handy) - obtain the prescription from the walk in clinic doctor, walk to the pharmacy and present it. It will cost you an arm and a leg for the meds as in Canada there are no discounted medication costs like the UK, we pay the actual cost of the medication. Some places are cheaper than others.. Costco (where you don't need to be a member to use the pharmacy) tends to be one of the cheapest. There are usually walk in clinics within Walmarts now - where you can also get your prescription filled at a reasonable cost

The cost of medication will be down to you though, regardless of when you are covered by Provincial Healthcare, unless you have a job where you have 'benefits' including medical cover.

For BC- https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/h...p/bc-residents


Last edited by Siouxie; Jun 16th 2019 at 6:26 pm.
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Old Jun 15th 2019, 6:37 am
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Default Re: Emigrating and medication advice

Originally Posted by scilly View Post
I'm not sure that you are doing the right thing in getting TRAVEL insurance when you are immigrating into Canada.
If you look at the link the OP has given for the insurance they intend to buy, it’s not travel insurance at all but insurance for new immigrants, so they are looking at the correct thing.

HTH.

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Old Jun 15th 2019, 10:20 am
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Default Re: Emigrating and medication advice

Thank you for all the replies and wealth of info. I appreciate it

Originally Posted by christmasoompa View Post
Looks like about $130 for a 3 month supply according to a previous post on the forum. So more than the NHS, but not too bad.

HTH.
Christmasoopa, I just checked here https://www.pac.bluecross.ca/pharmacycompass In Walmart it's just 10 cents a tablet and $10 dispensing fee so for 3 months $20 which is super great

Originally Posted by BristolUK View Post
I can't speak for this medication but any testing needed can still be done and paid for in the same way and with coverage kicking in after a couple of months it would soon be covered anyway. I believe arriving in June - no matter what date - makes June the first of the 3 months, so coverage 1st September.
Thank you Bristol. That is handy to know

Originally Posted by Almost Canadian View Post
In Alberta at least, anyone can use a walk in clinic, but you have to pay for the privilege.

Thyroxine is called Synthroid over here.
Thank you I had no idea. Now I know what to ask for. I might have had lots of fun trying to order Levothyroxine if it's called something else Ha Ha

Originally Posted by scilly View Post
I'm not sure that you are doing the right thing in getting TRAVEL insurance when you are immigrating into Canada.

You need private medical insurance to bridge the gap between the date of arrival and approximately 3 months later. In fact, I'm not sure but that you HAVE to have private medical insurance to bridge the gap if you are immigrating, but others may know better. I certainly would NOT recommend relying on Travel Insurance for an immigrant!

As Bristol said, the month you arrive counts as month 1, so it is not 3 full months.

You do realise that you can't just waltz into a clinic and ask for a prescription for Thyroxine, don't you??

The doctor will want to run tests to see your exact medical condition, run tests to see what you need, etc etc. You will have to pay for everything, and the costs soon mount up.

Believe me ......... we had to take a visitor with Travel Insurance to a walk-in clinic when he became sick just 3 days before leaving from home. He had to pay in advance for doctor's visits (2), X-ray, and some blood tests and then claim back from the insurance after he got home. The cost was very close to $500.
Yes, I'm not getting travel insurance just medical insurance coverage until the health plan kicks in.
I've got a print out of my medical history and was tested this week and have a full print out of my results ready to take to Canada.
I need a repeat my test in 8 weeks. I usually do my thyroid testing at home in the UK privately they are also set up in Canada so I can order a private test when I arrive. My medication is $20 for 3 months.

Originally Posted by Siouxie View Post
Do have a look at our Wiki about cover for medical costs before you are entitled to Provincial Health care.... look for One Way Insurance - travel insurance won't work for you if you are emigrating as it's for people who are returning to the UK... or can be repatriated to the UK in the event of an accident. You will probably find downunder emigrant insurance to be a good one 0 it covers you for the initial flight over etc., and then up to 3 months when you arrive. https://britishexpats.com/wiki/Medic...avel_insurance - it may not cover you for getting this medication but good to have in the event one of you needs to see a doctor due to illness or an accident.

You can ask your GP for a month worth (and possibly 2) if you explain that you are emigrating and need medication to cover you until you can find a doctor in Canada.

There aren't private doctors in Canada per se What you will do is bring a copy of your medical records and a prescription from your Doctor in the UK, go to a Walk In Clinic - where you will have to pay to see the doctor (as you won't be covered under Provincial Healthcare initially) and explain that you need the medication (this is where the prescription from your Doctor - and perhaps a letter explaining the circumstances of why you need the medication and what dosage you have been given previously will come in handy) - obtain the prescription from the walk in clinic doctor, walk to the pharmacy and present it. It will cost you an arm and a leg for the meds as in Canada there are no discounted medication costs like the UK, we pay the actual cost of the medication. Some places are cheaper than others.. Costco (where you don't need to be a member to use the pharmacy) tends to be one of the cheapest. There are usually walk in clinics within Walmarts now - where you can also get your prescription filled at a reasonable cost

The cost of medication will be down to you though, regardless of when you are covered by Provincial Healthcare, unless you have a job where you have 'benefits' including medical cover.

For BC- https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/h...p/bc-residents

Thank you Siouxie great info! Yes, the wiki is amazing!.
I have an appointment on Tuesday and will request a prescription to last the initial landing period and a letter that outlines my medication and condition. I was told on a UK thyroid forum that the Drs should give me enough to cover the first three months. Fingers crossed.
I just read that Hurlabrick's wife managed to get a 6 months supply from the UK DR before moving to Canada! So there is hope

I've been pointed out that there is a company in the USA I can order my medication from to be sent in the UK (not Canada) but not sure if it would arrive on time. But that might be plan B
Both my partner and I are self-employed so no medical cover with work.

I'm not sure if it's the stress of it all that has made me ill again, but it's just real bad timing. The worst part is my brain stops thinking/functioning and I'm like a Zombie. Hopefully, this new dosage will kick in within 10 days and I'll be back my happy bouncy self and charging through my MASSIVE to-do list like a rocket flying into space. Ha Ha

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Old Jun 15th 2019, 11:32 am
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Default Re: Emigrating and medication advice

Also be aware that there are restrictions of bring prescription medications into Canada by visitors (not applicable to you) and residents/new residents (applicable to you).

Canadian Resident:
Importations of prescription drugs by Canadian residents are not permitted by mail or courier.

So as not to interrupt a course of treatment, Health Canada may use enforcement discretion to permit a Canadians returning from abroad to bring with them on their person a single course of treatment or a 90-day supply based on the directions for use, whichever is less, of a prescription drug.

The drug must be for the individual's own personal use or the use of a person for whom they are responsible and with whom they are travelling.

The drug must be in one of the following:
  • Hospital or pharmacy dispensed packaging;
  • Original retail packaging; or
  • have the original label affixed to it which clearly indicates what the health product is and what it contains.
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Old Jun 15th 2019, 2:19 pm
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Default Re: Emigrating and medication advice

Do have a look at Costco pharmacies too, I have friends on Synthoid who say it's much cheaper there than anywhere else.
You don't need to be a Costco member to use their pharmacies either.
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Old Jun 15th 2019, 3:34 pm
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Default Re: Emigrating and medication advice

Originally Posted by scilly View Post


Believe me ......... we had to take a visitor with Travel Insurance to a walk-in clinic when he became sick just 3 days before leaving from home. He had to pay in advance for doctor's visits (2), X-ray, and some blood tests and then claim back from the insurance after he got home. The cost was very close to $500.
That's very reasonable - we took our dog to the vet - he had a couple of X-rays and some blood tests - the cost was $637.
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Old Jun 15th 2019, 3:42 pm
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Default Re: Emigrating and medication advice

Originally Posted by scilly View Post
.... The doctor will want to run tests to see your exact medical condition, run tests to see what you need, etc etc. You will have to pay for everything, and the costs soon mount up. ....
It can be one of the most difficult things to come to terms with if you have grown up in the comforting embrace of the nanny state the NHS, that pretty much everywhere else in the world you have to take personal responsibility for paying at least a good part of the cost of medical services and/or the cost of medical insurance.

Last edited by Pulaski; Jun 15th 2019 at 3:55 pm.
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Old Jun 15th 2019, 4:39 pm
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Default Re: Emigrating and medication advice

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
It can be one of the most difficult things to come to terms with if you have grown up in the comforting embrace of the nanny state the NHS, that pretty much everywhere else in the world you have to take personal responsibility for paying at least a good part of the cost of medical services and/or the cost of medical insurance.
I've noticed that on here!

We've been here so long, and the only medication I was on back then was for birth control ...... I can't remember whether I had to pay for the 6 month supply that I brought with me! I do know that it didn't worry me that I had to pay for my prescriptions here, so I think it wasn't free in the UK back then.

In fact, I find myself blessing the fact that we live in Canada not the US, because so much is covered here that is not below the line.

I don't know about Australia ........... we had to pay for visits to the doctor when we were down there, but didn't have any prescriptions to buy. Same happened in NZ.
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Old Jun 15th 2019, 5:24 pm
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Default Re: Emigrating and medication advice

Originally Posted by scilly View Post
.... In fact, I find myself blessing the fact that we live in Canada not the US, because so much is covered here that is not below the line. ....
That's an interesting perspective, because I am surprised how much the cost of medical treatment and services gets talked about in the Canadian forum. And in all honesty, the US system is nowhere near as bad as it is consistently portrayed overseas, including in Canada, with the bit most often overlooked, perhaps deliberately so, is that (depending on which state you live in) income taxes in the US may be substantially lower, offsetting the cost of insurance, in my case entirely so - in other words if you add up all my taxes deducted from my salary and include insurance and Health Savings Account deducts as if they were taxes, I still pay a lower percentage in taxes than I did in the UK. And the (tax free) funds in my wife's and my HSAs are massively more than we have ever needed, so far, to pay out-of-pocket towards medical expenses.

Last edited by Pulaski; Jun 15th 2019 at 5:27 pm.
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Old Jun 15th 2019, 10:10 pm
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Default Re: Emigrating and medication advice

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
That's an interesting perspective, because I am surprised how much the cost of medical treatment and services gets talked about in the Canadian forum. And in all honesty, the US system is nowhere near as bad as it is consistently portrayed overseas, including in Canada, with the bit most often overlooked, perhaps deliberately so, is that (depending on which state you live in) income taxes in the US may be substantially lower, offsetting the cost of insurance, in my case entirely so - in other words if you add up all my taxes deducted from my salary and include insurance and Health Savings Account deducts as if they were taxes, I still pay a lower percentage in taxes than I did in the UK. And the (tax free) funds in my wife's and my HSAs are massively more than we have ever needed, so far, to pay out-of-pocket towards medical expenses.

Going back many years .............. my daughter was born via an unexpected caesarean, gynaecologist and paediatrician called in at the last minute, 10 days in hospital at $5 a day for me and $1 day in the nursery for her was the total cost ............. $60

A friend had a baby naturally in the US about the same time, she worked in the Labour ward and just reported to delivery one day. The only person who did not bill her was the anaesthetist, a personal friend. Total cost for her (5 days in hospital) was well over $1,000

Yes, we need Extended Health up here to get the best care, eg pay for a private or 2-bed hospital room, and to cover the cost of prescription drugs from pharmacies .............. but the costs to us are not exorbitant. Hospital stay now is around $50-60 a night in a 2-bed ward, all meals,drugs and medical services free. So total cost for a one night stay is around $50. A 4 or 5 bed room (usually the largest found here) is around $20 a night, free if you are counted low income.

People complain about the wait times for operations and they can be, often are, horrendous ....... but so can they be in the UK. My brother died prematurely because of having to wait over-long for tests there, and other relatives complain of the long waits.

We pay for prescription drugs outside the hospital, but not for the visit to a doctor's office whether that be the GP or a referral to a specialist.

I see complaints up here in Canada about long waits for operations or to see the specialist and about the cost of certain drugs, but not about the cost of hospital stays. I don't hear about charges for aspirins given in hospital, etc etc.

We have a close friend who is a specialist in the US, he has opted out of any of those Health Plans. His patients now have to pay him and the clinic and then claim back from their Plan. He and the group of doctors decided on this when they realised they were employing 6 staff just to deal with claims that often took a minimum of 6 months to be paid, and there was little or no money left for the partners "take" ......... one month, there was $100 per partner.


That's what I base my "perspective" on.

Much of the talk in this forum is actually based on the cost in Canada vs the cost in the UK . When you are used to so much free service, then having to pay comes as a shock and seems exorbitant!
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Old Jun 16th 2019, 4:54 pm
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Default Re: Emigrating and medication advice

Originally Posted by L0VE View Post
Thank you for all the replies and wealth of info. I appreciate it

Christmasoopa, I just checked here https://www.pac.bluecross.ca/pharmacycompass In Walmart it's just 10 cents a tablet and $10 dispensing fee so for 3 months $20 which is super great

Thank you Bristol. That is handy to know

Thank you I had no idea. Now I know what to ask for. I might have had lots of fun trying to order Levothyroxine if it's called something else Ha Ha

Yes, I'm not getting travel insurance just medical insurance coverage until the health plan kicks in.
I've got a print out of my medical history and was tested this week and have a full print out of my results ready to take to Canada.
I need a repeat my test in 8 weeks. I usually do my thyroid testing at home in the UK privately they are also set up in Canada so I can order a private test when I arrive. My medication is $20 for 3 months.

Thank you Siouxie great info! Yes, the wiki is amazing!.
I have an appointment on Tuesday and will request a prescription to last the initial landing period and a letter that outlines my medication and condition. I was told on a UK thyroid forum that the Drs should give me enough to cover the first three months. Fingers crossed.
I just read that Hurlabrick's wife managed to get a 6 months supply from the UK DR before moving to Canada! So there is hope

I've been pointed out that there is a company in the USA I can order my medication from to be sent in the UK (not Canada) but not sure if it would arrive on time. But that might be plan B
Both my partner and I are self-employed so no medical cover with work.

I'm not sure if it's the stress of it all that has made me ill again, but it's just real bad timing. The worst part is my brain stops thinking/functioning and I'm like a Zombie. Hopefully, this new dosage will kick in within 10 days and I'll be back my happy bouncy self and charging through my MASSIVE to-do list like a rocket flying into space. Ha Ha
You are most welcome

Do check about the limitations on the amount of medications that can be bought INTO Canada.. the maximum allowed is for 90 days and must be accompanied by a prescription and be in the original dispensing container with your (or the patients) name on it.


Memorandum D19-9-1 - The Administration of Health Canada Acts and Regulations Relating to Certain Controlled, Prohibited or Regulated Goods
https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/heal...ety/medication

You might find the wiki "to do lists" of help!

https://britishexpats.com/wiki/To_Do_Lists-Canada
https://britishexpats.com/wiki/Categ...gistics-Canada
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Old Jun 16th 2019, 5:45 pm
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Default Re: Emigrating and medication advice

Originally Posted by raindropsandroses View Post
Do have a look at Costco pharmacies too, I have friends on Synthoid who say it's much cheaper there than anywhere else.
You don't need to be a Costco member to use their pharmacies either.
Thank you raindropandroses. There is a Costco nearby and yes it's cheaper. $12.59 for a 3 months supply!

Originally Posted by Former Lancastrian View Post
Also be aware that there are restrictions of bring prescription medications into Canada by visitors (not applicable to you) and residents/new residents (applicable to you).

Canadian Resident:
Importations of prescription drugs by Canadian residents are not permitted by mail or courier.

So as not to interrupt a course of treatment, Health Canada may use enforcement discretion to permit a Canadians returning from abroad to bring with them on their person a single course of treatment or a 90-day supply based on the directions for use, whichever is less, of a prescription drug.

The drug must be for the individual's own personal use or the use of a person for whom they are responsible and with whom they are travelling.

The drug must be in one of the following:
  • Hospital or pharmacy dispensed packaging;
  • Original retail packaging; or
  • have the original label affixed to it which clearly indicates what the health product is and what it contains.
Thank you it's only between 60-90 days of thyroxine plus iron tablets on prescription, that I'll be needing to take with me.

Originally Posted by Siouxie View Post
You are most welcome

Do check about the limitations on the amount of medications that can be bought INTO Canada.. the maximum allowed is for 90 days and must be accompanied by a prescription and be in the original dispensing container with your (or the patients) name on it.


Memorandum D19-9-1 - The Administration of Health Canada Acts and Regulations Relating to Certain Controlled, Prohibited or Regulated Goods
https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/heal...ety/medication

You might find the wiki "to do lists" of help!

https://britishexpats.com/wiki/To_Do_Lists-Canada
https://britishexpats.com/wiki/Categ...gistics-Canada
Thank you, Siouxie! Yes, I based my to-do list from the wiki. It's very helpful.
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Old Jun 16th 2019, 11:02 pm
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Default Re: Emigrating and medication advice

Thank you it's only between 60-90 days of thyroxine plus iron tablets on prescription, that I'll be needing to take with me.
I don't think you get these on prescription ............ any time that I have had to take them (not for a thyroid condition), I have had to buy my own over the counter. You find them in the Vitamin and Supplements section in the open shelving of any drug store.
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Old Jun 16th 2019, 11:11 pm
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Default Re: Emigrating and medication advice

I noticed that you said that you are both self-employed. I trust you are aware that you have to enrol in MSP and pay your own monthly premiums for the remainder of 2019. MSP becomes free as of January 1 2020. The rate you pay depends on your income in the previous Canadian tax year.

I would seriously urge you to consider also taking out private medical insurance (Extended Health) with one of the major programme insurance providers in BC. Pacific Blue Cross, SunLIfe and BCAA come to mind as companies to explore.

Last edited by scilly; Jun 16th 2019 at 11:18 pm.
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