Healthcare for visitors in Toronto?
July 23, 2014 11:41 AM   Subscribe

My cousin is visiting from the US and her joints are hurting a lot. Since she is a visitor she has no OHIP or health insurance here. For someone who is medically uninsured, I need more information on (1) x-ray centers and (2) medical labs (for blood work) in the Toronto-Mississauga area. Also, I would appreciate your advice on any (3) good, inexpensive health insurance plans you know about. If you can help me with any of these it would be a great help.
posted by cyrusw8 to Health & Fitness (11 answers total)
Does she have American health insurance and you are assuming she is not covered in Canada? Because that may or may not be true and she should call her insurance provider to discuss. If she has no insurance, that is a different issue.
posted by brainmouse at 11:52 AM on July 23, 2014

As far as I know she has a complex issue with her healthcare insurance in the US and will not be covered in Canada. I already took her to a clinic for the medically uninsured and they asked for some blood work and x-rays and told us that we might find x-ray centers and medical labs for the medically uninsured...
posted by cyrusw8 at 12:03 PM on July 23, 2014

if she has insurance in the US, how does she know nothing is covered in Canada/out-of-country ? Step one should be calling the number on the back of her insurance card and talking with her insurer about what options are available to her.
posted by k5.user at 12:11 PM on July 23, 2014

I realize that you've asked for recommendations in Mississauga/Toronto, but if all else fails is it possible to go back to the States for treatment? Buffalo/Niagara Falls is only about an hour and a bit away from Toronto.
posted by heavenstobetsy at 12:17 PM on July 23, 2014 [4 favorites]

I would appreciate your advice on any (3) good, inexpensive health insurance plans you know about

Private health insurance plans for visitors won't cover preexisting conditions that manifest right before you buy the policy.
posted by grouse at 12:27 PM on July 23, 2014

I think either of the major community labs (LifeLabs or Gamma Dynacare) will allow someone who is not covered by provincial insurance to pay for testing with a credit card, etc. Most medical imaging clinics should be able to do so as well. I don't know how much it might cost, though. I'm not sure if this is what you're asking, or if you specifically are looking for somewhere that would treat an uninsured patient at low cost -- that might be more difficult since most people here are covered.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 12:28 PM on July 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

Yeah exactly. Something that treat a patient at low cost... The doctor at the clinic we went to told us we could find such medical labs and imaging clinics online but I had no luck with that..
posted by cyrusw8 at 12:42 PM on July 23, 2014

Call the clinic and tell them you need help finding a lab. It is odd that they expect you to find one yourself, since they would be in the best position to know about such places.
posted by soelo at 12:58 PM on July 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

I don't think you will find a specific low cost clinic because most people are covered so there is not a major demand. However you could call all the centres near you and ask about their prices. Just tell each clinic the same (short) story and see what you can find. I remember asking about an ultra sound once and it was about $100 to give you some parameters.
posted by saradarlin at 1:02 PM on July 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

For someone who is medically uninsured

That's not accurate if she has health insurance. I know, she doesn't have Canadian health insurance, but she has American health insurance, right? Have her call her insurance company and ask about coverage in a foreign country.
posted by John Cohen at 1:47 PM on July 23, 2014

Tradionally, if you don't have health care coverage you would go to a CHC, it is part of their mandate. The one closest to you is:
East Mississauga Community Health Centre. LAMP
East Mississauga Community Health Centre, 2555 Dixie Rd Unit 7, Mississauga, ON
L4Y 4C4
CHC's have been around for 40ish years providing free medical care to non-OHIP clients, although they don't do the lab work/X-rays themselves (usually), they have up to date lists of affordable service providers. To be honest though, even without their assurance, lab work and X-rays outside of OHIP are really not very expensive. If that CHC can't help for whatever reason, there is also a senior-focused CHC at Bramalea and Queen.

You can also call Peel Health at 905-799-7700, they should be able to give you guidance as well. Good luck!
posted by saucysault at 7:49 PM on July 23, 2014 [2 favorites]

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