Ever since I can remember I've heard the comment that there is "no difference" between Canadians and Americans. I respectfully beg to differ as there is a difference on so many levels! We have unique Canadian culture consisting of Canadianisms, a Canadian perspective on world events, Canadian cuisine as well as products and foods only available in Canada. This blog is dedicated to celebrating all things Canadian from "my perspective" as a Canadian. Please enjoy your visit and be sure to visit often.

Garden Gnome
Americans should never underestimate the constant pressure on Canada which the mere presence of the United States has produced. We're different people from you and we're different people because of you. Living next to you is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, if I can call it that, one is effected by every twitch and grunt. It should not therefore be expected that this kind of nation, this Canada, should project itself as a mirror image of the United States.
- Pierre Trudeau

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Snowbirds


On the Road
January 9, 2009

No, I'm not talking about a kind of bird. The term Snowbirds is a uniquely Canadian term used to describe permanent residents of Canada who travel to warmer southern states during our cold winter months. Most leave Canada November or December and return April or May. They are allowed to be out of the country for 183 days or less if they want to keep their Canadian residency status. The common destination points for snowbirds are Florida and Arizona however some go to other southern states. The primary goal is to escape the cold of the northern winters. By far the majority of snowbirds are retirees and senior citizens. In many cases they buy a pre-manufactured home (aka mobile home aka trailer) or condo for their southern lifestyle. Aside of warmer weather, golfing and good food are very tantalizing.

Medical coverage is likely the most important concern for snowbirds. In addition to provincial health plans that are free to every Canadian citizen but does not provide out of country coverage, snowbirds need to buy additional traveller's insurance that will provide health coverage while outside of Canada. Even day trippers (another Canadian term) to the US should carry traveler's insurance.


6 comments:

  1. I love your new blog! Definitely a keeper.

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  2. I didn't know snowbirds was a Canadian term. My Mom has been a snowbird for a long time, she's down there now. :)

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  3. Thanks flit for your lovely complement!

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  4. Hi Laura and thanks for visiting. Snowbird is a Canadian term that has caught on. Not only does it refer to Canadians wintering in the sunny south (most common term) but also refers to an elite Canadian Forces unit that brings air shows to the North American public.

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  5. You said "provincial health plans that are free to every Canadian"
    actually you are wrong. "free" only if you pay the high premiums of like fifty something $ a month.

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  6. Ben, the provincial health plans are governed under the Health Act of Canada. Health care under the provincial health plans guarantees "free" access to permanent residents of their respective provinces. Individuals are immediately covered in the province of their birth. Immigrants from other countries or those moving from another province have a 3 month waiting periods and must apply for health care coverage. All residents covered under their provincial health care plan are eligible to receive the health services specified under their plan without a premium, fee, surcharge or extra billing. Each province also has a provincial prescription plan that is based on your income. Once you have met your deductible for prescriptions based on your income, the plan covers the rest of eligible prescriptions. The available health services is extended for those on welfare, Old Age Pension or First Nations.

    The reference for this information is:

    http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hcs-sss/pubs/cha-lcs/2006-cha-lcs-ar-ra/index-eng.php

    The premium you are referring to would be for private health coverage such as Blue Cross. This type of coverage gives you additional services and extras in terms of health coverage. This type of plan is not meant to replace the provincial health plan but rather supplement and enhance it. For example the provincial plan may give you ward accommodations in the hospital. The private plan (insurance) will enhance that to semi-private or private depending on your coverage. But every eligible resident would be entitled to at least ward accommodation but only those with additional private insurance would be entitled to semi-private or private accommodation. Private health plan (insurance) can be paid for directly by the individual or quite often is part of their employment benefits.

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