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Health care coverage extended for longer-term vacationers and snowbirds

Albertans in search of a warmer climate over the winter can now extend their stay an extra month while maintaining health care coverage. 

Longer-term travelers and snowbirds can now be out of the country for up to 212 days (seven months) out of the year. This is up from the current 182 day (six month) limit. This extension is effective immediately and applies to those who have already left for the season.

“Ensuring that Albertans get the care they need when they need it is important. Whether it be improvements in community care, access to cheaper pharmaceuticals or extending the period of health coverage for those traveling, we will continue to take the steps necessary to help Albertans maintain their health and wellness.”

- Fred Horne, Minister of Health

“We want Albertans to have the flexibility to go on extended vacations while having the peace of mind that their health care coverage is there for them if they need it.”

- Dave Quest, Associate Minister of Seniors

Increasing the amount of time longer-term vacationers are permitted out of the province allows Alberta residents to remain eligible for health coverage as long as they have not established permanent residence elsewhere.  

“This is welcome news for our members who told us they wanted the option to visit other countries for several months at a time, without sacrificing their health care coverage. Extending coverage for an extra month gives travelers more flexibility.” 

- Michael MacKenzie, Executive Director, Canadian Snowbird Association

Albertans who plan to be out of the province for extended periods need to contact Alberta Health each year before leaving, to ensure their health care coverage remains current.

Comparison to other Canadian provinces

  • British Columbia – 212 days
  • Ontario – 212 days
  • Manitoba – 212 days
  • Newfoundland – 240 days

Under the Building Alberta Plan, our government is investing in families and communities, living within our means, and opening new markets for Alberta's resources to ensure we're able to fund the services Albertans told us matter most to them. We will continue to deliver the responsible change Albertans voted for.


Media inquiries

Government of Alberta