Canada, New Zealand, Argentina, South Korea and France require all Working Holiday participants to buy health insurance with coverage for hospitalization and repatriation before the start of their adventure. Proper insurance coverage does matter, take this seriously!

Health insurance is either mandatory or strongly recommended for all working holiday destinations. Indeed, it’s a smart purchase because as a temporary worker, you’re not eligible for public healthcare. Of course, you can still get medical help when needed—but without insurance, you will have to pay out of pocket for it and you may be shocked to see how expensive it is.

Two French Working Holiday permit holders shared their sticker shock experience on the forum. One was charged $680 for calling ambulance services and receiving basic care in Australia (she was alright!) and the other one faced an $11,000 bill after ending up hospitalized in Canada for internal bleeding (she didn’t have health insurance!).

Keep in mind that when insurance is a mandatory requirement, destination countries are not kidding. You can be refused entry if you fail to show proof of insurance upon landing—can you imagine being put on a plane back home minutes after arriving? And border officers do read documents. Buy coverage for the entire duration of your stay, or else you will be issued a shorter Working Holiday permit or worse, you will be turned away. This is especially true for the Canada WHV. Border services refused to activate this French traveller’s Working Holiday permit when she flagpoled because she didn’t have proof of insurance for the entire duration of her stay in Canada. Same story here for a Young Professionals permit in Canada.

Don’t forget that your insurance validity will impact the validity of your Working Holiday permit.

Got it. What insurance should I buy?

We compared three insurance companies for you—Globe WHV, Cap Working Holiday and My Travel Cover.

Feel free to read the feedback on Globe WHV.

For more information, read Everything you should know about Working Holiday health insurance.


En PVT au Canada de novembre 2021 à 2023, je répondrai à vos questions avec plaisir. Pour le premier trimestre 2024, direction l'Amérique latine !

I moved from France to Canada on a WHV from November 2021 to 2023, followed then by spending the first quarter of 2024 in Latin America! Happy to answer all your questions.

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