The Canadian Snowbird Association (CSA) has expressed its opposition to the Saskatchewan government’s plan to tax travel medical insurance premiums. The tax comes into effect Aug. 1.
"This change will make Saskatchewan the only jurisdiction in Canada which collects retail sales tax on travel medical insurance premiums and will increase the cost of travel insurance for Saskatchewan residents," said Karen Huestis, President of the Canadian Snowbird Association. "The Canadian Snowbird Association is firmly opposed to the planned application of PST to travel medical insurance premiums in the province. We urge the Saskatchewan government to keep travel medical insurance premiums tax exempt, as they are in every other province and territory in the country."
Raised provincial sales tax
The Saskatchewan government announced in its 2017 budget that it would be bringing the PST up from five to six per cent, and that a number of goods that were previously tax exempt, such as travel medical insurance premiums, will now be taxable.
The CSA says travel medical insurance is necessary for those traveling outside the country since the provincial government only reimburses $100 per day for emergency healthcare received abroad.
In addition, the CSA says this tax will push Canadian travellers to purchase their travel medical insurance out of province.