Saskatchewan snowbirds can head south longer with extended health coverage

REGINA — The Saskatchewan government is extending out-of-province health coverage for snowbirds.

Health Minister Dustin Duncan says the province will increase the amount of time residents can stay away and still maintain health-care benefits to seven months.

The current maximum is six months over any 12-month period.

The new policy is to take effect Jan. 1, but will not be retroactive.

Anyone leaving the province on or before Dec. 31 of this year will fall under the six-month rule.

Duncan says many residents have been asking for increased coverage so they can spend a bit more time travelling outside the province.

The change will bring Saskatchewan into line with other jurisdictions that include British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Nova Scotia and the Northwest Territories.