Access to health care is considered a human right in Canada, and that means all people living in the country have to government funded health services and resources. In Ontario, health care is provided by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and is called the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP). When relocating to Ontario, obtaining your OHIP card should be a first priority!
Here are some basics about Ontario Health Insurance:
- Anyone who is a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or landed immigrant is eligible for an OHIP card.
- The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care issues cards to everybody eligible for OHIP.
- Each member of your family needs to have their own OHIP card and coverage.
- Upon arrival in Ontario, you have three months to apply for your OHIP card. No matter when you apply, your card will be issued three months after your date of arrival in Ontario. During these three months, it is advisable to have Travel Insurance, or understand that you will pay out of pocket for any services and procedures you or your family need.
- It is mandatory to also have prescription drug coverage, and OHIP also offers plans for this.
- It is important that you carry your OHIP card at all times, in case of an emergency.
While OHIP offers free health care coverage for services at community health centres, walk-in clinics, primary care physicians, emergency rooms, hospitals, urgent care centres and more, it may also be a good idea for you to take out private insurance or be covered by your employer’s plan. When moving to Ontario, it is recommended that you buy private health insurance because OHIP does not cover every medical cost you may need to pay. Your doctor or a hospital can inform you of which services are not covered.
How to obtain your OHIP Card:
- Visit a ServiceOntario Centre.
- Before you go, you may complete and fill out and print the registration form.
- Make sure to bring all the required documents. These include:
- Proof of status in Ontario (work or study permit, permanent residency card, etc.)
- Proof of residency (an employer record, income tax assessment, mortgage rental or lease agreement, property tax bill, valid Ontario Driver’s License, etc.)
- Proof of identity (a Canadian Immigration Identification Card, current employee ID, student ID card, credit card, valid Ontario driver’s license, etc.)
- While you register, your photograph will be taken, and there is no charge for the card.
For more information, visit Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care Ontario Health Insurance Plan.
From all of us here at Settle-in.com, we hope you stay happy and healthy while in Canada!
It’s important to stay happy and healthy during your relocation! Sign up for Settle-in.com and get full access to our relocation services. In “The Guide,” read the “Health & Wellbeing” chapter for more information on this subject.
Read more about health and wellbeing in Canada: