Obtaining Your OHIP card – Ontario Health Insurance

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:


(Photo: Vic via Flickr cc, Com Salud via Flickr, cc)


About Georgia

For years, I knew that I wanted to move to Canada to get my postsecondary education. From the exciting and diverse museums, nightlife and dining found in the big cities, to the wealth of natural beauty, I was captivated by the country. I was a little nervous to travel all the way from Australia, but I knew the experience would teach me a lot. It’s true that relocation is never easy. The packing, shipping and visa formalities can all be complicated. But with careful planning and a little help from the veteran relocators (like me!) you’ll be settling in and enjoying the vibrancy of Canadian living in no time. // Depuis plusieurs années, je savais que le Canada était le pays parfait où je pouvais obtenir mon diplôme d’études secondaires. J’étais captivée par les villes du Canada que ce soit par les musées, les soirées, les repas dans les grandes villes ou encore la proximité de la beauté des paysages. J’étais anxieuse à l’idée de faire le voyage à partir de l’Australie mais je savais que cette expérience allait m’apprendre énormément de choses. C’est vrai que la relocalisation n’est jamais facile. L’emballage des affaires, l’expédition et les formalités de visa peuvent être stressants et compliqués mais avec une bonne organisation et un peu d’aide des anciens relocalisés ( comme moi ), vous serez rapidement installé et pourrez profiter de la trépidante vie canadienne en peu de temps.