Medical Insurance

Canada is world known for its public funded health system. Each province has its own health system, unique requirements and benefits. See the names and hyperlinks to each of the provincial health insurance plans.

Health Insurances Per Province

Applying For Ontario Health Insurance Card: Procedure

The Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) does not include medicine (drugs), dental care, cosmetic surgery or eye glasses. A person can receive a free eye test from OHIP every year or two, but not glasses.
When a resident/immigrant finds full time employment, the employer may provide a subsidy or medical plan for medicine. OHIP only starts to work after an immigrant has been in Ontario for 3 months. For example: An immigrant lands in Ontario on 1 January 2003. The immigrant completes an application for OHIP on 20 February 2003. The person is eligible for health insurance from 1 April 2003, which is three months from landing in Canada, and not three months from applying for the OHIP card. The important aspect is the date when the immigrant has landed in Ontario, not the actual date of application. Immigrants should try and get the application done within days of arriving, as there might not be much time later. Some immigrants work on a hourly rate and if a person needs to complete the application later it might result in lost income. Residents of Ontario do not contribute to this plan. In other provinces, the provincial medical plan requires a monthly contribution by members. The application process is as follows:

Firstly the resident must prove that he or she is a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant. Bring an original of one of the following:

  • Immigrant Visa and Record of Landing
  • Minister’s Permit
  • Employment Authorization (Some exceptions may apply)
  • Convention Refugee letter
  • Permanent Resident Card (to be issued in the future)
  • Canadian Immigration Identification Card
  • Certificate of Canadian Citizenship or Certificate of Naturalization
  • Current Canadian Passport 

Secondly an immigrant has to prove that he or she is living in Ontario. This can be done by one of the following original documents (but is not restricted to the following):

  • Mortgage, rental or lease agreement
  • A Utility bill (such as telephone, cable TV, water, hydro – hydro is a Canadian term for electricity)
  • Income tax assessment
  • Ontario Motor Vehicle permit (A driver must always have this in his/her car and have it ready when asked for by police)
  • Insurance Policy (home, auto or life)
  • Employer Record (pay stub or letter from employer)
  • Bank Account statement (that has been posted to the OHIP applicant – it must show your address. A printout with your transactions or balance on an account is not enough. A posted credit card statement might not be accepted – rather use a savings or check account statement that has an address on top and has been posted to the applicant)
  • Property tax bill
  • Letter from an administrator of an agency for convention refugees or for the homeless
  • School, College or University report card

Thirdly an immigrant has to show that they are the person they claim to be. It has to be an original document with a name and signature. These include:

  • Social Insurance Card
  • Credit Card or Bank Card
  • Current Employee Card
  • Student ID card
  • Union Card
  • Library Card
  • Valid Ontario Drivers License or Temporary Driver License
  • Ontario Motor Vehicle Permit
  • Current professional association license
  • Ontario Ministry of natural Resources Outdoors card 
  • Passport
  • Certificate of Canadian Citizenship

Make a copy of your health card and keep it in a safe place. If a OHIP card is lost, a copy might help to get a replacement issued. 

During the compulsory three month period, an immigrant can apply for tourist health insurance. This is a rate paid per day. Immigrants trying to get insurance in their home countries, might have some difficulty as many travel agents require return tickets in order to sell medical insurance. Some banks have special arrangements that include relatively cheap medical insurance when an emigrant buys airline tickets with a credit card. This however is only valid when the emigrant buys a return ticket with the credit card. Claims might also only be processed back in the country where the insurance was bought. Therefore be careful. Matrixvisa Inc do assist immigrants or visitors with medical/health insurance while they do not qualify for their provincial medical plans, such as OHIP in Ontario. Contact us for more details.