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  • Pooja Varma

Health Insurance Plan of Ontario

You might find Canada's health care system to be different from your country. Understanding the healthcare system before hand can be really beneficial, when you are moving into a new place.


In this blog I will specifically be speaking about the Ontario Health Care System.


The Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) is Ontario's government funded health insurance plan. There are a few factors that make you eligible for this plan:


1. You are a citizen of Canada or a permanent resident, a convention refugee or on a valid work permit with a full time job for at least six months.

2. You must be a resident of Ontario.

3. You must meet the primary physical presence requirement.


How do we get our OHIP card. For that you may go to any Service Ontario near you and fill out the application. Along with the application you will have to provide them with the list of documents mentioned below:


1. OHIP Eligibility Status: Which means your PR card, Canadian immigration identification card, confirmation of PR, or record of landing.

2. Proof of residency: This document could be either your rental contract, drivers license, or any Ontario document that shows your address.

3. Proof of Identity: For example your passport, your PR card, your credit card.

For a full list of documents click here.


The OHIP normally has a three month waiting period from the date of landing into Ontario (permanent move). Now what happens to you if you fall sick during this time frame. There are a few alternative options that one can use meanwhile.


1. Get your own private insurance - I would recommend getting a visitors/travel insurance.

2. Community Health Care Centers (CHC's) - These are non-profit organizations that provide primary health care services at low to no cost. For a list of CHC's in Ontario click here.

3. Don't fall sick!!!!


Now that we have our OHIP card, we need to understand want is covered under this plan.


1. Appointments with your family doctor

2. Hospital visits and stay

3. Visits to an emergency room

4. Medical tests and surgeries

5. Ambulance services

6. Vaccines and immunization


Services that are not covered by OHIP:


1. Cosmetic surgery

2. Dentists visit

3. Eyeglasses or contact lenses

4.Prescription drugs provided in non-hospital settings (ex: antibiotics prescribed by your family doctor)


In the next blog I will discuss more details related to the health care system, that will help you plan this important aspect of your settling into Canada.


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