Canadian Healthcare

Introduction

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The first thing to know about the Canadian healthcare system is that there is no Canadian healthcare system. Canada’s healthcare is open to all Canadian citizens and residents. There are no limits for each individual about the budget. On the other hand, there are primarily funded and controlled by each province and territory, which have their own rules. The government covers most of the required basic care, including specialists, physicians, and hospital services. For senior citizens and disabled children, there is a need for special care and attention. The healthcare system originated with this in mind. Moreover, if you are a visitor or tourist in Canada, you are ineligible for the healthcare plans in all the provinces and territories. 

 

Healthcare in Ontario

In this article, we will be starting with Ontario. As mentioned earlier, each province and territory has its own rules for healthcare. In Ontario, they have a program called the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP). OHIP is the government-run health plan for Ontario. They pay for most of the basic medical and emergency services you receive in Ontario, as long as you need them for medical reasons. You can only apply if you’re eligible (you have to meet all the requirements to obtain a health card).

 

Applying

Firstly, you need a document to prove your identity that has your photo and signature like a passport (any country), driver’s license, current employment card (job in Canada) etc.

Next, you need again, another document with your address on it to prove you live in Ontario like a mortgage agreement, a child tax benefit statement, permanent or temporary driver’s license (only if it’s supported by photo license card with the same address) etc.

Last but not least,  you need a document to prove your Canadian citizenship/immigration status, like a valid Canadian passport, Certificate of Canadian Citizenship or Certificate of Naturalization (document or card) etc. 

After you’ve collected your documents (originals only), you must go to a local ServiceOntario centre and fill out their form. In Ontario, you usually receive your health card after three months maximum. You should receive it through your mail.

What does Ontario’s healthcare cover?

 

OHIP covers part or all of the following services:

  • Dental Surgery in the hospital
  • Hospital visits and stays
  • Ambulance transportation
  • Visits to doctors
  • Abortions
  • Healthcare services if you live in northern Ontario

 

OHIP does not cover the following services:

  • Prescription drugs not provided by hospitals
  • Cosmetic Surgery
  • Dental services issued in a dentist’s office
  • Visioncare
  • Laser eye surgery

 

Note: If you do not show your health card, as a result, you may be asked to pay for your medical service.

 

Healthcare in Quebec

Our next province on the list is Quebec. All residents have access to Quebec’s healthcare if they’re eligible. It covers the plan administered by Quebec’s Health Insurance Plan (Régie de l’assurance Maladie du Quebec or RAMQ). All residents in Quebec can apply for the plan. The provincial medical plan covers all essential medical care, not including certain specific treatments as well as parallel treatments.

 

Applying

To apply, you must call the RAMQ to make an appointment and go to the office to fill out a registration form. There is no online registration. Before you head out to the office, you need proof of identity documents. (Not all have to be originals, but they must be certified true copies) You also need to bring along a photo of yourself.

Firstly, if you are a permanent resident, a permanent resident card or any other document issued by Canadian immigration authorities that provide to your permanent resident status in Canada like a Quebec Selection Certificate (QSC).

For a temporary worker, you must have the original employment authorization issued by the Canadian immigration authorities, with the employer’s name and place of employment.

For a spouse, you must have the original document issued by Canadian immigration authorities allowing your spouse to be in Canada and a photocopy of the marriage/civil union certificate.

After you’ve collected your identification documents and your photo, you fill out a form at the RAMQ office and attach your documents, along with your photograph and your signature (sign at the office). Once applicable, you’ll receive your health card after 10 working days, according to their Statement of Services for the Public.

What does Quebec’s healthcare cover?

 

RAMQ covers part or all of the following services:

  • Hospital visits and stays
  • Examinations
  • Certain radiology services
  • Prescription drugs insurance coverage (permanent residents only)
  • Hospital insurance

 

RAMQ does not cover the following services:

  • Visits to clinics/doctors
  • Ambulance transportation
  • Dental care
  • Cosmetic procedures
  • Registered specialists and therapists

 

Note: If you do not show your health card, as a result, you may be asked to pay for your medical service.

 

Healthcare in Manitoba

Our third province on the list is Manitoba. Manitoba’s health care system is a large chain of services and programs. The actual services are distributed through local regional health authorities (RHAs), which are five agencies set up by the province to meet the needs of Manitobans. All eligible permanent residents of Manitoba who have lived in the province for at least 6 months can take advantage of these benefits.

 

Applying

To apply, you must either be a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident, a work permit holder or have lived in Manitoba for more than six months. So, with that said, you need proof of Canadian citizenship and if you’ve lived in another province/territory in Canada and moved to Manitoba, you must provide your previous province’s/territory’s health card number.

Proof of Canadian citizenship document could be a Copy of Canadian Birth Certificate, Canadian Citizenship Card (copy of both sides) etc. With that document, you head to the office and fill out a form. Once you’ve done so, you’ll receive your health card through mail within 7 to 10 business days.

If you have a health card from another province/territory, you can use it while your Manitoba health card arrives.

 

What does Manitoba’s healthcare cover?

 

Manitoba covers part or all of the following services:

  • Visits to doctors
  • Getting a prescription
  • Hospital visits and stays
  • Emergency room
  • Some dental procedures (if they are provided in a hospital)
  • Therapy services
  • Eye exams every two years (younger than 19 and older than 64)

 

Manitoba does not cover the following services:

  • Private nursing
  • Frequent eye exams for people 19-64
  • Dental care (outside the hospital)
  • Ambulance transportation (unless transported between medical facilities)
  • Private and semi-private hospital rooms
  • Services that are not medically required

 

Note: If you do not show your health card, as a result, you may be asked to pay for your medical service.

Healthcare in Saskatchewan

Next up is Saskatchewan. The Saskatchewan Health Authorities, otherwise known as SHA, encourage and provide all eligible residents and with their healthcare services. However, in Saskatchewan, you can register online and check the status of the application. If you prefer to go in person, you will not be able to view the status.

 

Applying

To apply for the SHA, you need proof of Legal Entitlement (citizenship), Saskatchewan Residency, and support of identity. They must not be the original documents because cannot guarantee a safe return. However, the same document may not be used to meet more than one requirement.

You need a document to prove you are legally in Canada or are a Canadian Citizen to make you eligible for Saskatchewan health benefits, such as a birth certificate from a Canadian province or territory, a Canadian Passport, a Certificate of Indian Status etc.

You then need another document that illustrates your name and current home address and confirms that your main place of residence is in Saskatchewan, such as an insurance policy, signed mortgage, rental, lease agreement etc.

Finally, you need a document that has your name (and possibly signature) such as a passport, Saskatchewan temporary or permanent driver’s licence, employee ID, birth certificate etc.

After you’ve collected your documents (copies, not originals), you could either go to an office and fill out the form or you can fill out the form online. You’ll receive your health card in four to six weeks (mailing time not included).

 

What does Saskatchewan’s healthcare cover?

 

SHA covers part or all of the following services:

  • Services rendered by a physician
  • Major dental services
  • Visioncare
  • Prescription drug plan (if qualified)
  • Mental health services

 

SHA does not cover the following services:

  • Prescription drugs (those who do not qualify)
  • Ambulance transportation (only covered for seniors)
  • Regular dental services
  • Eyeglasses and lenses
  • Services of paramedical professionals

 

Note: If you do not show your health card, as a result, you may be asked to pay for your medical service.

 

Healthcare in Alberta

Alberta’s healthcare is next on the list. The Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP) provides eligible Alberta residents and with coverage for medically necessary health services. Your doctor determines what insured services are considered medically necessary. You must register for the AHCIP within 3 months of arriving in Alberta.

 

Applying

To apply, you must have proof of Alberta residency, identity and Legal Entitlement to be in Canada (citizenship). Additional supporting documents may be requested to prove AHCIP eligibility. You must print out and fill the form they attached on their government website and bring it along with the documents. All documents must be original.

The documents must include your main home address in Alberta. They could be your Alberta’s driver’s license, home insurance, vehicle registration etc.

Secondly, you are going to need documents to prove your identity. They must have your name (and possibly your signature) like a Canadian passport, an Alberta registries ID card, Alberta’s driver’s license etc.

Lastly, you are going to need proof of Legal Entitlement or Canadian citizenship. They could be documents such as a Canadian citizenship card or certificate, Canada entry document (both sides), a Canadian passport etc.

After you’ve collected your documents, you can either go to an authorized registry agent and submit your filled out form and the original documents (this process can take up to 5 days, you’ll receive it through your mail) or you can submit them by mail to their location (this process can take up to 6 weeks, you’ll receive it through your mail).

What does Alberta’s healthcare cover?

 

AHCIP covers part or all of the following services:

  • Prescription drugs
  • Eyeglasses
  • Medically required diagnostic services (e.g. laboratory, radiological)
  • Medical supplies and equipment
  • Psychiatrist visits
  • Hospital visits or stays
  • Eye exams (younger than 19 and older than 64)

 

AHCIP does not cover the following services:

  • Eye exams for residents aged 19-64 (unless deemed medically necessary as a result of some trauma)
  • Routine dental treatment
  • Ambulance transportation (except between medical facilities)
  • Semi-private and private hospital rooms (unless medically necessary)

 

Note: If you do not show your health card, as a result, you may be asked to pay for your medical service.

 

Healthcare in British Columbia

Public health insurance is available to eligible residents. In British Columbia, public health insurance is called the Medical Services Plan (MSP). The MSP has a medical insurance plan that covers most medical health costs. They also have a provincially funded pharmacy program (program in the province). Private health services are available as well. You should register for the MSP as soon as you arrive to British Columbia.

 

Applying

To apply, you need proof of residency and identity. They must be photocopied documents. It can be done online, in-person, or by mail. You will have your photo taken as well. If you are an adult Canadian citizen or permanent resident, you will need to visit an Insurance Corporation of BC (ICBC) driver licensing office first to complete MSP registration and receive a Photo British Columbia Services Card.

For an online application, visit their website and fill out the attached form. If you wish to apply by mail, visit their website and fill out the paper application form, print it, and then mail it to the given address.

The first thing you need is proof of residency. You must be lawfully accepted to Canada for permanent residence or a Canadian citizen, have your home in BC and must be physically present in BC at least six months in a calendar year. For the documents, they can be anything that states you are a BC resident (copies only). To prove your identity, you must present two pieces of identification, one of them must be a primary ID.

Make sure that you’ve attached/brought the right documents to apply. This process can take up to 3 months maximum.

 

What does British Columbia’s healthcare cover?

 

MSP covers part or all of the following services:

  • Necessary medical services provided by physicians and midwives.
  • Some orthodontic services
  • Eye exams (younger than 19 and older than 64)
  • Dental and oral services performed in a hospital.
  • Hospital visits
  • Prescription drugs

 

MSP does not cover the following services:

  • Non-necessary services (e.g. cosmetic surgery)
  • Routine dental services
  • Eye exams 19-64 unless deemed medically necessary
  • Eyeglasses and other medical equipment
  • Paramedicals
  • Ambulance transportation (except between medical facilities)

 

Note: If you do not show your health card, as a result, you may be asked to pay for your medical service.

 

Healthcare in Nova Scotia

The Department of Health and Wellness directly administers the province’s Hospital Insurance Program which covers hospital-related costs. The Medical Service Insurance (MSI) is Nova Scotia’s provincial plan. Like other provinces, the MSI pays for most of your medical healthcare bills. You should apply for your Nova Scotia Health Card (MSI) as soon as you arrive to Canada.

 

Applying

To apply, you must be eligible for the program, meaning that you must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, have your home in Nova Scotia, and live in Nova Scotia for 6 months (approx. 183 days).

The first document you need to prove your Legal entitlement to be in Canada (Canadian citizenship) could be a Birth Certificate from a Canadian province or territory, a Canadian Passport, a Certificate of Indian Status etc.

The second document you need is a Saskatchewan residency. The document must have your name and current home address like a Signed mortgage, a Child Tax Benefit Statement, Insurance policy etc.

Last but not least, you need a document that supports your identity. It must have your name (and possibly signature) like a Birth Certificate, a passport, a Student ID Card etc.

 

What does Nova Scotia’s healthcare cover?

 

MSI covers part or all of the following services:

  • Hospital visits and stays
  • Laboratory and other diagnostic services
  • Medically necessary dental and optometric services
  • Visits to doctors
  • One eye examination every two years (people under the age of 10 or over the age of 64)
  • Physiotherapy (if performed in a hospital)

 

MSI does not cover the following services:

  • Ambulance transportation (except between medical facilities)
  • Routine dental services (except people under the age of 14)
  • Prescription drugs (under than 65 years)
  • Visioncare
  • Cosmetic surgeries

 

Note: If you do not show your health card, as a result, you may be asked to pay for your medical service.

 

Healthcare in New Brunswick

The New Brunswick Medicare covers most of the healthcare you receive. Moreover, if you are eligible for a New Brunswick Medicare card, you’re also eligible to register with Patient Connect NB. Patient Connect NB is a provincially-run, bilingual patient registry for New Brunswickers without access to a primary health care provider (family doctor or nurse practitioner). You should apply as soon as you arrive.

 

Applying

To apply for the New Brunswick Medicare, you need to have proof of citizenship, identity and residency. However, the same document may not be used to meet more than one requirement. You must not send the originals as they cannot guarantee a safe return.

Firstly, to prove your citizenship in Canada, you need either a Citizenship Card, a passport, a Birth Certificate etc. The document must have your name on it.

Secondly, you are going to need to prove your identity. It could be a document such as a valid New Brunswick Driver’s License, a valid Passport (Canadian or foreign), Birth Certificate etc.

The last document you are going to need is proof of residency. It could be a document like a Mortgage, Child Tax Benefit Statement, Valid NB Driver’s License etc.

 

What does New Brunswick’s healthcare cover?

 

New Brunswick Medicare covers part or all of the following services:

  • Standard hospital accommodation and meals
  • Radiotherapy
  • Therapies (physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and audiology)
  • Routine surgical supplies
  • Diagnostic services (deemed necessary)
  • Drugs administered while in the hospital
  • Necessary nursing service

 

New Brunswick Medicare does not cover the following services:

  • Dental care
  • Cosmetic surgery
  • Prosthetic devices or appliances
  • Acupuncture
  • Private or semi-private hospital room
  • Visioncare
  • Ambulance transportation

 

Note: If you do not show your health card, as a result, you may be asked to pay for your medical service.

 

Healthcare in Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island offers residents the Health PEI provincial healthcare plan which covers necessary hospital and medical treatment, as well as other benefits. PEI is a small island, but with many benefits. It is highly recommended that you register for the health benefit as soon as you arrive upon PEI.

 

Applying

To apply for the healthcare plan, you need to be an eligible resident. To be eligible,  you need to be legally in Canada and have PEI has your primary residence for at least six months plus a day each year.

In order to prove your residence in PEI, you need to hand in either a permanent residency documentation, a passport, or a Canadian citizenship certification etc.

You can apply online too. The health card should take five weeks maximum to arrive. Your card will be mailed to you.

 

What does Prince Edward Island’s healthcare cover?

 

Healthcare PEI covers part or all of the following services:

  • Surgical supplies
  • Radiotherapy and physiotherapy
  • Laboratory, x-rays and diagnostic procedures
  • Drugs that are prescribed by a doctor and administered in a hospital
  • Nursing care
  • Nursing services if they are medically necessary

 

Healthcare PEI does not cover the following services:

  • Private and semi-private hospital rooms
  • Some prosthetic devices, crutches
  • Ambulance transportation
  • Dental extractions (unless it is medically required to be in a hospital or unless there is prior approval)

 

Note: If you do not show your health card, as a result, you may be asked to pay for your medical service.

 

Healthcare in Newfoundland and Labrador

The NL public healthcare plan is called the Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Care Plan (MCP). They provide residents with their healthcare and medical services. Though only eligible residents can apply. NL recommends its newcomers to apply as soon as they arrive.

 

Applying

To apply, you need a document to prove your identity. It could be a valid passport, Permanent Resident Card (front and back), Government issued Birth Certificate etc. The MCP may request for more documents. You can give the original or a good photocopy. They will return the original documents once the application is complete. However, the MCP is not responsible for the loss of the original documents throughout the mail.

The card should arrive after three months maximum (original documents should arrive along with the card).

 

What does Newfoundland and Labrador’s healthcare cover?

 

MCP covers part or all of the following services:

  • Physician and hospital visits (if deemed necessary)
  • Maternity care
  • Surgical, therapeutic and diagnostic procedures
  • Radiology interpretive services
  • Pre-operative and post-operative care
  • Certain surgical-dental procedures (medically performed in a hospital)

 

MCP does not cover the following services:

  • Drugs and vaccines
  • Physician’s advice given by telephone
  • Prescriptions
  • Ambulance transportation
  • Newborn circumcisions
  • Cosmetic surgery
  • Visioncare

 

Note: If you do not show your health card, as a result, you may be asked to pay for your medical service.

 

Healthcare in Yukon

Our first territory on the list is Yukon. They provide residents with their healthcare they call the Yukon Health Care Insurance Plan or YHCIP. The plan pays for most of your medical needs, however, like all the other provinces, some of the healthcare is not free. Eligible people can apply for the plan. They recommend you to apply as soon as you arrive to Yukon.

 

Applying

You must be a Canadian citizen (or have an immigration status), must have your main home in Yukon and must be physically present in Yukon, and not absent for more than 6 months (without a waiver from Insured Health Services).

To apply for the YHCIP, you’ll need to bring a photocopy of a Canadian birth certificate, a Canadian citizenship card, permanent resident card, and a secondary piece of ID for all persons listed.

To prove your residency, you’ll need a document to verify. It could be a rental agreement or receipts (with your name), utility bills, bills with your name from Yukon businesses etc.

The Ministry of Health in Yukon has not placed a waiting time for the arrival of the health card. It will most likely arrive as soon as you apply.

 

What does Yukon’s health care cover?

 

YHCIP covers part or all of the following services:

  • Services of physicians (hospital, patients home, accident scene)
  • Hospital services (if medically necessary)
  • Dental surgeries performed in an approved hospital
  • Air and ground ambulance transportation (in the province)
  • Drugs, biologicals administered in a hospital
  • Emergency and non-emergency out-patient services

 

YHCIP does not cover the following services:

  • Vision care
  • Medical appliances for residents above 16
  • Dental surgeries performed outside a hospital
  • Prescription drugs not within a hospital
  • Medical advice delivered over the phone
  • Creation of certificates, reports, and records done by a physician
  • Cosmetic surgeries

 

Note: If you do not show your health card, as a result, you may be asked to pay for your medical service.

 

Healthcare in Nunavut

Next, we have Nunavut. The Nunavut Health Care Program or NHCP provides all eligible residents free health care. They must meet the principals in order to be eligible. They make sure that the cardholders have access to their healthcare. However, like other provinces and territories, not everything is covered by the health plan. Nunavut advises its residents to apply as soon as they arrive.

 

Applying

Eligible people include Permanent residents of Nunavut, has their main home in Nunavut, and people holding an employment or student visa valid for one year or more (It must have a Nunavut address).

Firstly, you must print and fill out a form they posted on their website (if you’re new to Nunavut). Make sure you provide all the necessary information as some info will be displayed on the card (applies to all healthcare cards).

You then need to provide two clear copies of your identity. Documents include a birth certificate, passport, driver’s license etc. They should have your name on it. Lastly, you need to mail your form and copies to their address (bottom of their website) and wait for their confirmation.

The Ministry of Health in Nunavut has not placed a waiting time for the arrival of the health card. It will most likely arrive as soon as you apply.

 

What does Nunavut’s healthcare cover?

 

NHCP covers part or all of the following services:

  • Anesthetic services and surgical assistance (if necessary)
  • Diagnosis and treatment of illness and injury
  • Nursing services provided in a hospital
  • Drugs prescribed by a physician and administered in the hospital
  • Eye examinations, treatment and operations provided by an ophthalmologist
  • The standard ICU ward rate

 

NHCP does not cover the following services:

  • Yearly physicals between the ages of 10 and 65
  • Prescription drugs
  • Ambulance transportation (unless transported between medical facilities)
  • Dental services (unless medically necessary)
  • Cosmetic surgery
  • Optometric services
  • Alcohol and drug rehabilitation

 

Note: If you do not show your health card, as a result, you may be asked to pay for your medical service.

 

Healthcare in Northwest Territories

Last of all, we have the Northwest Territories (NWT). NWT’s healthcare is referred to as the NWT health care coverage. The healthcare plan is similar to all the other territories. However, eligibility is slightly different. To be an eligible person, you need to be present in NWT for at least 153 days in a calendar year and if you’re legally qualified to be or settle in Canada.

 

Applying

First, you need to fill out a form NWT posted on their website

Secondly, you need to prove your legal rights to be in Canada. It could be documents like a copy of your birth certificate from a Canadian province or territory, a copy of your valid Canadian Passport or Canadian Citizenship Certificate, a copy of your Permanent Resident Card (front and back) etc.

Last but not least, you need to prove your residency in Canada. They must be two documents like a Child Tax Benefit Statement, Employment Insurance Benefit Statement, Insurance policies (home, auto…) etc. The documents must have your name and home address (copies).

The Ministry of Health in the Northwest Territories has not placed a waiting time for the arrival of the health card. It will most likely arrive as soon as you apply.

 

What does the Northwest Territories’ healthcare cover?

 

NWT health care coverage covers part or all of the following services:

  • Medically necessary operations
  • Nursing services, when provided by the hospital
  • Drugs that are prescribed by a doctor and administered in a hospital
  • Radiotherapy, where available
  • Laboratory, X-ray and diagnostic procedures, interpretation
  • Equipment and supplies
  • Facilities required for diagnosis and treatment

 

NWT health care coverage does not cover the following services:

  • Visioncare
  • Cosmetic surgery
  • Medical advice delivered over the phone
  • Services that are considered experimental
  • Dental services (unless medically necessary)
  • Prescription drugs
  • Ambulance transportation (unless transported between medical facilities)
  • Specific examinations required by a third party

 

Note: If you do not show your health card, as a result, you may be asked to pay for your medical service.