Healthcare in Canada is publicly funded. Canadian citizens and permanent residents may apply for public health insurance for Canada from their province or territory. It ensures you don’t have to pay for most healthcare services, as the costs are covered by general taxation.
In some provinces, new permanent residents can avail of provincial health insurance coverage as soon as they arrive. In others, there is a waiting period of up to three months. Private health insurance for Canada can cover your needs during this period. See BestQuote, or get a free quote here from Cigna to see what policies are available to you.
You may also wish to avail of private health insurance for services not covered by provincial coverage for healthcare in Canada. Often, your employer will provide this kind of coverage, which may include covering the cost of prescriptions, dental and optical care, and physiotherapy.
Temporary residents can review their options for travel insurance for Canada here.
Healthcare in Canada by province
The Ontario Health Insurance Plan, or OHIP, is the name of Ontario’s provincial healthcare plan.
It pays for doctor visits, hospital stays, abortions, podiatry, ambulance services, and eligible dental surgery and optometry. You must show your card when you go for medical help.
There is a three-month waiting period after your arrival in Ontario before OHIP will cover the costs of your healthcare in Canada.
You can apply for the OHIP at any Service Ontario office. You will need to provide a completed Registration for Ontario Health Coverage (0265-82) form, and documents that prove your identity, that you live in Ontario, and that you meet immigration requirements. Examples include: a passport, utility bill or paystub, and a valid Permanent Resident card.
Health insurance for Canada provided in the province of British Columbia is known as the Medical Services Plan (MSP).
You will have to wait up to three months after your arrival date in British Columbia for the coverage to begin of your MSP and the costs of your healthcare in Canada.
Residents pay a monthly fee to contribute towards the cost of providing the MSP. From January 1, 2018, these fees are:
|Adjusted Net Income||One Adult||Two Adults in a Family|
|$0 - $26,000||$0.00||$0.00|
|$26,001 - $28,000||$11.50||$23.00|
|$28,001 - $30,000||$17.50||$35.00|
|$30,001 - $34,000||$23.00||$46.00|
|$34,001 - $38,000||$28.00||$56.00|
|$38,001 - $42,000||$32.50||$65.00|
MSP coverage provides healthcare in Canada and includes services provided in British Columbia by physicians and midwives, dental and oral surgery performed in a hospital, necessary eye exams, and x-rays.
Procedures that are not medically necessary, routine eye exams, prescription drugs, and dental services except as outlined under benefits, are not included. In these cases, you will either have to pay the fees yourself, or avail of additional medical coverage.
Health insurance for Canada provided in the province of Alberta is known as the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP).
New permanent residents are eligible for coverage on the date of their arrival in the province, so long as all validation requirements are met.
You will however still need to register for coverage. You will need to provide proof of residency in Alberta, government-issued ID, and proof that you are legally entitled to be in Canada. Suitable documentation includes a utility bill or pay stub, a passport or driver license, and a permanent resident card or port of entry immigration document.