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As you prepare to move to New Brunswick, there are many important tasks to accomplish before you arrive. As a newcomer, obtaining New Brunswick health care should be near the top of your list.
After all, getting your New Brunswick health card will enable you to access New Brunswick Medicare. This helps to ensure that you’re able to be seen immediately in a crisis and won’t have to pay expensive medical costs out of pocket.
One of the reasons why so many immigrants are drawn to Canada is because of the country’s ongoing commitment to offering publicly funded health care to all legal residents – both citizens and non-citizens.
In each province, health care is managed internally, with one or more provincial agencies overseeing all healthcare services. In New Brunswick, these critical health care services are known as New Brunswick Medicare.
Today, we’ll talk through what you need to know about New Brunswick health care as a newcomer, and show you the easiest way to obtain your New Brunswick health card.
Applying for health care might be a straightforward process, but in New Brunswick, a 3-month waiting period prevents newcomers from accessing covered medical services immediately following their arrival into the province. Instead of going without coverage, the smartest choice is to obtain private health insurance to cover you during this time.
Private health insurance is not hard to find, and with the right insurer, you can enrol quickly and easily. Click here to get a free quote from our trusted partner Cigna, who can help you get access to inexpensive coverage in just minutes.
New Brunswick health care for newcomers
In New Brunswick, the provincial health insurance plan that offers basic universal health coverage to residents is known as Medicare. Depending on where you’re located, Medicare services are split into two regions. One is serviced by Vitalité Health Network and the other by Horizon Health Network.
Even though the service regions may not be the same throughout the province, each health network covers the same programs and services. This includes most medically required services that are performed by a doctor, as well as certain specific dental surgeries that take place in a hospital setting.
Additionally, most hospital services such as nursing, drugs administered while in hospital, radiotherapy, and anesthesia, are covered under Medicare. However, New Brunswick does not cover:
- Drugs and medicines
- Ambulance services
- Circumcision of newborns
- Annual check-ups
- Elective surgeries
And many more services, some of which may be covered by other provinces.
Many New Brunswickers get private health insurance to cover their prescription medicines, or they rely on coverage from employers to pay for medical items and services not covered by Medicare.
Determining your eligibility for New Brunswick Medicare
All newcomers who are in New Brunswick legally and who intend on making the province their primary residence are eligible to receive health care under New Brunswick Medicare.
In addition to an application form, you will need to show either proof of Canadian citizenship, or a copy of all immigration records plus the entry stamp in your passport.
You will also need to provide proof of identity, and proof of residence. All documents should be photocopied if you are mailing in your application packet since the Service New Brunswick offices cannot guarantee the return of your original documents.
Applying for your New Brunswick health card as a newcomer
Once you’re aware of the requirements necessary to obtain a New Brunswick health card, the application process is easy. You can either apply in person at a Service New Brunswick office, or mail in your completed application package.
Generally, a Medicare application takes 10 weeks to review. After your application has been processed, you will receive a letter indicating the official start date of your Medicare coverage, followed by your physical Medicare card.
How to succeed during your first months in New Brunswick
As you settle into your new life in New Brunswick, there will undoubtedly be many administrative tasks to take care of. Applying for your provincial health coverage is just one of the many important steps you should be taking when you first arrive.
Since the application process for New Brunswick Medicare can last for 10 weeks or more, it’s a good idea to have private health insurance that can cover you until you receive your Medicare card in the mail. Otherwise, you’ll be liable for all medical costs, which could put a sizeable hole in your budget for your first few months in Canada.
Private health insurance offers flexible coverage that you can purchase only while you need it. Moving2Canada’s trusted partner Cigna is a great resource, offering flexible private health insurance to the newcomer community of New Brunswick. Apply today to receive coverage within minutes.
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