Ontario Health Insurance Plan
OHIP
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Resettled refugees arrive to Canada as Permanent Residents and are immediately eligible for the same OHIP available to all Canadian citizens.

Coverage begins once the application has been approved at Service Ontario.

There is a normally a three-month waiting period for new residents, however all privately sponsored refugees are exempt from this rule.

Residents of Ontario must have a health card to show that they are entitled to health care services paid for by OHIP. OHIP covers a wide range of health services; however, it does not pay for services that are not medically necessary, such as cosmetic surgery.

How to Apply for OHIP:
Applicants must apply in person at a Service Ontario centre, with a completed Registration for Ontario Health Coverage and necessary original documents. At the appointment, a paper document will be provided, which can be used to access care until the Health Card arrives in the mail.

To find your nearest Service Ontario go to: https://www.services.gov.on.ca/locations/start.do

Forms: Click here for Ontario Health Coverage (OHIP) (form 0265-82):

More About Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP):
Documents: For recently arrived resettled refugees, it may be difficult to get all the documents Service Ontario staff wants to see. Applicants should bring all the documents they have. They will need one document to prove each of the following:
1.Immigration Status: Use Confirmation of Permanent Residence Document, received at airport upon arrival. 2.Residency: Use Lease/Rental Agreement. If permanent housing has not yet been found, create a document entitled: ‘Rental/Lease Agreement’. Include: complete address, dates, name/ contact information of owner and ‘renters’, signed by all adults. *It does not matter if it is temporary housing and there is no exchange of funds.
3.Identity: Use Passports or certified copies, or Travel Document/ Single Journey Document with Signature

Although they cannot be accepted directly, bank statements, debit cards, library cards, and letters received by mail can help support the documents presented.

It is up to the discretion of the workers at Service Ontario to accept the same document twice when there is a good reason. You may have to explain and advocate on the applicant’s behalf. If you have problems, speak with a supervisor.

If you have questions or concerns about documents, contact AURA.

IFHP and OHIP are both needed.
Sponsored refugees are eligible for OHIP upon arrival to Ontario. As Protected People with refugee status, for the first year in Canada they are eligible for additional health coverage through IFHP (Interim Federal Health Program). They must have both.

Exception to the 3-month waiting period:
There has been confusion at some Service Ontario centres with staff unaware that privately sponsored refugees are exempt from the three-month waiting period in place for new Ontario residents. The code on the Confirmation of Permanent Residence documents does not always trigger the exemption in the Service Ontario system. If necessary, here is legislation related to the exception:

Regulation 552 of Ontario’s Health Insurance Act:
6.2 A person is exempt from the three-month waiting period if he or she is a Canadian citizen, a landed immigrant under the former Immigration Act (Canada) or a permanent resident under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (Canada) who, after July 20, 2006 comes to Ontario promptly after leaving a foreign country where an evacuation effort is being undertaken or facilitated by the Government of Canada. O. Reg. 133/09, s. 3.
6.3 A person is exempt from the three-month waiting period if he or she is a “protected person” as that term is used in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (Canada). O. Reg. 133/09, s. 3.
Accessed via Ontario e-Laws http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/public/programs/ohip/

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