A health care provider in blue scrubs, with a clipboard and penCanada’s health care system is publicly funded and provides universal, comprehensive coverage for medically necessary services. The first and most important step to claiming Canadian health care coverage is applying for OHIP.

OHIP Coverage and Eligibility

The Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) provides provincially funded health coverage to Ontario residents. OHIP coverage includes a wide range of services, but it will not cover services that are being used for non-medical reasons, such as cosmetic surgery.

In general, all Ontario residents are eligible for OHIP if they are all of the following:

  • A permanent resident, a landed immigrant, a Canadian citizen, or registered as an Indian under the Indian Act
  • Physically present in Ontario for at least 153 days during any 12-month period
  • Living in Ontario as their primary place of residence

When you apply for OHIP, you are also applying for an Ontario health card. Once you have received your health card, you should carry it with you at all times. The health card is used to prove that you are entitled to the health care services paid for by OHIP.

Applying for OHIP

Applying for OHIP is a free process. The following instructions explain how to apply for OHIP and an Ontario health card if you have never had an Ontario health card before.

  1. Complete a registration form for Ontario Heath Coverage.
  2. Collect three original documents to provide the following proofs:
    • Proof of Immigration Status or Citizenship
    • Proof of residency in Ontario (examples: drivers license, lease agreement)
    • Proof of identity (examples: credit card, Canadian Immigration Identification Card)
  3. In person, bring your registration form and three documents to your nearest ServiceOntario centre. Your health card photo will be taken, and your application will be processed.

Important Considerations for Newcomers

You must make Ontario your primary place of residence to be eligible for OHIP.

In order to maintain your eligibility for OHIP after establishing residency, you must be physically present in Ontario for at least 153 days (or not absent for more than 30 days) within the first 183 days immediately after residency has been established.

OHIP coverage normally becomes effective three months after the date you establish residency in Ontario. We recommend purchasing private health insurance during the OHIP wait period, in case you require health care service before OHIP coverage takes effect.