Getting to Know Your Health Insurance

In Ontario, there are different forms of health insurance that are available to you based on your eligibility. It is important to know and understand your health insurance because then you will understand what types of services are available to you as they can be covered or what needs to be paid out of pocket. Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP)
The Ontario Health Insurance Plan is a government-funded health insurance program available to residents in Ontario. This plan covers a wide range of services that are deemed medically necessary. This program works by directly paying your service provider. There are also extended healthcare needs including prescription drugs, vision care, dental care or assistive devices may not be covered through OHIP as they can be provided through private insurances. To learn more about what may not be covered by OHIP, you can visit:
Individuals who would be eligible for OHIP include Canadian citizens, permanent residents, Convention refugees, persons in need of protection and individuals who have a valid work permit for a minimum of 6 months. For anyone who is a tourist or visitor, they can apply for OHIP after living in Ontario for 3 months. Thus, to obtain medically required services, you must present your OHIP card which is also known as your health card to the medical service provider. Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP)
The Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) allows individuals to obtain limited healthcare benefits for those who are ineligible for OHIP. Some individuals include those who are protected persons, refugee claimants or certain other groups. Some of the services provided through IFHP include immigration medical exams or treatments, vaccinations, in- and out-patient hospital charges, laboratory and ambulance services. In addition, with IFHP, it is important to understand that IFHP will not cover all the medical services as private insurance plans may include. Also, IFHP does not coordinate benefits with other insurance providers so an individual would not be able to make co-payments. For more information: Private Health Insurance
Newcomers require waiting 3 months before applying for OHIP. Often, individuals who are not working or if one’s employer does not offer a health insurance program, individuals decide to obtain private health insurance. Typically, private insurances cover additional medical services you would like such as dental care and additional medical aids. Some examples of private insurance include Manulife Financial, Green Shield and more. If you are looking to find a private insurance company, you can use the following link:
For more information, contact your healthcare provider to learn under your insurance what forms of medical services would be covered. If you are interested to learn more, please visit:

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