Prior to applying for a Health Card, it is imperative that one determine whether or not they are eligible for OHIP coverage. A person must meet the following criteria in order to be considered eligible as per the Ministry of Health website:
- be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or among one of the newcomer to Canada groups who are eligible for OHIP as set out in Ontario’s Health Insurance Act ; and
- be physically present in Ontario for 153 days in any 12-month period; and
- be physically present in Ontario for at least 153 days of the first 183 days immediately after establishing residency in the province; and
- make your primary place of residence in Ontario.
If you are new to the province, you must reside in Ontario for at least 3 months before OHIP will cover you. If you were covered in another province prior to your move, the previous province will cover you for this 3 month period.
If however you are new to Canada, it is strongly suggested that you get private health care to cover you during this waiting period.
In order to apply for an Ontario Health Card, one must apply at a ServiceOntario Centre location with the following:
- A completed Registration for Ontario Health Coverage (Form 0265-82) Form; and
- original documentation that proves your Canadian Citizenship or eligible Immigration Status; and
- proof of your residency in Ontario
A full list of eligible documents for the latter two points above is available here.
Note: All documents must be originals. Photocopies will not be acknowledged.
A map of the ServiceOntario Centre locations in Ottawa as well as travel information is available here.
Age and Photograph
If you or someone within your family is under the age of 15 and a half (6 months younger than 16), they do not require a photo on their Health Card and therefore do not have to appear in person to apply for a Health Card. Their parent or legal guardian however is responsible for providing their proof of residency and Citizenship/Immigration Status.
Everyone over the age of 15 and a half is required to have their photograph on their Health Card. It is mandatory that they appear in person in order to apply successfully.
If you live in a rural area near the Ottawa area but do not have an office within travelling distance, you can contact ServiceOntario and ask for information on Outreach Registration.
Contact – 1-800-664-8988
It is important for the sake of your health and the ones that you love that your Health Card be kept with you at all times in case of emergency.