How to Apply for an Ontario Health Card in Ottawa

Ontario residents are blessed to have a universal publically funded health care plan sponsored through the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP). This plan is funded by taxes that are paid by Ontario residents and businesses as well as transfer payments from the Federal Government. Your proof of being covered under this plan is an Ontario Health Card.

This plan essentially allows any resident of Ontario who meets certain requirements (outlined) below to receive medical care from any doctor practicing in Ontario free of charge. The plan also covers Ontario residents travelling throughout Canada, as similar provinces have similar plans.

The following Step by Step Guide helps people who are new to the province of Ontario obtain their Health Card.

For a Step by Step Guide on renewing your Health Card, click here.

Contact – 1-866-532-3161


Health Card FAQ’s


  • 1


    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.

  • 2


    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.

  • 3

    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.

  • 4

    Outreach Registration

    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

  • 5

    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.

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