Can I get healthcare services after I make a refugee claim in Canada?

4. Apply for the Ontario Health Insurance Plan

If your refugee claim or Pre-Removal Risk Assessment (PRRA) is accepted, it means you have “” status in Canada and you can apply for a health card under the Ontario Health Insurance Program (OHIP).  

Through OHIP, Ontario pays for many healthcare services. Once you apply for OHIP and are approved, you’ll get a health card to prove that you’re covered by OHIP. You must show your card to doctors, nurses, or other healthcare providers to get healthcare services.

What’s covered

OHIP covers many healthcare services, including:

  • appointments with your family doctor
  • visits to walk-in clinics
  • visits to an emergency room
  • medical tests and surgeries

How to apply

As soon as you become a protected person, you can apply for OHIP. It’s best to apply right away because your Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) coverage will automatically expire 90 days after your claim is accepted.

To apply for OHIP you have to fill out an application. You also need to collect some documents to submit with your application. These documents include:

  • the decision accepting your refugee claim or PRRA that proves your protected person status
  • a document that has your name and current home address in Ontario, such as your rental agreement, tax assessment, or school report card
  • a document that has your name and your signature, like a credit card, employment identification card, or driver’s license

Take your application and documents to your local ServiceOntario centre. You can drop in or book an appointment. Once your application is approved, you will get your OHIP health card in the mail.

Many settlement agencies can help you apply for OHIP. To find a settlement agency in your area, go to Services Near Me.

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