Health Coverage for Refugees & Refugee Claimants


New Interim Federal Health Coverage Program (IFHP) - Effective April 1, 2016
Overview – IFHP (in French


  • All individuals with an IFHP certificate are entitled to the same coverage. This coverage includes resettled refugees (GARs and PSRs), refugee claimants, refused claimants until their deportation date and people detained under immigration laws.
  • Government Assisted Refugees (GARs) and Privately Sponsored Refugees (PSRs) have IFHP coverage for the first 12 months after arrival. They are also entitled to provincial health insurance coverage for medical services (e.g., RAMQ, OHIP) upon arrival. For resettled refugees, IFHP coverage is primarily relevant for medications and "supplemental’ services."
  • Refugee claimants: These clients do not have OHIP or other provincial health insurance on arrival. IFHP coverage continues until the refugee claim is accepted (+ 45 days) OR if the refugee claim is rejected, until the date set for deportation


  • Medical, diagnostic and hospital services: same coverage as provincial health insurance
  • Medications: similar to coverage for social assistance beneficiaries. More precisely, it is the same as the provincial medication insurance list along with some additional medications.
  • Supplemental services: similar to coverage for social assistance beneficiaries, including emergency dental care, eye exams, glasses, psychotherapy, rehabilitation, prosthetics, orthotics, home care, etc.

IFHP certificates issued after April 10, 2016 will not have an expiry date

  • For GARs and PSRs: coverage will expire 12 months after arrival. Of course, their provincial health insurance coverage will continue permanently and, after the first year, they will have access to the same programs and benefits as any other permanent resident (e.g., provincial prescription medication insurance programs)
  • For refugee claimants: the IFHP certificate will continue to be valid, and they will continue to have IFHP coverage until their refugee claim is accepted (+ 45 days) OR if their refugee claim is rejected, until the date set for deportation. There is no longer any need to renew the IFHP certificate.

Information on the new IFHP is available on the Medavie Blue Cross website. 

For a summary of the new IFHP: click on Bulletins

Then: March - All Providers - IFHP Program Changes - Effective April 1, 2016

For detailed information: click on Guides

Then: IFHP Information Handbook for Health-Care Professionals – April 1, 2016