Newcomer Health Coverage


Medical insurance coverage is a system that helps cover the costs of medical and surgical expenses. Instead of having to personally pay for medications, medical and surgical procedures, taxes and government funding help cover the majority of such costs.

For newcomers (specifically refugees), IFHP (the Interim Federal Health Plan) covers necessary and emergency medical expenses. However, some landed refugees will be given permanent resident status right away (e.g., Syrian and government-assisted refugees), meaning they will have an OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan) number and certificate.


The Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) provides coverage for medical services for up to a year following your arrival in Canada. The program is for refugees and refugee claimants. For more information, check out the Interim Federal Health Program for Syrian Refugees Question and Answer sheet.


All Syrian refugees who arrived in Canada on or after November 4, 2015, and all refugees from other countries who arrived in Canada on or after April 1, 2016 are eligible for Type 1 benefits under the Interim Federal Health Plan (IFHP). Type 1 benefits include basic coverage, supplemental coverage and prescription drug coverage. Coverage will be for up to one year, starting immediately after registration. (Registration should be completed upon arrival. If not, see section below on applying for IFHP.) Coverage for basic health care will stop once you receive provincial health care coverage (OHIP). However, supplemental and prescription drug coverage under IFHP will continue for up to one year.

*Important note –To receive services covered under IFHP, you must approach providers that are registered with Medavie Blue Cross as IFHP-approved providers. In other words, to have your prescription covered by the IFHP, the pharmacy or provider you submit the prescription to must be registered with Medavie Blue Cross in order to be reimbursed by the government allowing them to provide your prescription to you at a discounted or no cost.

Type 1 benefits include basic, supplemental and prescription drug coverage.

Basic Coverage includes:

  • in-patient and outpatient hospital services
  • services of medical doctors, registered nurses and other health-care professionals licensed in Canada, including pre- and postnatal care
  • laboratory, diagnostic and ambulance services

Supplemental Coverage includes (see Medavie Blue Cross Supplemental coverage summary for more information):

  • limited dental and vision care
  • home care and long-term care
  • services by allied health-care practitioners including clinical psychologists, occupational therapists, speech language therapists and physiotherapists; and
  • assistive devices, medical supplies and equipment, including:
    • prosthetic equipment
    • mobility aids
    • hearing aids
    • diabetic supplies
    • incontinence supplies
    • oxygen equipment 

Prescription Drug Coverage includes:

  • prescription medications and other products listed on provincial and territorial public drug plan formularies

Please see Medavie Blue Cross basic, supplemental and prescription drug coverage benefits grids for detailed information on medical coverages. Access the benefit grids online from the Medavie website through the following link: https://provider.medavie.bluecross.ca.


All refugees (adults and children) can apply for coverage through IFHP. Assistance may be required to complete forms: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/applications/ifh.asp.

Applying online:
  • Submit an online application by creating a MyCIC account.
  • Under the heading “What would you like to do today?” select “apply for the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP).”
  • Read the Instruction Guide [IMM 5568] for tips on how to fill out your application.
Applying on paper:
  • Newcomers must fill out an IFHP application form and bring it/mail it to their local Citizenship and Immigration office once they arrive in Canada. If the form is accepted, the applicant will begin to receive IFHP coverage immediately.
  • Read the Instruction Guide [IMM 5568] for tips on how to fill out your application.
  • A copy of the IFHP application form can be found here.

Citizenship and Immigration office in the Kingston area

*Note there is no Citizenship and Immigration office in the Kingston area. The closest Citizenship and Immigration offices are in Toronto (Etobicoke) and Ottawa.


Services in Toronto (Etobicoke)

5343 Dundas Street West, 3rd Floor

Toronto, ON

M9B 6K5

In-person help by appointment only. Once your application has been received, CIC will contact you to schedule an appointment if deemed necessary by the processing office.

In Toronto, refugee claims are only accepted at the Etobicoke office and can be made between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm, Monday to Friday


Services in Ottawa

200 Catherine Street,  Suite 101

Ottawa, ON

K2P 2K9

In-person help by appointment only. Once your application has been received, CIC will contact you to schedule an appointment if deemed necessary by the processing office.

Refugee claims can be made between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm, Monday to Friday.




What is OHIP?

OHIP is a provincially funded health insurance plan that pays for most basic and necessary medical and emergency services. When you join OHIP, you will receive an Ontario Health Card. You must show your Ontario Health Card when you go for medical help. Each member of your family needs to have their Ontario Health Card, no matter how old they are.

All Syrian Refugees are eligible to apply for OHIP once they arrive in Canada. To apply for OHIP:

  • It is strongly recommended that a member of the sponsorship group accompany refugees to the Service Ontario office.   
  • Refugees must bring a copy of the following three documents with them when applying for OHIP at Service Ontario:  
  1. Proof of immigration status: A document from the Government of Canada showing immigration status.
    1. This will be a Permanent Resident Form given to you by an immigration official. Each member of your family will have their own form.
  2. Proof of residency in Ontario: A document that shows you will be living in the province of Ontario
    1. This can be something in your name that shows the address you will be living at in Ontario.
    2. It can be a letter from the organization or group that is helping you settle in Ontario, indicating you are living in Ontario and an address where Service Ontario can send your health card.
    3. If you do not have a document, staff at the Service Ontario Centre will assist you
  3. Support of identity: A document that shows your name and your signature
    1. If you have a document with your name and your signature, such as a passport from Syria or any other document you may have, please bring it with you.
    2. If you do not have a document with your name and signature, Service Ontario staff will assist you.

     

  • More information and a list of what documents are accepted can be found here: http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/public/programs/ohip/ohipfaq_mn.aspx
  • Your new health cards will come in the mail about three weeks after you complete your registration. You will be given a Transaction Receipt when you are at a Service Ontario Centre. You can use this receipt when receiving OHIP-insured health services before your new health card is delivered.
  • Everyone over 15 ½ years of age must register in person. At the office, your picture will be taken and you will be asked for your signature to include on your health card.
    • A parent or guardian can register anyone younger than 15½ years of age since their health card will not have a picture or signature. (These children do not need to come with you when visiting a Service Ontario centre.) 
  • Refugees must apply in person at their nearest Service Ontario office.

See below for a list of Service Ontario sites in Kingston and surrounding areas:


Service Ontario Sites Kingston & Area

Location

Phone


Kingston

1201 Division St, Kingston, ON K7K 6X4

+1 800-267-8097

1650 Bath Rd, Kingston, ON K7M 4X6

(613) 536-5722


Gananoque

77 Pine St East, Gananoque, ON K7G 2W3

(416) 326-1234


Napanee

7 Snow Rd #2, Napanee, ON K7R 0A2

+1 800-267-8097


Elgin

15 Main St, Elgin, ON K0G 1E0

+1 800-267-8097


Westport

5 Church St, Westport, ON K0G 1X0

(416) 326-1234


Verona

Highway 38 and Bank Street, Verona, ON K0H 2W0

(416) 326-1234