Health care in Ontario

OHIP is Ontario’s health care plan. Through OHIP, the province pays for many of the health services you may need. You need to apply and, once you’re approved, you’ll get an Ontario health card. Your health card proves you’re covered by OHIP – that’s why you’ll need to show it every time you see your doctor, visit an emergency room, have a medical test or go for surgery.

What’s covered

OHIP covers many health services you may need, such as:

  • appointments with your family doctor
  • visits to walk-in clinics and some other health care providers
  • visits to an emergency room
  • medical tests and surgeries

To be covered by OHIP, you must have a medical reason to receive a service or treatment. Cosmetic surgery, for example, is not covered.

Learn more about OHIP-covered services and products.

Who qualifies

To qualify for OHIP, you must meet all of the minimum qualifications listed below plus at least one of the additional requirements.

To meet the minimum qualifications you must:

  • be physically in Ontario for 153 days in any 12‑month period
  • be physically in Ontario for at least 153 days of the first 183 days immediately after you began living in the province
  • make Ontario your primary residence

You must also meet at least one of the following additional requirements. You:

  • are a Canadian citizen
  • are an Indigenous person (registered under the federal Indian Act)
  • are a permanent resident (formerly called a “landed immigrant”)
  • are applying for permanent residence in Canada and:
    • have submitted an application to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCCand;
    • IRCC has confirmed they have reviewed the application and that you meet the eligibility requirements to apply (see document requirements);and
    • you have not yet been denied
  • are in Ontario on a valid work permit and are working full-time in Ontario, for an Ontario employer, for at least six months
    • under this requirement, your spouse and any dependents also qualify for OHIP if you do
  • are in Ontario on a valid work permit under the federal Live-in Caregiver Program
  • are a convention refugee or other protected person (as defined by Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada)
  • have a Temporary Resident Permit (only certain case types, e.g. 86 through 95)
  • are a clergy member who can legally stay in Canada and will be ministering full time in Ontario for at least six months
    • under this requirement, your spouse and any dependents also qualify for OHIP if you do

How to apply

You must apply for OHIP in person at a ServiceOntario centre.

You will need to bring these documents with you:

 

Reapplying for OHIP

If you’ve been out of Ontario for more than 212 days in any 12‑month period, you may have to reapply for OHIP at a specialized ServiceOntario Centre that provides the full-suite of health card services. You can call ServiceOntario to be sure.

If you are reapplying for OHIP, refer to the above section How to apply.

Requesting a review

If you are told that you do not – or no longer – qualify for OHIP, you can request a review of the decision.

To request a review, send OHIP a letter, fax or email with:

  • the reason why you believe you qualify for OHIP
  • additional information or documents to show you qualify
  • up-to-date contact information

You can send the letter and copies of documents by:

  •  OERC@ontario.ca
  • Fax: 613-548-6557
  • mail to:

    OHIP Eligibility Review Committee
    Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
    49 Place d’Armes, 5th floor
    Kingston, ON K7L 5J3

We will review your submission and reply with a written response. We may also follow up by phone.

Further appeals

If you want to appeal the OHIP Eligibility Review Committee’s decision, you can write to the Health Services Appeal and Review Board.

You must do this within 15 days of receiving the written decision from the OHIP Eligibility Review Committee.

Send the letter and any supporting information or documents to:

Health Services Appeal and Review Board
151 Bloor Street West, 9th Floor
Toronto, ON M5S 2T5
Phone:416-327-8512
Fax:416-327-8524

Find out more about the Health Services Appeal and Review Board.

OHIP for babies

If your baby is born in Ontario, the steps to apply for OHIP are different depending on whether or not the baby was born:

  • in a hospital that has birthing (labour and delivery) facilities; or
  • with help from a registered midwife

Born in birthing hospital or with registered midwife

If your baby was born in an Ontario hospital with birthing facilities or with a registered midwife, follow these steps to apply:

  1. Complete the Ontario Health Coverage Infant Registration form. It is not available online. Hospital staff or the registered midwife will give you the form. On the form you must:
    • give your baby’s name, birthdate and mailing address
    • confirm your baby’s primary place of residence is Ontario
    • confirm your baby will be in Ontario for at least 153 days in any 12‑month period
  2. The hospital or midwife will submit the top part of the form to us on your behalf.
  3. Keep the bottom section of the form until you get your baby’s Ontario health card. It shows the health number assigned to your baby.

Your baby’s new health card will be mailed to you within 8 weeks of the date the Ontario Health Coverage Infant Registration form was submitted.

If hospital staff or the registered midwife do not give you the Ontario Health Coverage Infant Registration form, you may apply for health coverage for your child at either:

  • ServiceOntario
  • the Ministry of Health’s OHIP Eligibility Review Committee (OERC) by:

  • mail to:

    OHIP Eligibility Review Committee
    Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
    49 Place d’Armes, 5th floor
    Kingston, ON K7L 5J3

Born elsewhere in Ontario or without a registered midwife

If your baby was born in an Ontario hospital without birthing facilities or without a registered midwife, you must apply in person at the nearest ServiceOntario centre:

  • if you go within 90 days of the birthdate, bring proof of where your baby was born (e.g. letter from hospital or attending doctor)
  • if you go more than 90 days after the birthdate, bring proof of your child’s Canadian citizenship (e.g. birth certificate)

If your baby was born at home without a registered midwife, you will require the baby’s Ontario birth certificate or an Ontario Statement of Live Birth for OHIP registration. You must also bring all of the following documents with you to the ServiceOntario centre:

See the complete list of qualifying identification documents

OHIP for adopted children

If you’ve adopted a child from outside Canada, you can apply for OHIP coverage as soon as your child arrives in Ontario.

You must apply in person at the nearest ServiceOntario centre and bring all of the following documents for your child:

  • proof of Canadian citizenship or OHIP-eligible immigration status for your adopted child
  • proof of director approval from the Ministry of Children and Youth Services
  • adoption/guardianship documentation for your adopted child

You must also bring all of the following documents for yourself:

See the complete list of qualifying identification documents

If you’ve adopted a child from within Ontario or from another Canadian province or territory, please contact ServiceOntario to confirm which documents you need (1-866-532-3161). Documentation requirements will vary based on the stage of the adoption process.

OHIP for military family members

If you are a spouse or dependant of a Canadian Forces member, or Reservist currently deployed by the Canadian Forces into active service, you may be eligible for OHIP coverage.

To apply, you must attend in person at a ServiceOntario centre and bring all of the following documents:

  • a completed Registration for Ontario Health Insurance Coverage form
  • three separate, original (not photocopies or printouts of electronic documents) documents:
    • one that proves your Canadian citizenship or OHIP-eligible immigration status (e.g. Canadian birth certificate, Permanent Resident Card)
    • one that proves you live in Ontario (e.g. Ontario Driver’s Licence, income tax assessment)
    • one that supports your identity (e.g. credit card, passport from any country)

See the complete list of qualifying identification documents

Spouses or dependants

In order to be eligible for OHIP coverage, you will also have to present accepted military affiliation documentation for any spouse or dependant applying for OHIP.

If you are applying without the military member present

You will need to bring one of the following:

  • Special Passport (green-coloured passport for military family members returning from an out-of-country posting)
  • Canadian Forces Member's Personnel Record Résumé (MPRR)
  • Letter from local Ontario Military Family Resource Centre on letterhead, confirming military family status of applicants (issued at the discretion of your local Military Family Resource Centre)

If you are applying with the military member present

You will need to bring one of the following:

  • Canadian Forces member's Military Identification Card (e.g., NDI 20)
  • Canadian Forces member's Posting Message (with accompanying photo identification)
  • Special Passport (green-coloured passport for military family members returning from an out-of-country posting)
  • Canadian Forces Member's Personnel Record Résumé (MPRR
  • Letter from local Ontario Military Family Resource Centre on letterhead, confirming military family status of applicants (issued at the discretion of your local Military Family Resource Centre)

Original documents must be presented in person at a ServiceOntario centre. Photocopies are not accepted. The Ministry of Health  reserves the right to request additional documents.

Visitors to Ontario

Visitors to Ontario from other Canadian provinces and territories, or from outside Canada, do not qualify for OHIP. If you’re Canadian, find out what your provincial/territorial plan or private health insurance plan will cover before you take your trip to Ontario.

We also recommend that you buy private medical insurance for your trip as an additional precaution.

Updated: October 21, 2021
Published: March 21, 2017