Check your health card before you go

You should bring your health card with you if you’re planning to travel outside of Canada, but first, make sure it’s still valid. A valid Ontario health card has:

  • not expired
  • your correct personal information on it (e.g. name, birthdate)
  • your current address that’s on file with ServiceOntario

If you’ve moved, you can update your address online with ServiceOntario.

If your name has changed since receiving your current health card, you will need to visit ServiceOntario and bring a form and specific documents.

Away for more than seven months

If you plan to be outside Canada for more than seven months in any 12-month period you can keep your OHIP coverage for up to two years if you:

  • have a valid health card
  • make Ontario your primary home
  • will be in Ontario for at least 153 days a year in each of the two years immediately before you leave the country

Before you leave, take the following items to the nearest ServiceOntario centre to make sure your OHIP coverage stays active:

  • your health card
  • proof of residency (e.g. mortgage, lease or rental agreement, property tax bill, valid driver’s licence)

Studying outside Canada

If you’re planning to study outside Canada, you can keep your OHIP coverage if you:

  • have a valid Ontario health card
  • are registered in a full-time academic program
    • proof is required (e.g. letter from international university or college confirming your enrollment)
  • will be in Ontario for at least 153 days a year in each of the two years immediately before you leave the country
  • make Ontario your primary home
    • proof is required (e.g. most recent income tax assessment, utility bill, valid Ontario driver’s licence)

Before you leave, take the following items to the nearest ServiceOntario centre to apply for an academic absence:

  • your health card
  • proof of residency (e.g. mortgage, lease or rental agreement, property tax bill, valid driver’s licence)
  • proof of registration in a full-time academic program outside of Canada (e.g. letter from the international school)

Working outside Canada

If you’re planning to work (including for a charity) outside Canada on a full-time but temporary basis, you can apply for this coverage if you:

  • have a valid Ontario health card
  • have proof of full-time position from your employer or sponsoring registered charity
    • e.g. offer of employment, contract or letter from the charity
  • will be in Ontario for at least 153 days a year in each of the two years immediately before you leave the country

Before you leave take the following items to the nearest ServiceOntario centre to make sure your OHIP coverage stays active:

  • your health card
  • proof of residency (e.g. mortgage, lease or rental agreement, property tax bill, valid driver’s licence)
  • proof of employment or charity work (e.g. contract/letter from employer/charity)

For family members

If you’re leaving Canada for full-time study or work only, immediate family members who travel with you may also be able to keep their OHIP coverage. This includes:

  • your spouse
  • dependent children under 22 years of age
  • adult children over 22 years of age if they depend on you financially due to mental or physical disability

How to get out-out-country care

How to qualify

You qualify if you:

The treatment or service must meet all of the following criteria. It must be:

  • medically necessary
  • provided at a licensed hospital or licensed health facility
  • for an illness, disease, condition or injury that
    • is acute and unexpected
    • not pre-existing (you developed it outside of Canada)
    • requires immediate treatment

We recommend that you buy private health insurance before leaving Ontario to cover any uninsured services you may need.

What is covered?

Doctor services

OHIP will pay whichever of the following is less:

Emergency outpatient services

OHIP will pay whichever of the following is less:

  • up to $50 (Canadian) per day
  • the amount billed by the hospital

Emergency inpatient services

OHIP will pay up to:

  • $400 (Canadian) per day for services provided in:
    • an operating room
    • a coronary care unit
    • an intensive care unit
    • a neonatal or pediatric special care unit
  • $200 (Canadian) per day for lower levels of care

How to get money back

If you paid for qualifying services outside Canada after January 1, 2020, you may be eligible to get some of your money back.

To submit a claim:

  1. Fill out the Out of Province/Country Claims Submission form.
  2. Attach a detailed statement in English or French with the:
    • date you were admitted
    • date you were discharged
    • description of service(s)
    • nature of any complications
    • kind and number of any laboratory, radiological or other diagnostic tests performed
    • nature of any treatment, procedure or surgery that was performed
    • discharge diagnosis
    • itemized fees for each service
    • health card number (and version code, if applicable)
    • your name and current address in Ontario
  3. Include original receipts for payment to the:
    • hospital or health facility
    • doctor or surgeon, if billed separately from the hospital or facility

You can submit your claim by email or mail.

Email your claim to CSBOttawa@ontario.ca

Mail your claim to:

Ministry of Health
Out of Country Travellers Program
700-75 Albert Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5Y9

How to get money back for renal care

Claims for hemodialysis treatments received out-of-country should be submitted based on the date of treatment, not the date the claim is submitted.

To submit a claim:

  1. Fill out the Out of Province/Country Claims Submission form for treatment received on or before December 31.
  2. Submit claims to the Ontario Renal Network for hemodialysis treatments received out of country on or after January 1, 2020.
  3. If you receive hemodialysis treatment both before and after January 1, 2020, submit 2 separate claims.

Doctor-recommended out-of-country care

If recommended by your Ontario doctor, OHIP may cover some medical services in a licensed hospital or facility outside Canada, but you must get written prior approval from the Ministry of Health before you receive the services.

Find out more about getting written prior approval.

Updated: September 23, 2021
Published: April 05, 2017