Canadian Newcomers Healthcare Checklist - - Canada Immigration Newsletter

Canadian Newcomers Healthcare Checklist

So, you’re all ready to move to Canada, you have your permanent residency approved and all you have to do is get off that plane and start enjoying your new life in Canada! But wait, you have to wait 3 months in some provinces before you are covered for health coverage. This means that even a small accident that requires medical care could end up costing you and your family a lot of money. Until you get the healthcare from your province, it is best to make sure that you are covered. Click Here to get health insurance while you’re waiting. Here are some top tips for before and after you arrive here.

What is my health coverage called?

You may pre-qualify for a Canada immigration program.


Healthcare coverage is called a few different things depending on which province you are in. In Ontario, the Medicare is called the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP), in British Columbia, it is known as the Medical Services Plan (MSP). Click here to find out more about the Medicare program that you will need to register for based on the province that you are moving to in Canada.

Before moving to Canada

  • Learn about Medicare eligibility and enrolment rules in the Province/Territory you will move to. Here’s a link to basic information about Canada’s Medicare program, including a link to all the provincial sites:
  • If you are moving to a Province or Territory with a Medicare waiting period, or if due to your immigration status or short duration of stay you won’t be eligible for Medicare, then…
  • After researching your options, buy interim medical insurance and let family or close friends know of your insurance details.
  • Bring a copy of your medical records with you to Canada.

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After arrival in Canada

  • Apply for Medicare in your new home Province/Territory as soon as possible.
  • Until you receive your government health coverage, carry your interim insurance ID card, and a photocopy of your Canadian immigration document to prove your resident status.
  • Learn about extended health and dental plans available to cover the types of healthcare expenses that your provincial plan does not cover.
  • Do not leave Canada without buying travel medical insurance because Medicare offers negligible coverage outside Canada!
  • If you will have extended absences outside your home Province/Territory, confirm if you meet minimum eligibility requirements for Medicare. If extended absences make you ineligible for Medicare you will want to consider buying an international (private) health plan.
  • Ensure your family and friends have emergency medical coverage when they come to visit you in Canada!

For detailed information on private medical insurance for Canada (if you have a 3-month wait period before enrollment in Medicare) please contact David Cummings Insurance.

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See also:

Moving to Canada from USA – Why and How?




You may pre-qualify for a Canada immigration program.