What You Need To Know About Ontario’s Health Insurance Card
You need to bring your Ontario Health Insurance Card each time you visit any medical services facility where you are looking to have your treatment/examination covered by Ontario’s Health Insurance. It must be a valid card in order for the facility to collect payment for your services from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. Any requests for payment that are rejected by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care result in a great expenditure of time, money and resources in tracking the patient to get a valid health insurance number or direct payment.
What You Need To Know To Ensure Your Health Card Is Valid
Residents of Ontario must have a valid health card to show that they are entitled to health care services paid for by OHIP.
The ‘legacy’ red and white health cards which do not have a renewal date are still in circulation but are being phased out as the photo health card, which do have a renewal date listed in the bottom right hand corner, are being phased in. If you have a photo health card, you are responsible for obtaining a replacement card before your current card expires.
You can apply for a new Ontario Health Insurance Card if you are a former resident returning to live in Ontario, or if you are a new Ontario resident and meet eligibility requirements for OHIP coverage with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.
You should apply for a replacement health card if you have been requested to re-register by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care:
- if your health card has been lost, stolen, or damaged,
- if you are reporting a change of personal information,
- or if your photo health card is due to expire.
A visit an OHIP office or Outreach site is required if the following conditions apply:
- You have never had Ontario Health coverage before (e.g. have moved from another country or province).
- Your red and white health cardneeds replacing because:
- It is lost, stolen or damaged (e.g. card is broken, magnetic strip doesn’t work).
- Your name has changed.
- Your date of birth or other information has been recorded incorrectly (your provider may discover this while checking your coverage).
- A health provider has advised you that there is something wrong with your card or your coverage.
- Your photo health cardneeds replacing because:
- The information shown on the card is changing (e.g. change of name).
- Your photo health card has passed its renewal date (bottom right of the card).
Three (3) original documents to prove citizenship/immigration status, residency in Ontario, and identity are required regardless of what type of health card you are applying for.
For a complete list of documents that qualify, please visit the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care’s website.
What You Should Do If You Move
You should inform the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care if you change your address. It is important that the ministry has your current address for any direct communication with you.
There are four ways to update your address:
- Use Ontario Online Services to send your change of address electronically.
- Go to any ServiceOntario kiosk. They are similar to automated teller machines and provide extended hours of service seven days a week. You will need your health card and the health cards of all members of your family as well as your new postal code.
- Obtain a “Change of Address” form and return it by mail. Forms are available from your local OHIP office or from the Forms Online section of the ministry website.
- Send a letter to your local OHIP office. You must include your name, health number, telephone number, current address, and new address including postal code.
- If you have a photo health card and update your home address, you will receive a new card with your new address. If you have a red and white health card, you will continue to use it but the ministry database will be updated.
Call the ministry INFOline at 1-800-268-1154 (Toll-free in Ontario only)
In the Greater Toronto Area call 416-314-5518
Hours of operation : 8:30am – 5:00pm
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
This information is based on information obtained from the Ministry website: www.health.gov.on.ca.