Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP)

Applying for a Health Card

A resident of Ontario must have a health card to show that he or she is entitled to health care services paid for by OHIP.
The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care pays for a wide range of services, however, it does not pay for services that are not medically necessary, such as cosmetic surgery.

Most of your Ontario health benefits are covered across Canada. The province or territory you are visiting will usually bill the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care directly for hospital and physician services. In Quebec, you may have to pay for physician services and then submit your receipt to your local ministry office for payment.

See the Questions and Answers page for detailed information on OHIP and Health Card Services – OHIP Offices for the location nearest you.


Ontario residents are eligible for provincially funded health coverage (OHIP). To be eligible for Ontario health coverage you must :

  • be a Canadian citizen or have immigration status as set out in Ontario’s Health Insurance Act, and
  • make your permanent and principal home in Ontario, and
  • be physically present in Ontario 153 days in any 12-month period.

OHIP coverage normally becomes effective three months after the date you establish residency in Ontario. The ministry strongly encourages new and returning residents to purchase private health insurance in case you become ill during the OHIP waiting period.

Did You Know?
As health service providers validate the health numbers of people they treat, it is important to carry your health card at all times.
If you have a red and white health card OR the newer photo health card, please carry it. Either card must be validated by your provider.

For More Information

Call ServiceOntario, INFOline at
1-866-532-3161 (Toll-free in Ontario only)
TTY 1-800-387-5559.
In Toronto, TTY 416-327-4282

Hours of operation : 8:30am – 5:00pm

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