Health Insurance Plans | Part 1: Public Insurance

Image of clipboard with paper saying “Health Insurance”, cash, stethoscope, hospital, and a heart
November 4, 2021
Roisin O'Dell

Image by Yasmin Ballew, Cornel Daily Sun Contributor

Each province and territory determines their own coverage under the Canada Health Act and each provincial health insurance plan is supplemented through federal transfers.

For this article we will use Ontario (OHIP – the Ontario Health Insurance Plan) as an example as each province is different in what services they cover.

Think of your OHIP card as a provincial credit card for healthcare. But in this case, it is the government that pays your balance at the end of each month. That is what we call the “single payer” system.

And while OHIP pays for the majority of medical services, there are many not covered. Some of the most notable being:

• Dental cleanings
• Ambulance services
• Orthotics
• Massage therapy
• Most prescriptions

The vast majority of consultations on GetSkinHelp are covered by OHIP, but not necessarily the treatment. For example, the removal of benign moles or skin tags are not covered and we (alongside other Ontario doctors) would need to charge you for those services.

It is also important to note that not everyone is eligible for OHIP. You can find out if you are eligible by clicking on this link.

If you are currently ineligible for provincial healthcare benefits, you may be able to apply for the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) which temporarily covers specific groups.

Eligible groups include:

• Resettled refugees
• Protected person in Canada
• Refugee claimants
• Victims of human trafficking
• Detainees

The Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship assesses applications on a case-by-case basis. 

Stay tuned for part 2, where we will discuss private health insurance plans.

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