Do I need private health insurance?

When you are new to Ontario, there is a 3-month waiting period for OHIP. During these 3 months, OHIP does not pay for any of your medical services. You can buy private health insurance to help you pay for treatments during that time.

You can also buy insurance to pay for services that OHIP does not cover.

The Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA) recommends that you buy private health insurance for the 3 months that you are not covered by OHIP. Some insurance companies have rules and deadlines for buying insurance. For example, for some companies, you might have to buy insurance within a certain number of days after arriving in Ontario. You can find more information about private insurance from CLHIA.

Find more information in Where can I buy private health insurance for newcomers and visitors to Canada?

What insurance do I need during my first 3 months in Ontario?

Look for the same insurance that visitors to Canada buy. These insurance plans are designed for people who do not have OHIP.

The cost depends on:

  • The company you choose
  • The package you choose
  • How old you are
  • How healthy you are
  • The age and health of your children or other dependants

Should I buy insurance before coming to Canada?

Read the policy before you buy any insurance. Make sure that you are covered during the time you are travelling to Canada. Many insurance companies will not cover you if you travel one-way. Some companies will not pay for any costs after you arrive in Canada.

Do I need private health insurance if I have OHIP?

OHIP does not cover all medical costs. Check with your doctor or hospital. They can tell you if a treatment is covered. You can buy insurance to pay for costs that OHIP does not cover. Your employer might have a health insurance plan that you can buy.

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Last updated: September 9, 2015 4001251