Do I need private health insurance if I have OHIP?

The Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) does not cover all medical costs.

OHIP does not cover:

  • prescription drugs; like antibiotics prescribed by your family doctor
  • dental services provided in a dentist’s office; this includes cleaning, fillings and regular visits
  • eye exams, eyeglasses, contact lenses

OHIP+ is a program specifically for youths 24-years-old and under that covers many prescription medications. You can find out if your medicines are covered through the online search tool.

You can ask your health care provider for more information about what services are covered by OHIP. Your doctor should tell you if a service or treatment is not covered by OHIP before giving any referrals.

There are a few things to consider if you think you may need private health insurance to cover additional costs like prescriptions; and a few ways to start your search.

How do I find an insurance provider?

If you are employed, your employer might have a health insurance plan that you may be eligible for; check with your manager or human resources.

To find a private health insurance company, you can search online or use the OmbudService for Life & Health Insurance Finder. You can also ask your friends and coworkers about their insurance coverage. It is important to be aware of potential scams and insurance fraud before you make your final decision. You can review the Consumer Information from the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA) for what to look for in a plan before you decide.

In Canada, if you are moving from one province to another you may have a waiting period before you qualify for their health insurance, you should check with your home province and your new province to learn about the rules. You can also look for free and low-cost health services at a Community Health Centre (CHC). Some Community Health Centres have health services for people who do not have an OHIP card. Services at CHCs are free or you may need to pay a small fee. Find out more in What are community health centres?

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.

If you are applying for a Parent or Grandparent Super Visa you need to purchase specific medical insurance and provide proof in your application.

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Last updated: May 11, 2022 4006529