What is the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP)?

The Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) pays for your medical services for a short period of time after you arrive in Canada.

IFHP is for resettled refugees, protected persons, refugee claimants, and victims of human trafficking. People detained by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) are also covered.

The type of IFHP coverage you receive and the length of your coverage depend on your status in Canada. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) or the CBSA decide whether you are eligible for the IFHP. You can find the eligibility requirements on the IRCC website. Some people who are covered by IFHP also receive the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) coverage.

What does the IFHP cover?

The following expenses may be covered:

  • Hospital visits and ambulance services.
  • Essential vaccines and medications.
  • Pregnancy and midwifery services.
  • Some vision and dental care.
  • Services by clinical psychologists, occupational therapists, speech-language therapists, physiotherapists and other health professionals.
  • Home care and long-term care.
  • The Immigration Medical Exam (IME).

IRCC has a summary of covered services on its website.

How do I access health care services?

When you visit a health care provider, you must bring your Interim Federal Health Program Certificate or your Refugee Protection Claimant Document with you. You will also need to show government-issued identification.

If you are eligible for the IFHP, you do not need to pay for services. Your healthcare provider will receive payment from Medavie Blue Cross on your behalf. If you pay for health services, you will not be reimbursed.

Once you receive your Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) card, the IFHP will continue to provide coverage for supplemental services, like the ones mentioned above, and prescription drugs for up to one year.

For More Information

  • Interim Federal Health Program - Information about IFHP eligibility, how to apply for the program and how to access coverage. From IRCC.
  • Application for IFH Coverage Extension - This application guide is for people who want to apply to extend their IFHP coverage. From IRCC.
  • Refugee HealthLine - Call this line (1-866-286-4770) for free, to register for help in being connected with a health service provider who can assist with initial medical assessments and referral to other health services. This is not an emergency or crisis line.
  • Immigration and Refugee Law - Clear language publications on legal topics relating to immigrants and refugees. From Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO).
  • How can I find a family doctor? - Family doctors are usually the first doctors to diagnose and treat most medical problems.
Last updated: November 7, 2023 4001261