People living in Ontario receive free health care through the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP).

Anyone older than 15½ years old must apply for their own health card and register in person.

OHIP covers:

  • Visits to a doctor
  • Diagnostic services
  • Treatment for injuries or illnesses
  • Hospital care

OHIP does not cover:

  • Prescription drugs for 25 years and older
  • Dental care
  • Eye care or eye glasses
  • Services that are not medically necessary (e.g. cosmetic surgery)

The Ontario Government's website includes a list detailing what is covered by OHIP.

Prescription Drugs

You can buy medication at a pharmacy (drugstore). You will need a prescription from a health care provider to be able to get your prescribed medications at the pharmacy. Supplemental health insurance plans may provide partial or full coverage for medications.

Pharmacists at the drugstore and can answer any questions you may have about your medications.

You do not need a prescription to get over-the-counter medications.


OHIP+ provides coverage for many prescription drugs for children and youth up to 24 years old who are not covered by private benefits, while those covered by private plans will bill those first and the government second. You can use the OHIP+ website search to find out which prescription drugs are covered.

Am I eligible for OHIP?

To be eligible for OHIP you must:

  • Be a Canadian citizen or have immigration status as set out in Ontario's Health Insurance Act
  • Have your permanent and main home in Ontario
  • Be physically present in Ontario for 153 days in any 12-month period

Getting your OHIP Card

Each family member must have their own OHIP card to receive health care services paid for by OHIP. Children older than 15½ years of age must apply for their own health card and register in person.

Apply for your health card as soon as you arrive in Canada.

To apply for an OHIP card as a newcomer to Ontario, visit the nearest Service Ontario Centre with your documents.

You must bring 3 original documents to prove your:

  • Citizenship/immigration status
  • Residency in Ontario
  • Identity

You may also be asked for additional documents. For example, if your name has changed, you may need to provide a marriage certificate or a change of name certificate.

More OHIP resources and information:

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