Insurance for People Waiting for OHIP
OHIP coverage normally becomes effective three months after the date you establish residency in Ontario. The ministry strongly encourages new and returning residents to purchase private health insurance in case you become ill during the OHIP waiting period.
How long can I be absent from Canada and still maintain my OHIP coverage?
You may be temporarily outside of Canada for a total of 212 days in any 12 month period and still maintain your OHIP coverage as long as your primary place of residence is still in Ontario. However, the ministry does have extended absence provisions which are outlined below.
Absences within Canada
If you are already insured by OHIP and choose to travel, work or study outside of Ontario but within Canada, you may be eligible for continuous Ontario health insurance coverage.
Absences outside Canada
You may be eligible for continuous OHIP coverage if you are away from Ontario for one of the following reasons :
- Study full-time outside of Canada
- Work outside of Canada
- Charitable work outside of Canada
To be eligible for continuous OHIP coverage during one of these absences, you must first meet certain physical presence requirements. You must be physically present in Ontario for at least 153 days in each of the 2 consecutive years immediately before the absence.
Other Types of Absences
You may also be eligible for continuous OHIP coverage during a longer absence when you are away from Ontario for vacation or other reasons for up to 2-years at a time which may be taken as a full two-year absence or as two one-year absences. To be eligible for continuous OHIP coverage during your first absence of this type, you must typically be physically present in Ontario for at least 153 days in each of the 2 consecutive years before the absence.
You may be eligible to maintain your OHIP coverage during subsequent absences of this type. To be eligible for a further Vacation/Other Reason absence, you must meet the physical presence requirements in Ontario for at least 153 days in each of the 5 consecutive years before each subsequent absence.
How long will I be eligible for OHIP coverage during an extended absence?
OHIP coverage during an extended absence is provided in increments of one year, up to the maximum time allowed under each category of extended absence.
|Reason||Continuous OHIP Eligibility|
|Study Outside Canada||Duration of a full-time academic program (unlimited)|
|Work Outside Canada||Five-year terms (provided specific residency requirements are met for 2 years between each term)|
|Charitable Work Outside Canada||Five-year terms (provided specific residency requirements are met for 2 years between each term)|
|Vacation/Other Reason||Two-year terms (provided specific residency requirements are met for 5 years between each term)|
Are longer absences permitted for my family?
In most cases, your spouse, or dependent children (under 22 years old or 22 years and over if dependent due to a mental or physical disability) can maintain their OHIP coverage while accompanying you on your extended absence for study, work, or charitable work.
You should obtain additional insurance coverage for your absence from Canada
The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care of Ontario strongly recommends you, whether you are absent from Canada for a few minutes or for an extended time, to purchase additional health insurance every time you leave Canada to cover any expenses in excess of the limited funding provided by OHIP. OHIP does not insure or pay for all out-of-country medical services. Also, the amount of funding provided by OHIP will not usually cover the full cost of any health services that you do obtain outside of Canada. You should therefore, buy supplementary health insurance from a private insurance company to provide you with additional coverage for your trip. It is also recommended that you understand the terms and conditions of the additional insurance coverage you have purchased and the implications of any pre-existing health conditions on your insurance coverage.