An Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) card is an essential requisite for residents of Ontario in order to access quality healthcare services. It covers a wide range of treatments like dental surgeries, doctor visits, eye treatments, and more. To avail of these benefits, you must ensure that your OHIP card is well-maintained and updated, as it has a specific validity period. this article covers several ways for health card renewal in Ontario. Read on to find out more about the step-by-step procedures and helpful tips for the maintenance of the Ontario health card.

Significance of Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP)

The Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) is a government-sponsored health programme in Ontario. An extension of this, the Ontario health card, includes all the basic medical services like hospital charges, doctor consultations, dental surgeries, eye check-ups, abortions, podiatric services, ambulance charges, etc.

There are certain terms and conditions which come into account when you avail of the benefits of the OHIP card. For example, the Ontario health card coverage includes one extensive eye checkup every 12 months, but only for residents under the age of 19 or above 65 years.

All senior residents of Ontario aged 65 and above with Ontario health card coverage are immediately eligible for the Ontario Drug Benefit Programme or the popularly known ODB programme. This programme gives senior citizens broader coverage so that they can easily avail of quality medical treatment whenever required. However, additional healthcare services like physiotherapy and massage are not always covered by the Ontario health card.

Requirement of Ontario Health Card Renewal

Requirement of Ontario Health Card Renewal

The Ontario health card has a fixed period validity. You can easily trace the expiration date printed on the front side of your OHIP card, which may be a minimum of two years from the time you initially received it. However, after the initial renewal, you will always get a card with a five-year expiration date. Nearly two months prior to the expiration date, a mail-based reminder will be sent to you for OHIP renewal. You will have to wait around 4 to 6 weeks to get your new health card after renewing it.

Additionally, a person needs to reapply for the Ontario health card in exceptional situations like a change of name, change in address or instances of loss/theft of an OHIP card.

Procedure of Health Card Renewal in Ontario

Procedure of Health Card Renewal in Ontario

There are two ways to renew your OHIP card- either visiting the Service Ontario centre in person or applying online. Make sure you keep all the required documents handy while you apply for Ontario health card renewal.

Following is the step-by-step procedure you need to follow for the OHIP card renewal.

  • Ontario Health Card Renewal Online

You will require your existing OHIP photo card and valid driver’s license to apply for an OHIP renewal online. 

You can print interim documentation to confirm your status while waiting for your new card to show up in your mailbox upon completing the online renewal process. You must be qualified for Ontario health card coverage in order to use the online renewal service. Your photo health card needs to be less than 90 days old or have expired in less than 90 days. Additionally, your health card must contain a current photo and signature.

However, Ontario health card renewal online is not possible in some exceptional situations, as listed below:

    • People who need to update their photos a
    • re unable to reclaim their health cards online. People aged 75 to 80 should visit the closest Service Ontario Centre to take fresh pictures for their insurance. 
    • You must take a fresh photograph after every 10 years. Therefore, you will not be permitted to renew the card online if you need to update your picture.
    • First-time renewal applicants over the age of 15 must submit their applications in person. They must document the forms with images and their own signatures.
  • Ontario Health Card Renewal in Person

You will require your existing health card and your Canadian citizenship proof in order to apply for OHIP renewal in person. You need to visit the nearest Ontario Service centre for the renewal process. Try to book an online slot to save your time from waiting in long queues. However, a resident who has been away from Ontario for more than 7 months in a year will have to showcase additional documents for verification.

  • Ontario Health Card Renewal By Mail

Only a few people with the Ontario health card are eligible to renew it by mail. These include individuals above 80 years who do not require a new photo for their OHIP card and parents who are renewing their children’s health card on their behalf. 

List of Documents Required for Ontario Health Card Renewal

Whether you opt for Ontario health card renewal online or in person, you need to keep the required documents handy for a smooth and hassle-free process.

Here is a comprehensive list of all the required documents:

    • A completed form for renewing the health card
    • Proof of Canadian citizenship or immigrant status qualifying for OHIP
    • A genuine, printed, digital, or electronic document proving your residency (such as a utility bill, a valid driver’s licence, or a statement from your bank account each month).
    • Your passport, ID card, or current credit card for identification 
    • Permanent Resident Card, which is good for up to 5 years
    • A work permit, tourist record, or study authorisation if you are only staying temporarily

Follow-Up Process After OHIP Renewal Application

Obtaining an OHIP renewal is a straightforward and easy procedure. You can anticipate receiving your OHIP card by mail within four to six weeks of submitting your application. At first, you will receive provisional documentation demonstrating your coverage. You can further check the status of your OHIP renewal by calling the Ontario service number 1-866-532-3161 or visiting a nearby Service centre in your area.

Tips for Maintenance of Ontario Health Card

Tips for Maintenance of Ontario Health Card

When you go to the doctor or a private hospital with an expired OHIP card, they may refrain from treating you. Therefore, it is best to maintain an updated Ontario health card at all times. Following are some essential tips you need to keep in mind for proper maintenance of your Ontario health card:

  • Update Required Personal Information On OHIP Card

You need to make sure that all the information provided on your Ontario health card is accurate. You must update the address on your OHIP card within 30 days of moving if you just relocated or are planning to do so. You can update your new address online, in person or by mail.

  • Gain Insights on OHIP Coverage and Benefits

OHIP is not entirely comprehensive; hence you might still have to pay for certain things like prescription drugs, dental and vision treatment, or a stay in a private hospital. It is essential to keep track of the medical services covered and the services not covered under the OHIP card. Additionally, there might be a range of age group exceptions and criteria for certain treatment types.

  • Recovering of Lost OHIP Card

Visit your local Service Ontario location if your Ontario health card has been damaged, stolen or misplaced. You could also phone 1-800-664-8988. Additionally, you must provide your original documentation if your citizenship or immigration status has changed after you acquired your most current OHIP card.

Wrapping Up

The Ontario health card is a one-stop solution for accessing basic healthcare services in Ontario. The residents can easily apply for an Ontario health card and will receive it within 4 to 6 weeks of time from the application date. Additionally, ensure to renew your OHIP card well before the expiration date to avoid financial burden in case of a medical emergency.

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Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

How long does it take to renew your OHIP card?

It usually takes 4 to 6 weeks for the renewal of your Ontario health card from the date of application.

What If I do not receive for renewed OHIP card on time?

You can visit the nearest Ontario Service Centre or call 1-800-664-8988 to receive the latest updates on your OHIP card.

Can I visit the hospital without a health card renewal in Ontario?

In case of an emergency, you can visit a hospital and get treated without an OHIP card. Eventually, you need to produce your OHIP card.

Where can I find my OHIP number?

A health number is a ten-digit number that appears on the face of every Ontario health card.

For how long is my OHIP card valid?

An OHIP card's expiration date may be a minimum of two years from the time you initially received it.