Ontario’s health care system is touted as being amongst one of the best in the world. Ontarians who qualify can access a variety of health care services in their community. If you live in Ontario or plan to move here soon, you may have questions about how to get medical help.

Ontario Health Insurance Plan

The Ontario Health Insurance Plan, commonly known as OHIP, is the governmentrun health insurance plan for the Canadian province of Ontario. OHIP is funded by a payroll deduction tax by residents who are gainfully employed, by businesses in the province of Ontario, and by transfer payments from the Government of Canada. Through OHIP, the province pays for many of the health services you may need. Permanent Residents can apply and, once you’re approved, you’ll get an Ontario health card. Your health card proves you’re covered by OHIP – that’s why you’ll need to show it every time you see your doctor, visit an emergency room, have a medical test or go for surgery.

Every Ontario resident with his or her primary and permanent home in Ontario is entitled to access emergency and preventive care under OHIP free of charge. Ontario residents may go to a participating doctor—essentially every doctor practising in the province—any time they wish (subject to the consent of the doctor) and the services are billed through OHIP to the government. OHIP does not generally cover prescription drugs outside of hospitals or dental care. However, the Ontario Drug Benefit program pays for prescription drugs for seniors covered by OHIP and the Trillium Drug Program covers households with high prescription drug costs. As of 1 January 2018, prescription drugs for those under 25 years of age are covered by OHIP through OHIP+.

In 2018, the Ontario Health Insurance Plan announced a new program designed to assist individuals struggling with food addiction.[As of 1 April 2019, the Ontario government no longer offers free prescriptions to children and young adults with private coverage.