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Date Posted: 06:47:25 06/27/08 Fri
One of the most important things you need to do as soon as you arrive in Canada is to apply for a health insurance card.
All members of your family, even newborn babies, must have their own card. You can get an application form from the provincial ministry of health office, any doctor's office, a hospital or a pharmacy.
If necessary, the immigrant-serving organization in your area can help you fill out the form.
To apply for a health card, you will need your birth certificate or Confirmation of Permanent Residence and passport. The permanent resident card may also be presented.
In most provinces, you will receive coverage as soon as you apply.
Health-care services covered by medicare include:
examination and treatment by family doctors;
many types of surgery;
most treatment by specialists;
many laboratory tests; and
Health-care services not covered by medicare, and for which you will have to pay, include:
dental care; and
glasses and contact lenses.
These services are sometimes covered by workplace benefit packages.
Your health insurance card is mainly for use in the province where you live. If you are visiting another province and have a medical emergency, you can use your card.
However, if you move to another province, you will need to apply for a new card.
As people in Canada tend to move in the spring and summer months, these are the best times to look for a home; there will be more choices available.
In Ontario, British Columbia, New Brunswick and Quebec, there is a threemonth waiting period before you become eligible for medicare coverage. If you are immigrating to any of these provinces, you should get private, short-term health-care insurance for the first three months.
Insurance companies are listed in the Yellow Pages of all Canadian telephone books, under "Insurance".