An Ontario Health Card gives residents access to free and basic health care services, paid for by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP). As a newcomer to Ontario, you should make it a priority to apply for OHIP as soon as you arrive because it can take up to three months to process for you and your family. 

Note: In order to qualify for OHIP, you must be present in Ontario for at least 153 days in the first 6 months after you arrive.

To apply in person, visit an Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) office in your area. You will be asked to provide original documents that prove your immigration status, residency and identity. 

It is recommended that all newcomers purchase private health insurance coverage to cover health care costs or emergencies during the 3 month waiting period. 
For more information call the ministry INFOline at 1-866-532-3161 (Toll-free in Ontario only), TTY 1-800-387-5559. The INFOline operates 8:30am - 5:00pm 

Visit for more information about how to apply for OHIP and how to purchase private health insurance.