It is important to apply for health insurance as soon as possible after arriving in Kingston. Newcomers to Ontario are eligible for medical benefits under the publicly funded Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) three months after arriving in Ontario. Canadian citizens, permanent residents and landed immigrants are eligible for OHIP coverage.
OHIP is government health insurance that pays for visits to the doctor, hospital and other essential services such as surgery, X-rays and immunizations. Prescription drugs are not covered by OHIP except under certain circumstances. OHIP also doesn't cover dentist visits, ambulance services and eyeglasses (prescription lenses) (see Dental & Eye Health and Ambulance & Paramedics).
All family members, including babies, must have an OHIP card. Application forms are available from most doctor's offices, hospitals, pharmacies, and ServiceOntario OHIP offices. Forms are also available online.
To apply for a health card, you must bring original copies of documents that provide proof of your immigration status, residency in Ontario, and your identity. Parents can apply to register for OHIP on behalf of their children. Children 16 years or older apply to register for OHIP or renew their coverage.
You should carry your health card with you at all time, in case of an emergency.
In Kingston, you can apply for an OHIP card at the ServiceOntario Centre at 1055 Princess St. The centre's entrance, washrooms and parking are wheelchair accessible and close to municipal bus routes.
The office is open:
The office is closed on public holidays.
Note: To ensure you and your family have medical coverage during the waiting period, you will need to purchase short-term health insurance from a private company (see Private Health Care). You can do this before you arrive in Ontario or within the first few days.