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Advice on Private Health Insurance

Hello all,

We’ll be moving to Ottawa soon and after we’re done with the 2-week of self-quarantining, we’ll try to apply for an OHIP card. It seems like we’ll need proof of residence to apply for the card which may take a while for us to figure out. We’ll sign an apartment lease soon but will probably need bank statements or other mail to prove we live there and it seems that it might take a month or so to get these documents.

My company has offered the option of private health insurance (Manulife) until OHIP kicks in but it seems like the 3-month waiting period has been waived so we might not actually need private insurance. Has anyone moved to Canada recently who can verify if minor health issues can still be dealt with at clinics/hospitals or would we have to pay out of pocket until we get our OHIP cards? Just trying to figure out if we’ll even need to spend on private insurance.

Thanks so much!

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As far as I know, until your OHIP kicks in, you will have to pay out of your pocket unless the doctor/hospital visit is related to COVID-19. The 3 month waiting period is waived off since March 2020, however you will still need a residency proof to get OHIP which is what takes time.

I had personally taken private insurance until I got my OHIP but that’s just me being risk averse.

Also, your signed lease document would serve as a proof of residence as well. Don’t have to wait for utility bills.

Oh wow, it would be SO amazing if the lease would work. I could also probably get a letter from HR saying that I’ll be residing at this address. Fingers crossed that works.

Thanks again for your advice about private insurance. There’s a 3-month minimum close to about 850$ for a couple but I guess you can’t put a price on peace of mine :slight_smile:

The lease document does work. That’s how my wife got her OHIP card recently. For a full list of accepted documents, refer to this: https://www.ontario.ca/page/documents-needed-get-health-card#section-1

Thanks so much. I read a few posts where people were complaining that they were only accepting mailed-in statements like bank account documents. This is so good to know! How long did the card take to arrive?

That’s true. Again personal experience. I took a printout of my online bank statement and was sent back right away. They ask for the one that was delivered to your mailbox. The card took about 2 weeks to arrive but your coverage starts the same day you apply. They will give you a temporary document with your health card number etc. which you can use until the card arrives.

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That’s great. Thanks so much again :slight_smile:

I moved in November to Vancouver B.C. and opened a RBC bank account in first few days of quarantine using online appointment. I did not find a rental place yet and was staying in an Airbnb. With my friends permission I used his address for the bank account. Once that was done I asked the banker to send me a statement that has the address on it. Along with that I used the goods to follow official form that was provided to me while landing and had the same address and applied for MSP (health services in B.C.). My application was approved within few days but I had to go to service Canada to get the actual card. B.C. still has waiting period of 3 months. I was covered by my employers insurance for that duration.

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Good to hear this! As soon as we signed our lease, I was able to get in touch with RBC and had everything set up on the phone followed by a video chat. The process was extremely smooth. Next steps after quarantining is to go apply for the OHIP card :slight_smile:

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How much coverage is considered enough while purchasing travel health insurance? I know this is subjective but I wanted to get an idea for a healthy person without pre-existing conditions. Coverage from Manulife can go upto $150,000. I’m moving to BC where the wait period exists and don’t have other means of acquiring insurance.

I’m not sure but here is the link to the plan: Manulife Plan

I believe this needs to be handled via your employer. Others in this forum should be able to provide more information regarding insurance you can buy yourself. I ended up not getting this since we already have a signed lease and we’ll be able to go apply for an OHIP card in person next week. Insurance should kick in the day I apply.

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But I thought you need to prove health insurance coverage while landing? Especially places with a waiting period, I thought it was mandatory to show interim coverage until provincial benefits kick in.

Oh we’d already landed a couple of years ago (in 2018) and didn’t need to show health insurance at that time. We returned back to the US, found a job in Canada, and moved back last week. I’m not sure about the health insurance requirements for officially landing right now.

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