The Canadian health care system is a two-tiered system. The first tier is a basic health insurance plan available to any Canadian citizen or permanent resident, and a separate but equivalent plan is mandatory for international students. The second tier is through supplementary plans; they are available through private providers and cover some additional costs, not covered by the basic plan.
An introduction to Canada-wide coverage
Canada’s health care system is publicly funded and offers coverage across Canada for medically necessary health care services.
- While the federal government helps pay for health care, each province and territory manages and administers their own health insurance plans, funding for their hospitals and other health facilities, etc.
- Interprovincial insurance: If you visit another province, you must receive health care and insurance coverage even with an out-of-province health card.
- If you move from one province to another, you need to apply for and acquire your new health card within 3 months to have continuous coverage. During that time, your old province needs to cover your health fees. After the 3 months, if you do not have a new health card, you will no longer have provincial health coverage.
- Most provincial health care plans cover:
- Doctor’s visits
- Hospital stays
- Services that are done at the hospital
- Eye exams under 18 to 19 years of age
If a service is deemed medically necessary by a province, then the full cost must be covered by provincial health insurance and cover all residents.
Health insurance plans
These cover things like seeing a general practitioner/family doctor, going to the hospital, etc.
*Most health care plans don’t cover ambulance services. If you use an ambulance, you might have to pay for it.
*Some vaccines are not covered by these plans (example: Human Papillomavirus (HPV), hepatitis B, etc.), as well as some blood tests (example: vitamin D, vitamin B12). These may, however, be covered by your supplementary plan.
These plans cover things like prescriptions, specialist visits, vision aid products, etc.
These are both supplementary insurance options for uOttawa students. You might also be covered by a parent’s or partner’s supplementary insurance. That insurance coverage can either replace, or be added-on to the student insurance options listed above.