Health & Wellness

OHIP after >7 month absence

  • Last Updated:
  • May 26th, 2021 6:19 am
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[OP]
Deal Addict
Feb 25, 2007
1358 posts
815 upvotes
Ottawa

OHIP after >7 month absence

Ontario residents generally keep OHIP coverage on their return to Ontario after travel, if they've been absent for <7 mos. They also can request an exception (i.e., OHIP retained even after a longer absence) under certain conditions, by applying before departure at a ServiceOntario centre.

What happens if someone ends up having to spend >7 mos away, without having planned it before departure? Anyone know if there are policy exceptions, and the process to follow?

My dad (late 80s), Ontario resident, visited his homeland in Europe for what was to be a 3.5 month trip in late 2019. He had an accident there (broken spine!), got good medical care, but was advised by doctors there not to travel for "a few months". Kind relatives let him stay, of course. Then came the pandemic and it wasn't safe for him to travel due to COVID.

As we plan to bring him home this fall, finally now after about 2 years, we've realized that he will have -- of necessity -- surpassed the usual time limit for retaining OHIP coverage. He does have health conditions at his age, especially given the accident, so not keen on him being uninsured here for 6 mos.

General info is at https://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/public/ ... travel.pdf, but that just has a "come to a ServiceOntario centre before you leave" FAQ answer. He didn't do since he wasn't intending to stay away that long. And I can't pop into a ServiceOntario centre to ask them about it now due to the closures. Oh, and his family doctor here retired just before the initial trip, so can't ask there either. So I'm crowdsourcing tips here to know who to ask and for what to try to get a resolution.

Given the stereotype of "just pretending to be resident for the health care" immigrants, I guess I should emphasize he's a long-term Canadian citizen, resident, and tax payer, grateful that Canada gave him political asylum 50 years ago. If anything his forced long stay in his old homeland has saved Canadian taxpayers, who didn't pick up the tab for his healthcare there!
3 replies
Deal Addict
Aug 12, 2007
3767 posts
1449 upvotes
Thornhill
Is his health card still valid?
If it is not, then he needs to reapply for OHIP at a specialized ServiceOntario Centre that provides the full-suite of health card services. Normally, there is a 3 months wait before OHIP is active, because of the pandemic, the 3 months wait is waived.
Best is to give ServiceOntario a call to clarify the reapply process.
https://www.ontario.ca/page/apply-ohip-and-get-health-card
[OP]
Deal Addict
Feb 25, 2007
1358 posts
815 upvotes
Ottawa
nosnoop wrote: Is his health card still valid?
Yes. But don't want someone saying, "wait a moment, is he still entitled?" when he needs medical care here, and his medical history clearly includes accident and aftermath including the long absence.
nosnoop wrote: Best is to give ServiceOntario a call to clarify the reapply process.
https://www.ontario.ca/page/apply-ohip-and-get-health-card
Thanks, helpful, esp. the contact info there. Didn't follow this link before given he does have a health card...
Sr. Member
Dec 22, 2013
663 posts
1556 upvotes
Self-Isolation
Since the onset of Pandemic, health card is optional. If you bring a patient to an emergency department or a clinic, even if their health card is expired or they do not have one, services are free as people have not been forced to renew their health card.
If he already has a valid health card, and you do not volunteer his absence, usually no body asks if he has been in Canada or not.
Infact, there is no communication between one's passport and health card i.e. one does not talk to the other to say, "Hey, this person has not been in Canada since "x" months".
Even before the pandemic, people have been out of Canada for a year, come back (had valid health card) and gone straight to the Family doctor/emergency department, availed service and no questions asked.

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