Canadian Health Care

Provincial Health Insurance

Health insurance in Canada is handled by individual provinces and territories. New residents to a particular province must apply for health coverage. Upon being granted health coverage, a health card is issued which provides coverage in that particular province or territory.

For new residents, there are typically waiting periods before health coverage will be granted. This can vary, but cannot exceed three months as part of the Canada Health Act.

Certain provinces (British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario) require health care premiums for services. Under the Canada Health Act, however, health services cannot be denied due to financial inability to pay premiums.

In addition to standard health coverage as described in the Canada Health Act, provinces typically provide additional services. These can include physiotherapy, dental coverage, and prescription medicines. Provinces are not obligated to provide services not listed in the Canada Health Act, and such services can be affected by changing government policies.

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