Health Insurance Plan
Medical care is available throughout Québec. This service is covered by the universal Health Insurance Plan administered by the Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec or RAMQ (Québec health insurance board). All Québec residents are eligible for this Health Insurance Plan1. They must register with the RAMQ to obtain a health insurance card.
This plan covers all essential medical care but not special treatments such as cosmetic surgery or so-called natural or alternative medical treatment. Before consulting a physician or other health specialist, make sure that he or she practices under the Québec Health Insurance Plan. Otherwise, you will have to pay for the visit yourself.
Health Insurance Plan eligibility
The health insurance card enables you to receive health care—medical services and hospitalization—covered by the Québec Health Insurance Plan.
Individuals settling in Québec are generally covered by the plan after a three-month waiting period following their registration with the RAMQ. Certain individuals are exempt from this waiting period. The RAMQ will inform you if the exemption applies to you or any member of your family. Persons subject to a waiting period must pay all costs for health services received during this period or take out private insurance.
- If you want to take out private insurance, you must do so no later
than five days after your arrival in Québec. After this time, it
will be more difficult for you to get insurance. For more information,
contact the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association Inc.
However, certain health care services may be provided free of charge during the waiting period: services related to pregnancy or required by victims of violence, as well as services for individuals suffering from an infectious disease that could affect public health.
Immigrants coming from countries that have a reciprocity agreement on social security with Québec are generally exempt from the waiting period. Where applicable, proof of insurance from the social security plan of the country of origin will be required when registering with the RAMQ. Countries that have reached such an agreement with Québec are Denmark, Finland, France (submit the form SE-401-Q-207), Greece, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal and Sweden.
As a general rule, to be covered by the Health Insurance Plan, insured persons must not be absent from Quebec for more than 183 days during a calendar year.
To obtain your health insurance card
The RAMQ will send you a letter indicating the date on which you become eligible for the Health Insurance Plan and will subsequently send your health insurance card in a separate mailing. Inform the RAMQ of any address change.
Each member of the family must have his or her own health insurance card. Keep your health insurance card with you at all times and never lend it to anyone.
Prescription drug insurance
All Quebecers must have prescription drug insurance. To find out about the two types of insurance plans offered by this plan, visit the RAMQ Web site.
1 Within the meaning of the Medical