Chatham-Kent Health Alliance (CKHA) is reminding the community of the Ontario government’s plan to officially phase out red and white health cards as of July 1, 2020. In an effort to better protect the health system against fraud, red and white health cards will no longer be accepted for Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) services as of this date.
There are approximately 300,000 red and white health cards in circulation across the province. For those who still use a red and white health card, a new photo health card will be required for coverage of all OHIP services as of July 1, 2020. These individuals will begin receiving letters from the province this month to notify them that they will need to get a photo health card at a ServiceOntario centre before the July 1, 2020 deadline. The new photo health cards contain advanced security features that better protect the health system.
Obtaining a new photo health card is free and can be easily done at ServiceOntario by:
- Bringing the right original documents (proof of Canadian citizenship or OHIP-eligible immigration status; proof of residency in Ontario and proof of identity);
- Completing a Health Card Re-Registration form ahead of time or by getting one at ServiceOntario; and
- Visiting a ServiceOntario centre.
CKHA’s Patient Registration department will be posting public notices at both sites as a reminder to individuals who present with red and white health cards in the coming months of the July 1, 2020 expiration date. Reminders will also be posted on CKHA’s social media channels of the upcoming deadline to switch to a photo health card.
Regardless of an individual’s health card status, Ontario’s public hospitals cannot refuse to provide services to a patient who is faced with a life-threatening medical emergency.
Red and white card holders who do not convert by July 1, 2020, may be asked to pay up-front for insured health services as their red and white health card will not be valid. Once a photo health card is obtained, eligibility for Ontario health insurance is restored and any payments made for OHIP-insured health services will be promptly reimbursed once a valid health card is provided.