How do I get a health card for my baby?

An Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) card lets your baby get health care services that are paid for by the government. These services include visits to:

  • the family doctor
  • health care specialists
  • hospitals for emergency health services

Some medical services are not paid for by OHIP. For example, if you take your child to see a dentist or buy them antibiotics, you have to pay the cost. If you have private insurance, your insurance may help pay for these costs.

Your baby can get an OHIP card even if you don’t have one.

If you do have an OHIP card, your baby still needs their own.

For your baby to get an OHIP card, you have to be a resident of Ontario and agree that you and your baby will:

  • live primarily in Ontario
  • be in Ontario for at least 153 days (or about 5 months) in any 12 month-period 

Waiting period

Usually, if your baby was born in Ontario, they are covered by OHIP right away. Staff at the hospital where your baby was born or your registered midwife can give you OHIP’s application form. You keep part of the form and can use it as your baby’s health card until you get the plastic OHIP card later by mail.

If your baby was born in outside of Ontario, you can apply for OHIP right away, but there is usually a 3 month waiting period before they are covered by OHIP. 

This waiting period doesn’t apply for certain people. For example, eligible adopted children who are younger than 16 years.

If your baby was born in another province or country you have to go to a ServiceOntario centre in person to apply for an OHIP card.

For more information or help, call the ServiceOntario INFOline toll-free in Ontario at 1-866-532-3161 or 416-314-5518 in Toronto.

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