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Getting a Health Card

In order to receive free basic health coverage in Ontario you must have an Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) card. Most of your Ontario health benefits will be covered when you present this card. The Ministry of Health and Long Term Care is billed directly for hospital and physician services. It is recommended that new residents to Ontario apply for this card immediately, as it can take up to three months to process. For further information about eligibilitywaiting period and frequently asked questions click on the links above.

For more information about where you can apply for OHIP in Sault Ste. Marie please click here.

Private Health Insurance

If you do not already have a health card when you arrive in Sault Ste. Marie, you will not be eligible for OHIP coverage for the first 3 months of living here. You should apply for OHIP coverage as soon as you have arrived and have a permanent address. It is recommended that newcomers purchase private health insurance during this 3 month waiting period. This section provides you with information about private health insurance and who you can contact to receive it.

Do I need Private Health Insurance?

How can I pay for health insurance in my first three months without OHIP?

List of insurance companies that offer private health insurance


If you need help locating community or social services in Sault Ste. Marie, dial 2-1-1 and speak to a highly-trained information and referral specialist.

Ask about:

  • Health services and supports
  • Financial and social assistance
  • Housing and utility help
  • Children and youth services
  • Food assistance and meal programs
  • Seniors' services and home care
  • Newcomer services
  • Volunteer organizations

and more!

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