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How do I get health insurance?

Health Card – Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP)

When you arrive in Peterborough, apply for a Health Card (OHIP) at the ServiceOntario centre located at 300 Water Street, inside Robinson Place (MNR building). You will need to bring 3 original documents that prove your citizenship/immigration status, residency in Ontario, and identity. For more details on which documents are accepted, download the Ontario Health Coverage Document List.

There is a three-month waiting period before you will be covered by OHIP. This waiting period begins on the day on which you establish residence in Ontario. You must be physically present in Ontario for at least 153 days of the first 183 days after you establish residence. To keep your OHIP coverage, you must always be physically present in Ontario for at least 153 days in any 12-month period.

Refugee claimants (depending on their situation) may have access to some health insurance from the federal government under the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP).  For more information on the IFHP, please visit this link on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website.

For more information, see the OHIP Eligibility Fact Sheet.

Private Health Insurance

The Ontario Government will not cover your health care costs during the OHIP waiting period. You should purchase private health care insurance for this time. This is especially important if you are pregnant or have other specific health needs.

For information on private health insurance options for newcomers, see the guide at Settlement.Org. This article includes a list of private insurance companies.

You can also research options for extended health care at

You may also wish to purchase private health care insurance after you become eligible for OHIP coverage. Private insurance can provide extra coverage for prescription drugs, dental work, eyeglasses, and other services not covered by OHIP. You should also ask your employer if they offer health insurance.

If you cannot afford to pay for private dental coverage, your children may be eligible for the Children in Need of Treatment (CINOT) Program. This program is offered by the Peterborough County-City Health Unit.


All foreign students must have adequate medical coverage during their stay in Canada.

International students at Fleming College will be insured through ETFS Insurance. International students at Trent University will be covered by the University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP). These insurance plans provide basic hospital and doctor services.

Other universities and colleges may also have health insurance plans for their students. There are often extended health benefits for students with OHIP, as well.

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