What health coverage is there for refugee claimants in Ontario?

Question: 
What health coverage is there for refugee claimants in Ontario?
Answer: 

Please note that this information has been updated as of April, 2016. The following information is taken from CLEO's Refugee Rights website.

A refugee claimant who has been found eligible for a hearing, is entitled to health care under the Interim Federal Health Program.

But if a claim is abandoned or withdrawn, IFH coverage is cancelled.

What is the Interim Federal Health Program?

This is a program of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) (formerly Citizenship and Immigration Canada or CIC). Many people call this program IFH.

Claimants are entitled to health care under the Interim Federal Health Program as soon as their claim is found eligible for a hearing. Claimants should show their signed Refugee Protection Claimant Document to health care providers.

What does the Interim Federal Health Program cover?

The IFH Program pays for essential medical care. This includes visits to a doctor and hospital stays.

It also covers:

  • most prescription drugs
  • some dental care
  • some vision care
  • home care and long-term care
  • services of certain health professionals such as psychologists, physiotherapists, and speech therapists
  • assistive devices such as hearing aids and mobility aids
  • medical supplies and equipment such as diabetic supplies and oxygen equipment

What happens after the Immigration and Refugee Board decision?

Once a refugee claim has been accepted, the refugee can apply for a health card under the Ontario Health Insurance Program (OHIP). They should apply right away because they will no longer be covered by the Interim Federal Health Program.

If a claim is refused, the claimant's health coverage under the Interim Federal Health Program continues until the claimant leaves Canada.

Resource notes: 

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