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Quebec Health Card and Medical Insurance

Learn everything you need to know about the Quebec Health Card and Medical Insurance.

Canada is one of the countries in North America and it has ten provinces. Each of these provinces has its health care system.

One of the benefits for newcomers moving to Canada is access to publicly funded health care, which has a reputation of being world-class.

Health care is delivered through each of Canada’s provinces and territories. For residents of Quebec, it’s through their health insurance plan, Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ). Here’s what you need to know about RAMQ and how to apply.

There are several questions that you may have concerning Quebec Health Card and Medical Insurance services and we will be giving some, if not all the answers to your questions.

Health Care Coverage in Quebec

Residents of Quebec are eligible for healthcare under RAMQ, which facilitates access to free coverage for residents who qualify. You’ll need to apply for a valid Health Insurance Card in order to receive healthcare benefits.

Quebec residents must also have prescription drug insurance coverage, which is available through RAMQ’s Public Prescription Drug Insurance Plan or through private health insurance benefits.

Once you have applied for the card and it gets approved, you will receive your Quebec Health Care Card.

Healthcare in Canada is one of the best systems in the world. Many people want to move to Canada for their healthcare system to ensure their family is well taken care of.

Although much of the healthcare is free in Canada there are some restrictions for immigrants and some procedures to be informed about.

Those without a health insurance card, who may be affected by the corona virus, still have access to free health care following a decision made by the Quebec government at the end of March.​

Making sure temporary foreign workers get the medical coverage they need has been high on the priority list.

We know that now, more than ever, it’s easy to find yourself in an unpredictable situation during the corona virus pandemic especially if you are facing processing delays. We recommend taking advantage of this health coverage extension the government has to offer in Quebec.

How to Apply for a Quebec Health Card

The province of Quebec suggests applying for RAMQ within 15 days of settling in the province to avoid delays. You’ll need to complete an application form for the health insurance plan.

  • Obtain an application form by calling a Quebec reception desk on 418-646-4636, 514-864-3411, or toll-free 1-800-561-9749, and an application form will be mailed to you. Alternatively, registration forms are also available at Quebec and Montreal reception desks.
  • Visit a service point with your completed and signed registration form and two pieces of ID. Depending on which service point you visit, you will either have your photo taken there for a fee or will have to provide a photo.
  • Once your application has been processed, a letter will be mailed to you indicating the date from which you are eligible to receive the Quebec Health Insurance Plan. Your card will be sent to you in the 14 days following that date.

How long does it take to get a RAMQ Card?

You will receive your card within approximately 30 days of applying.

If you have any questions about the Quebec Health Insurance Plan, you may be able to find help at your nearest community agency or newcomer service.

Alternatively, contact RAMQ on telephone 418-646-4636, 514-864-3411 or toll-free 1-800-561-9749.

Eligibility for RAMQ

To be eligible for health care in Quebec, you must be authorized to stay in Canada, establish primary residence in the province and not be absent from Quebec for 183 days or more in the first 12 months of settling there.

In order to legally settle in Quebec, you must be a Canadian citizen, Permanent Resident, hold a valid work permit for more than six months, or participate in the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program or Temporary Foreign Worker program for residents of Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, or Salvador.

Students who wish to apply for health insurance coverage must be the recipient of a scholarship from the Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur du Québec.

Document needed to apply for RAMQ?

As soon as you move to Quebec, you can register for the Health Insurance Plan provided you meet the necessary eligibility requirements.

You will need two original or certified true copies of ID to apply. Any documents not in English or French language will need to be translated.

You will need the following documents to apply:

  1. Original or certified true copy of proof of  Canadian citizenship (e.g. Canadian passport, certificate of Canadian citizenship or birth certificate) OR
  2. Original or certified true copy of proof of legal right to be in Canada (e.g. Permanent Resident Card, Canada entry document issued by Canadian immigration authorities)
  3. Original or certified true copy of Quebec selection certificate, if applicable.
  4. One additional piece of original ID, such as:
  • Quebec Health Insurance Card or health card from another province
  • Quebec driver’s license or driver’s license from another province
  • Birth certificate issued by Canada
  • Passport
  • Certificate of Canadian Citizenship
  • Document issued by the Canadian or Quebec immigration authorities

One of the pieces of ID must have your photo on it.

Using your Health Insurance Card

With your Health Insurance Card, you benefit from a range of services covered under the Québec Health Insurance Plan. One card only is issued per person. Make sure to have a valid card at all times by renewing it before the required deadline.

Card use

You have to present your valid Health Insurance Card to receive the services covered by the public plan, such as medical, dental, optometry and pharmaceutical services. During elections, when identity checks are performed, you may also be asked to present your Health Insurance Card.

You are responsible for your Health Insurance Card and must use it adequately. Illegal use of the card makes its holder liable to a fine or a claim for all amounts owed as a result. For instance:

  • Lending, giving or selling your card
  • Using someone else’s card

You can report a situation that you find questionable.

How to Renew or Replace Quebec Health Care Card

Once you obtain your Manitoba health care card, it is valid for the next five(5) years. Renewing or replacing your health card (in case it gets damaged, stolen, or lost) is very important because you need to carry a valid card whenever you require a medical service. A Manitoba health card can not be used by someone whose name does not appear on it.

Renewing your Manitoba health card

After five years, your Manitoba Health care card ceases to be valid. In order to renew it, you need to:

  1. Apply online using the e-Notice of Change form.
  2. Contact the Insured Benefits Branch

Replacing your Manitoba health card

A valid Health Card can be replaced if lost, damaged or destroyed. You will also need to replace in case of any significant changes in your personal information or marital status.

Frequently Asked Question

Is a Quebec health care card valid in Ontario or other provinces?

Holding a valid Quebec health care card does not mean you are automatically covered for health care in Ontario or other provinces in Canada.

A doctor may accept a Quebec health care card in Ontario as they will be reimbursed for their services in accordance with RAMQ.

However, they may refuse to accept your card. In this situation, you would be required to pay the doctor or hospital fees and apply for a refund through RAMQ. Your refund from RAMQ may take up to three months.

Can you have a health card in two provinces?

You can not have two valid Health care card in two different provinces  at the same time,as you can only be a resident of one province at a time. Publicly funded health care and health cards are the responsibility of each province or territory within Canada.

What’s covered under RAMQ?

The public health plan in Quebec covers the full cost of the following medically necessary services at hospitals, medical clinics, pharmacies, and CLSCs (center local de services communautaires):

  1. Medical examinations and visits to a family doctor or general practitioner
  2. Diagnostic and therapeutic procedures
  3. Psychiatric care
  4. Surgery and anesthetic
  5. Vaccinations under the Quebec Immunization Program
  6. Vasectomy
  7. Certain radiology services that are provided by a medical practitioner
  8. Optometry services for children aged 17 and younger, or adults 65 and older
  9. $25 reimbursement for eyeglasses or contacts for children aged under 18
  10. Annual and emergency dental examination, x-rays, fillings, tooth or root extractions.
  11. Certain oral surgeries performed at a hospital, except for tooth or root extractions, except for children under the age of 10 or individuals receiving financial assistance.

What’s not covered under RAMQ?

Quebec’s Health Insurance Plan does not cover medical services that are not related to preventing and curing illness or disease. Services that do not fall under this category must be paid for, including:

  1. Cosmetic services
  2. Medical examinations for employment or insurance purposes
  3. Cost of a missed medical appointment
  4. Ambulance transportation
  5. Complementary or alternative medical treatments, such as a chiropractor, acupuncture, physiotherapy, and occupational therapist
  6. Audiologist
  7. Psychologist
  8. MRIs and CAT scan
  9. Echography conducted by any medical practitioner other than a radiologist
  10. Services by medical professionals who do not participate in the province’s public health plan.