Health Insurance for Work Permit Holders in Canada

Health insurance for work permit holders in Canada is crucial to ensuring that newcomers and temporary residents access essential healthcare services. Understanding the options and requirements is vital for a smooth transition to life in Canada.

Provincial Healthcare Coverage

Canada’s healthcare system is primarily publicly funded, and each province or territory manages its own healthcare program. Work permit holders are eligible for provincial healthcare coverage in most cases.

However, specific eligibility criteria and waiting periods may vary by province. It’s essential to check with your province’s healthcare authority to understand the requirements and coverage details.

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Eligibility for OHIP in Ontario

In Ontario, temporary foreign workers who hold a valid work permit may be eligible for the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) coverage. Full-time employment with an employer in Ontario is typically required for eligibility.

OHIP provides coverage for a wide range of medical services, ensuring that work permit holders can access necessary healthcare.

Alberta’s Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP)

In Alberta, not all Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) or Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) permits qualify the permit holder for health care insurance coverage.

Temporary workers from outside Canada may need to explore alternative insurance options to ensure they have the necessary coverage.

Government Health Plans

Foreign workers in Canada are often covered under the government health plan of the province in which they are working and living. These plans are designed to provide essential healthcare services, and they vary slightly from one province to another.

For instance, in Alberta, the AHCIP covers hospital and physician services, while other provinces offer similar coverage under different names.

Supplementary Insurance

While government health plans provide essential coverage, some work permit holders may opt for supplementary private health insurance. These plans can offer additional benefits, such as coverage for prescription drugs, dental care, and vision care. It’s advisable to explore these options to ensure comprehensive healthcare coverage.

Travel Insurance for Foreign Workers

In some cases, foreign workers may also consider travel insurance, especially if they plan to travel outside Canada. Travel insurance can cover emergency medical treatment and other unforeseen circumstances during travel.

Medicare for Work and Study Permit Holders

Work permit and study permit holders who are eligible for Medicare typically follow similar enrolment timelines as permanent residents. Medicare ensures that permit holders have access to necessary medical services, making their stay in Canada more secure.

Access to Free Health Care

Canada’s healthcare system is designed to provide access to free healthcare services under the Canada Health Act for Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and foreign workers with valid work permits. This ensures that everyone in Canada has access to essential medical care.


Health insurance for work permit holders in Canada is essential for ensuring access to healthcare services. Understanding the specific requirements and eligibility criteria in your province is crucial.

Whether it’s through provincial healthcare plans, supplementary insurance, or travel insurance, work permit holders have options to secure their health and well-being during their stay in Canada.

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