Newborn OHIP eligibility
"Receiving a health card at birth is crucial for protecting the health of our youngest Ontarians. Not providing OHIP to eligible babies in a timely way can lead to delayed care, high costs for families and potentially adverse health outcomes for these children." - Wellesley Institute
An infant born in Ontario will be eligible for the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) if they are born in Ontario, to at least one parent/custodian who is a resident of Ontario and who will be staying in the province for 153 days in the following year. The parent/custodian does NOT need to have permanent resident immigration status in Canada for their baby to be eligible for OHIP; instead they need to live primarily in Ontario.
Families are not required to provide proof of residency at the hospital where a newborn was delivered. In the case where the hospital asks caregivers to go to a Service Ontario for their newborns OHIP, it is helpful for the caregiver to know that OHIP determines residency by asking for documentation that contains an Ontario address (such as housing, employment, banking, or educational documents). For newborns who meet all three criteria, you can give the parent/custodian the Ontario Health Coverage Infant Registration (form 4440). The three-month OHIP wait period does not apply to infants. See this OHIP fact sheet.
An infant born in Ontario will always be eligible for OHIP if their parents are.
The Health Network for Uninsured Clients has developed some useful tools for care parents, providers and hospital staff responsible for issuing the Ontario Health Coverage Infant Registration including:
Guide for Hospital Staff regarding OHIP registration for newborns of uninsured parents.
Guide to Implementing Change at Your Hospital with practical, step-by-step suggestions and success stories from midwives.
Sample Advocacy Letter template that can be used as a starting point for engaging with stakeholders at your hospital.
Sample slide deck to use during meetings or rounds on your unit, complete with presentation scripting and prompts for customization.
Quick Reference Card outlining OHIP eligibility criteria. We recommend printing copies to keep at administrative stations within birthing, postpartum and neonatal units.
Read more about midwives' legal obligations regarding determining residency.