Interim Federal Health Program Policy

Effective Date: This policy comes into effect on November 5, 2014. This policy may be amended from time to time.

The Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) provides limited, temporary, taxpayer-funded coverage of health-care benefits to resettled refugees, refugee claimants and certain others who are not eligible for provincial or territorial health insurance.

Effective November 5, 2014, and pursuant to ministerial authority under the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Act, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration will implement the following temporary measures while appealing the July 4, 2014, Federal Court decision concerning the IFHP.

Statement of the scope of this document

The purpose of this document is to set out the policies of the Interim Federal Health Program. This document is aimed at IFHP beneficiaries, providers and the public and may be amended from time to time.

1. Purpose and scope of the IFHP

The primary purpose of this program is to provide limited, temporary coverage of health-care costs for specific groups of people including protected persons, refugee claimants, rejected refugee claimants, and certain persons detained under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

The IFHP offers six types of coverage:

  • Type 1, Basic, Supplemental and Prescription Drug Coverage
  • Type 2, Basic and Prescription Drug Coverage
  • Type 3, Basic and Public Health or Public Safety Prescription Drug Coverage
  • Type 4, Public Health or Public Safety Basic Coverage and Public Health or Public Safety Prescription Drug Coverage
  • Type 5, Coverage for persons detained under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
  • Type 6, Coverage for the Immigration Medical Examination

There is discretionary authority to pay certain costs related to healthcare in exceptional and compelling circumstances.

In addition to this primary purpose, the program helps to protect public health and public safety and to provide coverage that is not more generous than what Canadians receive through government-funded benefit programs.

The IFHP is not intended to cover all migrants who are not covered by provincial or territorial health insurance plans or programs.

The IFHP is intended to provide coverage on an interim basis.

2. Specific program terms

The IFHP does not cover people who are or were eligible under any provincial or territorial health insurance plan.

The IFHP does not cover the cost of health-care services and products where a claim can be made under a private insurance plan for those products and services without regard to the amount that may be covered under that plan for those products and services.

The IFHP does not cover Canadian citizens.

3. Definitions

Children means individuals eligible for the IFHP and under 19 years of age.

Condition of public safety concern means a mental health condition in a person who has been examined by a physician licensed in Canada and for which the physician is of the opinion that the person will likely cause harm to others.

Disease posing a risk to public health means a communicable disease

  1. that is on the list of national notifiable diseases of the Public Health Agency of Canada, as amended from time to time,
    1. which is subject to human-to-human transmission and requires public health intervention in accordance with provincial legislation, or
    2. for which immunization has been recommended under Canadian medical standards.

Governmental resettlement assistance means monthly income support received under the Resettlement Assistance Program of the Department of Citizenship and Immigration or from its equivalent in Quebec.

Immigration medical examination means a medical examination requested under paragraph 16(2)(b) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and has the meaning assigned to the term “medical examination” in section 29 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.

Income Support means recurring financial payments to individuals to enable them to meet their basic needs including, but not limited to, food and shelter.

Protected person has the same meaning as in subsection 95(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

Refugee claimant means a person whose claim for refugee protection is eligible to be referred to the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) and who is awaiting a final determination of that claim by that Board, including a person whose right to judicial review of that determination, or appeal of that judicial review, has not been exhausted.
This definition does not include a person whose refugee claim was determined to be abandoned, re-determined ineligible or withdrawn.

Rejected refugee claimant means a person

  1. whose claim for refugee protection has been finally rejected by the IRB and whose right to judicial review, or any appeal of that judicial review, in respect of that claim has been exhausted; or
  2. whose claim is deemed to be rejected under subsections 105(3), 108(3) or 109(3) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

Resettled refugee means a person on whom refugee protection has been conferred under paragraph 95(1)(a) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

Suspended refugee claim means a refugee claim that has been suspended under subsections 103(1) or 105(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act

Victims of Human Trafficking means individuals who have been issued a Temporary Resident Permit under section 24(3) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

4. Coverage and benefits

The benefits covered under each type of coverage can be found on our eligibility and coverage type page.

5. Eligibility

Eligibility, including when eligibility ends, is described on the summary of benefits webpage.

6. Termination of coverage

Coverage ends when beneficiaries no longer meet the definition of their eligibility group.

Coverage ends when a beneficiary’s removal from Canada is enforced.

Once a beneficiary becomes eligible for provincial or territorial health insurance, coverage ends. The only exception is for supplemental coverage, prescription drug coverage and/or Public Health or Public Safety prescription drug coverage for the following beneficiaries being resettled in Canada.

  • For resettled refugees who are or were receiving governmental resettlement assistance in the form of income support through the Resettlement Assistance Program or its equivalent in Quebec, coverage continues for the duration of their sponsorship, up to a maximum of 24 months.
  • For all other resettled refugees, coverage continues for the duration of their sponsorship.
  • For certain people who are being resettled in Canada as a result of a public policy or humanitarian and compassionate considerations on the Minister’s own initiative, and who receive income support through RAP or its equivalent in Quebec, coverage continues for as long as the beneficiary receives income support through RAP or its equivalent in Quebec, up to a maximum of 12 months.

IFHP coverage ceases when an individual’s refugee claim is:

  • withdrawn,
  • determined to be abandoned by the IRB, or
  • re-determined ineligible.

For victims of human trafficking who have been issued a temporary resident permit under section 24(3) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) coverage lasts for the duration of the temporary resident permit.

For ineligible refugee claimants who are eligible to apply for a pre-removal risk assessment (PRRA), coverage continues until a decision is made on the individual’s PRRA.

For pregnant women who are eligible for IFHP, coverage is for the duration of pregnancy plus an additional two months.

List of acronyms

IFHP
Interim Federal Health Program
IRB
Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
PRRA
Pre-removal Risk Assessment
 
 
 
Date Modified: