Notice – Changes to the Interim Federal Health Program

Important Information for Eligible Beneficiaries

Ottawa, April 11, 2016— On April 1, the Interim Federal Health Program was restored to pre-2012 levels of coverage for all beneficiaries. Here is some important information about this change and what it means for you.

Health-Care Coverage Changed Automatically

  • As of April 1, 2016, all individuals eligible for coverage under the IFHP will now receive full health-care coverage, which includes:
    • basic health-care services (i.e. standard physician and hospital care),
    • supplemental services, including limited vision and urgent dental care, and
    • prescription drug coverage.
  • The change in coverage is not retroactive. Services or products provided to you by health-care providers prior to April 1 will be paid based on the level of coverage you had at the time.
  • If you had coverage on April 1, your coverage has been updated automatically in the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and Medavie Blue Cross systems. Health-care providers have been advised of the change in coverage (PDF, 554 KB) and will be able to provide services to you.
  • You do not need to apply for a new certificate. You will still be able to present your current IFHP eligibility document to health-care providers when you are seeking their services.
  • Starting April 10, when new IFHP certificates are issued, they will not have a coverage type listed on them.
  • If you are a resettled refugee, you will continue to receive coverage for supplemental services and prescription drug coverage for the time you are receiving government assistance or private support. In most cases, this assistance ends one year after arrival. There is no change to your basic coverage under the IFHP. It ends as soon as you are covered under the health plan of your province or territory where you live.

Expiration Dates Eliminated for Refugee Claimants

  • As of April 10, 2016, the 12-month expiry date on coverage for refugee claimants will be eliminated. This means that if you have been found eligible to be referred to the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) as a refugee claimant and or if your claim has been found ineligible to be referred to the IRB but you are eligible to apply for a pre-removal risk assessment, you will no longer need to apply to extend your coverage every 12 months.
  • If you had IFHP coverage on April 1, it will be extended automatically in the IRCC and Medavie Blue Cross systems. You do not need to apply for a new certificate – You will still be able to present your IFHP eligibility document to health-care professionals when you are seeking services, even after the expiry date shown on the document has passed.
  • IFHP coverage for refugee claimants will continue until you become eligible for provincial/territorial health insurance or you leave Canada. Your coverage will also be cancelled immediately:
    • if you withdraw your refugee claim, or
    • if the IRB has determined that you have abandoned your refugee claim, or
    • your refugee claim has been re-determined as ineligible to be referred to the IRB and you are not eligible to apply for a PRRA.
  • Registered IFHP providers have been advised to use the information box at the bottom of your eligibility document when they validate your eligibility with Medavie Blue Cross.
  • If your coverage expired before April 1 but you are still eligible for coverage, you must submit a renewal application to your local IRCC office and a new IFHP certificate will be sent to you.
  • Starting April 10, when new IFHP certificates are issued, they will not have an expiration date listed on them.

Please visit Health care – Refugees for more information on the program.

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