Health care – Refugees

The Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) provides limited, temporary, taxpayer-funded coverage of health-care benefits to people in the following groups who are not eligible for provincial or territorial health insurance:

  • protected persons, including resettled refugees;
  • refugee claimants; and
  • certain other groups.

The IFHP does not cover services or products that a person may claim under a private insurance plan.

Benefits

The products and services covered through the IFHP depend on the category you belong to at the time.

The IFHP provides three basic types of coverage:

  • Health-care coverage; or
  • Expanded health-care coverage; or
  • Public health or public safety health care coverage.

Health-Care Coverage

People covered include:

  • Protected persons who are not receiving income support through the Resettlement Assistance Program and have not yet qualified for provincial or territorial health insurance, including:
    • Most Privately-Sponsored Refugees (PSRs);
    • Successful refugee claimants; and
    • Most individuals who have received a positive decision on a Pre-Removal Risk Assessment (PRRA).
  • refugee claimants who are not from from a Designated Country of Origin (DCO)
  • refugee claimants from a Designated Country of Origin who filed their claim before December 15, 2012.

This package provides coverage that is similar to the coverage Canadians receive through their provincial/territorial health insurance plans, until the beneficiary becomes eligible for provincial or territorial health insurance or becomes a rejected refugee claimant. With this coverage, beneficiaries will be covered if they need medical attention for a disease, symptom, complaint or injury, including:

  • hospital services;
  • services of a doctor or registered nurse;
  • laboratory, diagnostic and ambulance services; and
  • medications and vaccines only when needed to prevent or treat a disease posing a risk to public health or to treat a condition of public safety concern.

This package does not provide coverage for elective surgery, cosmetic surgery, services related to fertility or sterilization, home care or long-term care.

Expanded Health-Care Coverage

People covered include:

  • people who are or were receiving income support through the Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP) or its equivalent in Quebec, including:
    • Government-Assisted Refugees, and
    • Joint Assistance Sponsorship Program Refugees.
  • people who are or were receiving income support through the RAP, including:
    • Visa Office-Referred Refugees who are part of populations nominated for blended funding arrangements where the government and private sponsors jointly provide funding support,
    • 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
    • certain refugees sponsored by organizations with whom the department has entered into cost-sharing agreements.
  • victims of human trafficking who have a valid temporary resident permit under section 24(3) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

This package provides coverage that is similar to the coverage Canadians receive through their provincial/territorial health insurance plans, until the beneficiary becomes eligible for provincial or territorial health insurance. With this coverage, beneficiaries will be covered if they need medical attention for a disease, symptom, complaint or injury, including:

  • hospital services;
  • services of a doctor or registered nurse; and
  • laboratory, diagnostic and ambulance services.

In addition, this package also covers the cost of certain supplemental health-care products and services while the individual continues to receive governmental resettlement assistance in the form of income support through RAP or the equivalent in Quebec, or is under private sponsorship(in most cases, one year). Examples include:

  • prescribed medications and other pharmacy products;
  • limited dental and vision care;
  • prosthetics and devices to assist mobility; and
  • home care and long-term care.
  • psychological counselling provided by a registered clinical psychologist
  • post-arrival health assessments

The level of coverage provided through the IFHP for these benefits is similar to the level of coverage which may be provided by provincial and territorial governments to Canadians receiving social assistance.

Public Health or Public Safety Health-Care Coverage

People covered include:

  • rejected refugee claimants; and
  • refugee claimants from DCOs.

This package covers the cost of the following products and services provided in Canada but only to diagnose, prevent or diagnose or treat a disease posing a risk to public health or a condition of public safety concern:

  • hospital services;
  • services of a doctor or registered nurse;
  • laboratory and diagnostic services; and
  • medications and vaccines.

The IFHP also covers the cost of the Immigration Medical Examination for all refugee claimants as their claim is being processed.

For more information

For information about the benefits available for each group of IFHP beneficiaries, please see Interim Federal Health Program: Summary of Benefits.

Information Sheet for IFHP Beneficiaries

Application for Interim Federal Health Program

Interim Federal Health Program Policy

Order Respecting the Interim Federal Health Program, 2012

Immigrant services in your area

Our interactive map will help you to search for immigrant services in your area.
 
 
Date Modified: