How to apply for the Alberta Medical Insurance Plan (AHIP) as a new immigrant

By Remitbee - Mar 2, 2022

As a landed immigrant, a major concern you may have is access to affordable and quality medical services. Fortunately, Canada boasts one of the best healthcare systems globally.

As an immigrant, you can benefit from a publicly funded health care system regardless of the province or individual territories. For this reason, the province of Alberta offers the AHIP or Alberta Medical Insurance Plan.

Here are step-by-step instructions on how to apply for the Alberta Medical Insurance Plan( AHIP) for new immigrants. Read more.

Application Procedure for AHIP

The AHIP provides multiple free medical care services, as Alberta's tax revenue covers these costs. However, to qualify for these benefits, you must apply for the AHIP card, which the Alberta Government issues.

The AHIP card is proof of eligibility for free medical services. More so, your spouse and children also have access to the free services.

Similarly, your medical facility will ask for the AHIP during consultations, tests, treatment, X-rays, or hospital admissions.

Eligibility for the AHIP

You can apply for the AHIP card if you meet the following conditions;

  • You reside in the province as a Canadian citizen or are a permanent resident.

  • You are a landed immigrant wishing to settle there.

  • You meet the federal government's PR or citizenship requirements.

  • Your immediate family automatically becomes eligible as long as you are a permanent resident.

As a newcomer, you must apply for the AHIP within three months of settling. Failure to apply will delay the commencement of your coverage.

If you are a temporary worker with a valid work permit of 6 months but wish to reside in Alberta in the next year.

If you are an international student above 18 years, you can request an AHIP. However, you must have a one-year study permit at an Alberta institution.

If you have a 3-11 months study permit, you can still apply for the AHIP. However, you must provide a written document confirming your intention to live within the province for at least one year.

AHIP Coverage

Here are the expenses covered by the AHIP covers, both fully and partially.

  • Treatment for common conditions
  • A visit to a psychiatrist
  • Diagnoses, lab tests, or radiological exams
  • Oral and maxillofacial surgery
  • Bariatric surgery if you are currently enrolled in the Weight Wise Program
  • Mastectomy
  • Breast argumentation for transgender surgery. However, it must be approved by the province's Gender Reaffirming Surgery Program.
  • Visits to medical facilities or admissions where x-rays and nursing services are required
  • Regular hospital accommodations, including meals
  • Medications
  • Use of the triage room, operating room, and nursing room
  • Surgical and other medical supplies
  • Ambulance and emergency transportation between medical facilities
  • Partial reimbursement for special services involving dental, optical or chiropody treatment.

AHIP Exceptions

Often, AHIP only covers essential medical services, including doctor and hospital visits. The AHIP card excludes the following health care services;

  • Cosmetic procedures that are non-medically required.
  • Medical consultations through telephone calls.
  • Medical services not offered by a practicing physician like massages and chiropractic care.
  • Regular eye exams or dental checkups
  • Immunizations
  • Dentures or cosmetic dentistry
  • Assisted reproductive services such as Vitro fertilization

How Can I Apply for an AHIP card?

The application process for the AHIP is free of charge. You can apply for the card through the following procedure.

The first method is to use a certified registrar. You will need to attach your original documents, including identification papers and proof of residency in Canada and Alberta.

Along with these documents, you must submit a properly completed application. After that, you will receive your health card within five days.

In addition to applying in person, you can mail your completed application form along with copies of your supporting documents to the AHIP office. Be sure to include the face and back sides of your documents.

Finally, your card will be ready within six weeks and will then be mailed to your physical address.

Immigration Status Confirmation Documents

The following documents are vital in proving your immigration status.

For a Canadian Citizen

Citizenship documents such as cards and birth certificates, Indian Status certificates, and a passport. Naturalization Certificate

New Immigrants From Outside Canada

If you are a landed immigrant, you must have the following papers;

  • A valid PR card that is less than 5 years old.
  • Record of Landing confirmation.

If you have another immigration status, such as refugee or protected person, you must have the following papers ready.

  • Written confirmation from the IRB of your immigration status.
  • A written confirmation that you are now eligible to file an application for permanent residency.

If you have recently migrated to Albert Province from abroad, you don't have to wait the mandatory 3 month period to kickstart your application.

As long as you have the required papers, your coverage commences immediately.

Where to Apply

You can apply for the AHIP card at the nearest registry agent office in Alberta. The locations are available on Alberta's Government website under AHCIP Registry Locations

You can download application forms from here and fill them out before presenting them to the agent's office.

Contact a community agency near you for any concerns regarding Alberta Health Care Insurance.

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