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When does my Interim Federal Health Program coverage start and when does it end?

Start date:

Your Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) coverage starts on the date your eligibility document is issued.

End date:

If you made a refugee claim from within Canada

You are eligible for coverage until:

  • you withdraw your refugee claim, or
  • the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) finds you abandoned your refugee claim, or
  • your refugee claim isn’t eligible and you can’t apply for a pre-removal risk assessment (PRRA), or
  • you leave Canada.

Your IFHP coverage will automatically expire 90 days from the decision date if:

  • the IRB finds you to be a Convention refugee, or
  • you get a positive decision on your PRRA application.

During this time, you must contact the province or territory you live in to find out when you can apply for health coverage. In some provinces, you can apply as soon as you get a positive decision. In these cases, you should apply right away.

If you are a refugee resettled from outside Canada

In Canada, the government of your province or territory covers health services. When you first arrive, it may take some time for you to be covered for these services. Until then, your health care will be covered by the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP).

Basic Coverage

The IFHP gives you basic coverage (for example, doctor visits and hospital care) until you become eligible for provincial or territorial health coverage, which typically occurs within 3 months. During this time, you must apply for health insurance from the province or territory where you live.

Supplemental and Prescription Drug Coverage

In most cases, your supplemental and prescription drug coverage will be valid for 12 months from the date you arrive in Canada. If you are still eligible after this, you must apply to extend your IFHP coverage or contact the Immigration, Refugees, Citizenship Canada office in your area.

Find out more about who is eligible for the IFHP and the services available to them.

Note: Your coverage can be cancelled without notice if your immigration status changes.

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