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Medical and dental care for refugees

The government of Canada has recently restored healthcare benefits for refugees to pre-2012 levels for its Interim Federal Health Program.

The IFHP provides temporary coverage to people who do not qualify to receive provincial or territorial health insurance. The people that are IFHP eligible include:

  • Resettled Refugees;
  • Protected persons in Canada;
  • Refugee claimants;
  • Victims of human trafficking; and
  • Detainees.

What do I need to know about the IFHP?

The program and coverage are time limited. The point of the program is to help afford healthcare for people who are not eligible for provincial healthcare coverage because they're not permanent residents or citizen's of Canada. 

Coverage is temporary until the beneficiary qualifies for provincial or territorial health insurance. Supplemental and prescription drug coverage is provided only as long as the beneficiary gets income from the Resettlement Assistance Program or until he or she is no longer under private sponsorship. 

What kind of coverage is there?

There are four types of coverages:

1. Basic coverage:

  • This covers services from health-care professionals who are licensed in Canada, including medical doctors and registered nursers. Such services also include pre- and post-natal care;
  • Hospital services for both in-patient and out-patient visits; and
  • Ambulance, laboratory and diagnostic services.

2. Supplemental coverage:

  • This covers long-term and home care;
  • medical supplies, equipment and assistive devices, which includes things like mobility aids and orthopedic equipment;
  • Limited coverage for eye-care; and
  • Services for health-practitioners like physiotherapists, psychiatrists and speech language therapists.

3. Prescription drug coverage:

  • prescription drug coverage for most medication under drug plans.

4. Coverage for the Immigration Medical Exam (IME):

  • Beneficiaries usually qualify for this and also the cost of one IME and IME-related diagnostic tests required by the law. 

What about dental care?

Dental care is limited to urgent dental care needs.

If you have questions about the IFHP program, whether you qualify and benefits, either speak to a health care professional or an immigration lawyer.

Read more:

Health care - Refugees

Determine your eligibility - Interim Federal Health Program