Ontario Health Insurance Plan

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The Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) is the government-run health plan for the Canadian province of Ontario.

Every Ontario resident is entitled to free access to emergency and preventive medical care under OHIP. Ontario residents may go to a participating doctor—essentially every doctor practicing in the province—any time they wish and the services are billed through OHIP to the government. It does not cover such areas as prescription drugs or dental care, but did cover one eye examination every two years and limited chiropractic and physical therapy services, until most eye exams and all chiropractic and physical therapy were "delisted," or removed from coverage, by the Liberal government of Dalton McGuinty in May 2004. Provision continues to be made for free coverage to minors. OHIP is funded by taxes paid by the residents of Ontario and by transfer payments from the federal government.

In order to be eligible for coverage under OHIP, a person normally must be a Canadian citizen or have a long-term immigration status as set out in Ontario's Health Insurance Act, must make his or her permanent and principal home in Ontario, and must be physically present in Ontario 153 days in any 12-month period. Canadian citizens or permanent residents returning to Canada from another country are not normally covered by OHIP until they have been resident in Ontario for 3 months. It is recommended to obtain private health insurance to cover this three month period. For those Canadian citizens or permanent residents moving to Ontario from another province, the province of previous residency will continue to cover them during the three month waiting period (except Quebec).[1]

Ontario's first government-run health plan was known as OMSIP (Ontario Medical Services Insurance Plan), established and enacted on 1 July 1966. On 1 October 1969, it was replaced by OHSIP, the Ontario Health Services Insurance Plan, as a provincially run and federally assisted plan under the federal Medical Care Insurance Act for establishment of a national medicare plan. At some time in the 1970s or 1980s, the plan name was shortened to simply OHIP.

Criticism

OHIP does not cover PSA test (prostate cancer test) for men, but at the same time covers Pap smears & mammograms for women.[citation needed]

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