Healthcare in Alberta, in conformance with the Canada Health Act, is a public healthcare system that is available to all eligible residents of the province, and all new and returning residents are required to be registered for healthcare in Alberta. You may want to consider getting private health insurance for your family as the public health insurance does not cover all costs, and there is a waiting period between when you register and when your health insurance is effective. The Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association Inc. Offers a list of private insurers, making it easy to find a policy that fits you and your families needs.
Alberta Healthcare Insurance Plan
The public health insurance plan covers hospital visits and healthcare services such as physical visits, and some dental/oral surgical services that are deemed medically necessary. For a list of what is covered under the Alberta Healthcare Insurance Act, please visit the Alberta Health website. In order to be eligible for health insurance in the public healthcare system you must:
- be legally allowed to live in Canada, with permanent residence in Alberta
- be physically present in Alberta for a minimum of 183 days out of every 12 months
- not be a resident of another province
- not be claiming health benefits from another province
Registration for the healthcare system can be completed at one of many authorized registry agent offices across the province. You may also choose to formally opt out of the public healthcare in Alberta. This means that your private insurance will be asked to pay for your and your dependents medical and hospital expenses, and you will not have eligibility for the Alberta Blue Cross non-group coverage.
Personal Healthcare and ID Card
The Alberta Personal Health Card is an important part of the healthcare system as it contains information such as your personal health number, name, gender, and date of birth – this means that each family member must have their own card and the information is individually relevant. The reverse side of your personal healthcare card is also your Universal Donor Card, and by signing it, it lets medical staff know that in case of death, you want to donate your organs. If you choose to laminate your card, make sure you sign it first! As well as the healthcare card, you must also carry your Photo ID card. This is a way for medical practitioners to ensure that the medical services being covered are for the person who is present and requesting them. Remember that if there is a change in your personal information, such as name, address, martial status or you want to add a new dependent (spouse, child), you must request a new card!
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