You need to bring your Ontario Health Insurance Card each time you come to the Hospital to receive services. It must be a valid card in order for the Hospital to collect payment for your services from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

If the request for payment is rejected by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (ie. the card has expired, or the number is not valid) the Hospital must spend additional time and money tracking the patient to get a valid health insurance number or get payment directly from the patient.

What You Need To Know To Ensure Your Health Card Is Valid

A resident of Ontario must have a valid health card to show that he or she is entitled to health care services paid for by OHIP.

There are currently two types of health cards in circulation. The red and white health card which does not have a renewal date, and the photo health card which does have a renewal date listed in the bottom right-hand corner. If you have a photo health card, you are responsible for obtaining a replacement card before your current card expires.

You can apply for a new Health Card if you are a former resident returning to live in Ontario, or if you are a new Ontario resident who meets the eligibility requirements for OHIP coverage.

You should apply for a replacement health card if you have been requested to re-register by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, if your health card has been lost, stolen, or damaged, if you are reporting a change of personal information, or if your photo health card is due to expire.

You need to visit an OHIP office if:

  1. You have never had Ontario Health coverage before (e.g. have moved from another country or province).
  2. Your red and white health card needs replacing because:
    • It is lost, stolen or damaged (e.g. card is broken, magnetic strip doesn’t work)
    • Your name has changed
    • Your date of birth or other information has been recorded incorrectly (your provider may discover this while checking your coverage)
    • A health provider has advised you that there is something wrong with your card or your coverage
  3. Your photo health card needs replacing because:
    • The information shown on the card is changing (e.g. change of name)
    • Your photo health card has passed its renewal date (bottom right of the card)

What you should do if you move:

You should inform the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care if you change your address. It is important that the ministry has your current address for any direct communication with you.

There are four ways to update your address:

  1. Use Ontario Online Services to send your change of address electronically.
  2. Go to any ServiceOntario kiosk. They are similar to automated teller machines and provide extended hours of service seven days a week. You will need your health card and the health cards of all members of your family as well as your new postal code.
  3. Obtain a “Change of Address” form and return it by mail. Forms are available from your local OHIP office or from the Forms Online section of the ministry website.
  4. Send a letter to your local OHIP office. You must include your name, health number, telephone number, current address, and new address including postal code.

For more information contact the local OHIP office:

Roberta Bondar Building

70 Foster Drive, Suite 100
Sault Ste. Marie, ON
P6A 6V4

Monday – Friday
8:30am – 5:00pm


Call the ministry INFOline:

1 (800) 268-1154 (Toll-free in Ontario only)
In Toronto, call (416) 314-5518 TTY 1 (800) 387-5559
Hours: 8:30am – 5:00pm

This information has been obtained from the Ministry website: