Effective October 1, 2014, your Health Insurance Card may be valid for up to 8 years.
The transition from 4 to 8 years will take place gradually. By 2018, persons whose age is a multiple of 8 (16 years, 24 years, 32 years, 40 years, 48 years, 56 years, 64 years, etc.) will have received a card valid for 8 years when they are up for renewal. The remainder will initially get a card valid for 4 years. So don't be surprised if you obtain a card valid for 8 years while another family member receives a card good for 4 years.
This is because the Régie sees to it that the Health Insurance Card of an insured person who has a driver's licence expires at the same time as his/her licence. By virtue of a partnership between the Régie de l'assurance maladie and the Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ), Health insurance Cards and driver's licences are renewable at the same time.
The Régie sometimes issues a card for a one-year period. This is done in the case of:
- registration of persons who have recently taken up residence in Québec;
- card renewal for persons who lost their eligibility for the Québec Health Insurance Plan for one calendar year Calendar year
A year running from January 1 to December 31 of the same year..
Cards held by temporary residents of Québec are valid for the duration of their eligibility for the plan, which is determined according to the length of their stay or the validity period of their immigration documents.
Your Health Insurance Card is valid until the last day of the month indicated. For example, a card showing the date "2012 01" is valid until January 31, 2012.
Renewing your Health Insurance Card: an obligation
You are required to renew your Health Insurance Card before it expires. Having a valid card may save you a lot of trouble because you must present your card to receive healthcare services free of charge under the Health Insurance Plan.
If your card has been expired for more than 6 months, you will have to pay a $25 renewal fee, over and above the fee for the photo. In addition, the Régie will ask you to provide proof of residence in Québec.
Receiving a renewal notice
Generally speaking, Québec residents receive a renewal notice from the Régie de l'assurance maladie 3 months before their card expires.
If you lose or don't receive your renewal notice, you must obtain another one by contacting the Régie by telephone or in person during office hours. You might not receive a renewal notice if, for example, you move without notifying the Régie of your new address. For this reason, it is essential to inform the Régie of any change of address.
Persons who don't receive a renewal notice
These persons include:
- temporary residents of Québec;
- residents of Québec who hold temporary immigration documents;
- persons who did not have permanent resident status when they registered for the plan or who obtain that status after registering.
These persons may, under certain conditions, renew their Health Insurance Card and thus remain covered by the plan. They must call the Régie or visit an office of the Régie during office hours, to obtain the appropriate form or to find out what proof-of-identity documents they must submit.
How to renew your Health Insurance Card
When you receive your renewal notice, it is important for you to check the accuracy of the information appearing on it, to correct such information where necessary, and to sign the notice. Also indicate, in the appropriate space, whether you spent 183 days or more outside Québec in any calendar year during the period concerned.
Please note that you cannot renew your card online.
If you have a driver's licence
You can renew it at the same time as your Health Insurance Card, by virtue of a partnership between the Régie and the SAAQ. You can do so in one step by going to a SAAQ service outlet. Two pieces of ID are required.
If you don't have a driver's licence
Persons age 14 and over who are renewing only their Health Insurance Card may do so via an service outlet (such as a CLSC or an office of the Régie). Two pieces of ID are required. Some persons, however, are exempt from this procedure.
If you are temporarily outside Québec
If you are outside Québec when your Health Insurance Card is up for renewal and you are unable to have your application authenticated, you must nevertheless fill out and sign your renewal notice, indicate the expected date of your return to Québec, and mail the notice to the Régie at the address shown on the form. If you are still eligible for the plan, the Régie will issue you a card without your photo or signature.
Receipt of your card
The Régie will mail you a new card if you are still eligible for the Health Insurance Plan. In its Statement of Services for the Public, the Régie undertakes to issue your card within 10 days of receiving a complete application.
If you are awaiting receipt of your card and require healthcare, please contact the Régie during office hours.