Validity period of a Health Insurance Card
Effective October 1, 2014, the validity period of a Health Insurance Cards may be extended up to 8 years.
The transition to 8-year cards will take place gradually. From now until 2018, those persons whose age is a multiple of 8 (16 years, 24 years, 32 years, 40 years, 48 years, 56 years, 64 years, etc.) will receive an 8-year card when they renew their card. The remainder will receive a card that is valid for 4 years. As a result, you could receive an 8-year card while another family member receives a 4-year card.
If you have a driver’s licence, both it and your Health Insurance Card will expire on the same date. Because the Régie is acting in partnership with the Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ), you can renew both official documents at the same time.
Please note that the Régie may issue a card valid for a different period of time if your situation warrants it.
Your Health Insurance Card is valid up to and including the last day of the month appearing next to “expiration” above your signature. For instance, if “2018 01” appears on your card, you can use it up to January 31, 2018 inclusive.
The Régie issues a Health Insurance Card to persons eligible for the Québec Health Insurance Plan. The card gives them access to insured healthcare services.
Information appearing on a Health Insurance Card
- The bar code, found on the cards issued as of January 11, 2010.
- The Health Insurance Number, unique to each person, consisting of:
- the first 3 letters of the last name;
- the first letter of the first name;
- the last 2 digits of the year of birth;
- the month of birth (to which 50 is added to indicate female);
- the day of birth;
- an administrative code used by the Régie.
- The person's identity:
- first name (if the number of characters in the first name exceeds the space available, only the initial will appear on the card);
- last name at birth;
- husband's last name, if requested by a woman married before April 2, 1981 or by a woman married outside Québec who exercises her civil rights under that name;
- the number of cards issued to the person since 1984.
- The person's birthdate and sex.
- The year and month of expiry.
- The person's photograph and signature, both of which are digitized and incorporated into the card. Cards issued to persons not required to provide a photo and a signature, such as children under age 14, have no photo or signature spaces, while cards issued to persons exempt from providing their photo, their signature or both, are marked "exempté" in the appropriate space(s).
Back of card
On the back of the Health Insurance Card, the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux offers the insured person the possibility of consenting to organ donation.
As of January 11, 2010, the Health Insurance Cards being delivered have a bar code. They are being issued for new registrations and renewals. In a few years, all cards will display a bar code.
The bar code appearing on the card contains a single item of information: the holder's Health Insurance Number. It contains no information concerning the person's medical record or any other health-related information.
The Card, which is key to accessing health services, was introduced in the early 70s and has been improved in various ways over the years.
The bar code is the means chosen by the Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ) to adapt the Card to today's realities.
The usefulness of the bar code will become increasingly apparent over the coming months and years. Gradually, the reception personnel in the facilities of the health network and clinics will be able to scan the bar code on the card. This will display the holder's Health Insurance Number directly on screen, eliminating the need to enter it manually. In this way, the healthcare personnel will be able to check, with the online service provided by RAMQ, whether a person is entitled to the free healthcare services available under the Health Insurance Plan.