Eligibility for the Québec Health Insurance Plan
Persons having taken up residence or staying temporarily in Québec who meet the requirements set out in the Québec Health Insurance Act must register for the Health Insurance Plan.
If you have taken up residence in Québec, you are also required to have prescription drug insurance coverage, either through a private plan or the public plan if you don’t qualify for a private plan.
Who is eligible
Persons taking up residence in Québec
- coming from another Canadian province
You qualify for the Québec Health Insurance Plan as soon as you cease to be eligible for the plan of your province of origin, usually on the first day of the third month following the month of your arrival in Québec. Until then, your province of origin covers the cost of the healthcare you obtain in Québec and you may present the health insurance card of your former province to your physician, if he or she accepts it. Otherwise, you must assume the costs yourself and apply for a reimbursement with the administrator of the health insurance plan of your former province.
- coming from another country
If you are arriving from outside Canada, you may be eligible for the Québec Health Insurance Plan. However, before becoming eligible, you will be subject to a waiting period of up to three months after the date of your registration. This applies even if you hold Canadian citizenship.
Generally, the Régie does not reimburse the cost of healthcare services received during the waiting period; for this reason, we strongly recommend that you take out private insurance to cover that period.
Persons staying in Québec temporarily
Depending on the duration of your stay and the document issued to you by the immigration authorities, you may qualify for health insurance if you are:
- a temporary or seasonal worker
- a student or trainee under an official scholarship program of the Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur
- the holder of a post-diploma work permit
- the spouse or dependant accompanying a worker, student or trainee, or holder of a post-diploma work permit
- a person covered by a social security agreement
- a person covered by an agreement with a Québec-based governmental or non-governmental international organization
Who is ineligible
You are ineligible if you are:
- a tourist
- a child born to parents who are in Québec as tourists
- a student or resident from another Canadian province who is staying in Québec temporarily
- a foreign student from a country other than those with which Québec has concluded a social security agreement
- a child born in Québec to a foreign student not covered by a social security agreement
- a refugee claimant
Conditions for remaining eligible for the Plan
Being away from Québec may affect your eligibility for health insurance. You could even lose your eligibility and have to repay all the costs incurred by the Régie for the healthcare services you received during the year.
If you have taken up residence in Québec or are in the process of doing so, please note that every time you spend 183 days or more outside the province in a given year, you lose your eligibility for that year. Also, the Régie will require that you repay the cost of any publicly funded healthcare services you received during this time. To make sure that persons are indeed present in Québec, the Régie carries out spot checks.
Go to the Temporary stays outside Québec section of this website for further information on eligibility and coverage during stays outside Québec.
Persons who have already taken up residence in Québec
If you have taken up residence in Québec, you must be present here 183 days or more per calendar year (January 1 to December 31). Absences of 21 consecutive days or less are not tallied, nor are the days of departure and return.
Persons taking up residence in Québec
To remain eligible, you must be present in Québec 183 days or more in the 12 months following the date on which you became eligible.
Stays of 21 consecutive days or less are not tallied, nor are the days of departure and return.
After your first year of eligibility (12 months after you have taken up residence), you must be present in Québec 183 days or more per calendar year (January 1 to December 31).
Persons in Québec temporarily
If you are staying in Québec temporarily, you must be present here during your entire stay to remain eligible.
However, you are allowed to spend periods of 21 consecutive days or less outside Québec, in which case you will qualify for certain services covered during a temporary stay outside Québec.
If you fail to meet this obligation (being absent 21 days or more), regardless of the reason, you will lose your healthcare coverage, including hospitalization, for the time you were away from Québec. You will have to assume the cost of any healthcare services received outside Québec during this time.
Remember, you must notify us of any stay outside Québec totaling more than 21 consecutive days.
If you receive new immigration documents
You were already registered for the Québec Health Insurance Plan:
If you were already registered for the Plan and the immigration authorities modify your resident status, you will have to call us or come to one of our offices during opening hours so that we can determine whether your eligibility for the Plan may be extended.
For further information on this topic, go to the How to register section.
If you were not eligible for Québec health insurance:
Your new status could render you eligible for the Québec Health Insurance Plan. To find out, refer to the How to register section or call us.
Application for review
If you disagree with a decision of the Régie, you can apply for an administrative review. You have 6 months, from the date the letter of decision is deposited in your mailbox or handed to you in person, to contest the decision.
Form to fill out
First, you must fill out an Application for review.
To appeal a decision regarding healthcare received outside Québec, a technical aids program or a financial assistance program, you must use the form also.
It is important that you enclose the relevant original documents (bills, proof of payment, medical documents, etc.) and you specify the matter being contested, and any facts and dates to be corrected. If you need more space than that provided on the form, attach a separate, signed sheet.
Send your application for review to the following address:
Direction de la révision
Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec
Case postale 6600
Québec (Québec) G1K 7T3
We recommend that you keep copies of the documents provided.
Analysis of your application for review
The agent of the Régie who analyzes your application for review will contact you, if required, to clarify your expectations. If necessary, the agent will assist you in the process of gathering relevant information to complete the file.
The review of your application is based on the new information provided by you and the documents already on file. Those documents must cover the entire period at issue. Missing information may delay the processing of your file.
After the agent has reviewed your file, he/she will notify you in writing of the Régie's new decision.
The Régie's commitment
We will process your application in keeping with our values: respect, integrity and equity.
We also undertake to follow up on your application for review within 40 days of receiving it, if your file is complete.
The Régie's decision
Under the Health Insurance Act, the Régie has 90 days to render its decision following an application for review.
If, after you've filed your application, you wish to provide supporting documents or comments, the 90-day time limit will run from the date the Régie receives the documents.
Moreover, if the Régie deems that it needs additional documents or information, it may extend the time limit by another 90 days.
Finally, if the Régie does not meet the deadlines, you may wait for its new decision, or contest the previous decision before the Tribunal administratif du Québec (TAQ).
Do you disagree with the Régie's new decision?
If you believe that the decision rendered in follow-up to your application for review does not respect your rights, you have 60 days (from the date the decision is delivered to your address) to contest it before the TAQ.