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End of employment or temporary absence

You have to check your prescription drug insurance coverage if you are unemployed or temporarily absent from work. Everyone who has taken up residence in Québec has to be covered at all times.

Loss or termination of employement

You will need to find a new insurer if your prescription drug coverage was provided under your former employer’s private plan. Ask yourself the following questions:

When does my insurance end?

As a rule, you cease to be covered on the official date your employment ends. Check with the insurer. Also, find out the reimbursement terms and conditions for the expenses you might incur before this date.

Do I have access to another private plan?

You may have access to one, for instance, through:

  • a new employer
  • your spouse
  • a professional group: association, order or union

If so, you have to join that plan. Otherwise, you have to register with the Public Prescription Drug Insurance Plan.

Temporary absence from work

Usually, you remain covered under your prescription drug plan during a temporary leave. This applies to all situations where the employment relationship with the employer is maintained during your absence:

  • Sick leave
  • Parental leave
  • Unpaid leave
  • Temporary lay-off, in certain cases such as seasonal workers

Insured under the public plan

You remain covered by the public plan during a temporary absence from work, provided that you are registered. No steps need to be taken.

Insured under a private plan

Certain absences do not change your participation in your private plan. By paying the premium set out in the insurance contract, you remain covered in the following situations:

  • Sick leave
  • Maternity leave
  • Parental or family leave

Other situations depending on the insurance contract

In other situations, check your insurance contract to find out whether you remain insured under your private plan. This is necessary in the following situations:

  • Unpaid leave
  • Seasonal work
  • Temporary lay-off

If your private insurance is maintained during your absence, you have to remain insured by your private plan and pay the premiums.

If your private insurance is not maintained, your insurance ends. You must then check whether you qualify for a private plan in another way. If you do not have access to a private plan, you will have to register with the public plan. To find out more, refer to the webpage Know the eligibility conditions for the public plan.

Changing insurers in the course of the year

Will you be changing insurers in the course of the year? In this case, you have to avoid overpaying the maximum annual contribution for the purchase of your covered drugs.

Your former insurer must send you a statement of your contributions for the current year. In turn, you will have to send this document to your new insurer so that it will keep track of your maximum contribution. To find out more about the annual maximum amount payable and the contribution itself, refer to the webpages Rates in effect and Amount to pay for prescription drugs.

Sample document for the statement of your contributions

You can use our form Statement of Contributions if you change from a private plan to the public plan.

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