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Separation or divorce

If you divorce your spouse or separate, you usually have to take certain steps concerning your health and drug insurance coverage.

Procedure concerning health insurance

If you are insured by the Québec Health Insurance Plan, you must notify us of a change in your civil status, such as a divorce or separation. Where one of the parents obtains custody of a child, it is important to inform us so that any documents concerning the child can be sent to the right address.

Regardless of your situation, we cannot issue a duplicate Health Insurance Card, not even for a child. It's up to you to make sure that your children have their card with them.


If your new situation requires you or your children to move, refer to the Moving webpage to find out how to report a change of address.

Procedure concerning prescription drug insurance

It is possible that your separation or divorce will not affect your drug insurance or that of your former spouse. This is the case if both of you are covered by the public plan or each is covered under their respective private plan.

Please note that a person who provided private plan coverage for their spouse is no longer allowed to do so after a separation or divorce.

You must notify your insurer that you wish to change your drug insurance coverage.

Check to see whether you qualify for a private plan through your job or a professional association or order to which you belong.

If you qualify for a private plan, you must join it, at least for the drug insurance portion. Most of the time, prescription drug insurance is included as part of a plan covering other health care, that is, a health insurance plan. Sometimes, this coverage is provided alone.

If you don’t have access to this type of plan, you must register with the Public Prescription Drug Insurance Plan.

By order of priority, coverage of a child whose parents do not share the same residence is with the private plan of the parent with whom the child is living consistently. If this parent is not eligible for a private plan, then the child is covered by the private plan of the other parent. Finally, if both parents are ineligible for a private plan, they must be registered with the public plan, which will cover the child.

If one of the parents covered by the public plan becomes the spouse of someone who is eligible for a private plan, that parent must be covered under the private plan. The child of that parent will also have to be covered under the private plan, if he or she is living with the couple.

Children temporarily staying in Québec

Children under age 18 temporarily staying in Québec for more than 6 months are eligible for the Public Prescription Drug Insurance Plan. However, their parents are not eligible for the public plan, but can register with a private insurer.

Maximum annual contribution

You pay for your covered drugs until you reach a maximum amount: your maximum annual contribution. As a general rule, your insurer (private insurer or RAMQ) sees to it that this maximum is not exceeded. However, if you change insurance plans in the course of the year and believe that you will reach the maximum amount before the end of the year, you must inform your new insurer of the amount of your contributions.

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