Skip to main content
Important notice

COVID-19: Answers to your questions

Certain services are available by appointment only at our Montréal and Québec reception desks. No one without an appointment will be seen. For a list of the services offered by appointment, or if you have any questions, refer to the webpage Questions and answers about our services during the pandemic.

Questions and answers about our services during the pandemic

Office opening hours and access to our services

Our services are maintained. For the time being, our Montréal and Québec reception desks are open by appointment only to residents of both areas, and only for certain services. No one without an appointment will be seen. To schedule an appointment, call us.

Wearing a face covering is mandatory in our Montréal and Québec reception desks.

Services available by appointment:

  • A first registration for health insurance
  • Your return to Québec after you were settled in another Canadian province or abroad

Locations of our reception desks:

  • Bureau d’accueil de Montréal
    425, boulevard De Maisonneuve Ouest
    3e étage, bureau 301
    Montréal (Québec)  H3A 3G5
  • Bureau d’accueil de Québec
    787, boulevard Lebourgneuf
    Québec (Québec)  G2J 1C3

On the premises, you will find deposit boxes for requests concerning services not available by appointment.

Other services:

You can access our other services online or by calling us. To find out how to proceed, depending on the service, refer to the following sections:

  • COVID-19: information and screening
  • Health Insurance Card: Renewal or replacement
  • Expired Health Insurance Card
  • Registration for health insurance: Obtaining a card and the waiting period pending eligibility

If you are newly settled in Québec and wish to register with the Québec Health Insurance Plan, you have to call us to obtain the necessary form. Depending on your situation, we may schedule you for an appointment at our Montréal or Québec reception desk. Otherwise, we will tell you what you need to do.

When you schedule an appointment, tell the agent whether:

  • you have any COVID-19 related symptoms (e.g. coughing, fever, difficulty breathing, sudden loss of sense of smell)
  • you are returning from a trip abroad
  • you have been in contact with a person with COVI‑19 symptoms

If you have received your registration form and don’t have an appointment:

Complete, sign and mail your form and supporting documents to the following address:

Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec
C. P. 6600, succ. Terminus 
Québec (Québec)  G1K 7T3

For the time being, no photo is required.

If you have an appointment:

  • Have on hand when you attend your appointment all documents required for the processing of your application (those mentioned by the agent when you scheduled the appointment. If you are missing a document, you will have to reschedule an appointment.
  • Bring your own pencil.
  • Arrive 15 minutes early and present yourself to the security agent. If you arrive more than 15 minutes early, you will have to wait outside the building and observe 2‑metre social distancing. If you arrive late, you will be denied access and have to reschedule an appointment.
  • Come accompanied only by the persons concerned by the appointment if you have an appointment for your family. Other people accompanying you will have to wait outside the building.
  • Preferably use a credit or debit card to pay any fee.
  • Please note that no client displaying COVID-19 symptoms will be accepted. Appointment or not.

COVID-19: information and screening

If you need to go to a COVID-19 screening clinic, call 1 877 644-4545 first. If your condition warrants it, you will be referred to a screening clinic where you will receive the test, whether or not you have a Health Insurance Card. For all other questions about COVID-19, go to the Québec.ca website.

COVID-19 screening tests are covered for all persons on Québec territory, whether or not they have a Health Insurance Card.

For other costs, refer to the following table. Please note that services not related to COVID-19 are covered only for those persons insured by the Québec Health Insurance Plan.

Health Care Coverage by category of person on May 13, 2020
Category of person Screening test COVID-19-related health care (professional and hospital services) Non COVID-19-related health care (professional and hospital services)
Person holding an expired card Covered Covered (Rule relaxed – Expired card accepted) Covered subject to the usual Plan conditions, expired card accepted
Person repatriated by the Canadian government in the wake of the pandemic Covered Covered Covered subject to the usual Plan conditions, and no waiting period pending eligibility
Person temporarily outside Québec who will be absent 183 days or more Covered Covered Covered subject to the usual Plan conditions, and rule concerning an absence from Québec lasting 183 days or more is suspended
Homeless person Covered Covered Covered subject to the usual Plan conditions
Person temporarily outside Québec, currently in Canada Non applicable Covered subject to the usual legal and regulatory framework Covered subject to the usual legal and regulatory framework
Person temporarily outside Québec, currently outside Canada Non applicable Covered subject to the usual legal and regulatory framework Covered subject to the usual legal and regulatory framework
Person holding refugee status Covered Covered Covered subject to the usual Plan conditions (with no waiting period pending eligibility)
Newly arrived person (person newly settled in Québec on a permanent basis) Covered

Covered

By virtue of circular 2014-030 (01.01.10.03) of the Ministère de la Santé et des services sociaux – services necessary for infectious health problems affecting public health – these services are covered during the waiting period pending eligibility

Covered subject to the usual Plan conditions (with waiting period pending eligibility)

Foreign worker or student from a country that signed a social security agreement with Québec (person newly arrived in Québec, here temporarily to work or study, holding a valid entry permit)

The countries party to the agreement are Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Romania and Sweden.

Covered Covered (with no waiting period pending eligibility) Covered subject to the usual Plan conditions (with no waiting period pending eligibility)
Foreign worker (person newly arrived in Québec, here temporarily to work, holding a valid entry permit) Covered

Covered

By virtue of circular 2014-030 (01.01.10.03) of the Ministère de la Santé et des services sociaux – services necessary for infectious health problems affecting public health – these services are covered during the waiting period pending eligibility

Covered subject to the usual Plan conditions (with waiting period pending eligibility)
Foreign worker or student (person in Québec temporarily to work or study, holding an expired entry permit Covered Covered if no coverage provided by the person’s country of origin, a federal program or an insurance contract Not covered
Asylum seeker/Refugee claimant (including those who cross irregularly the Canada-US border) Covered Covered by the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) Covered by the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP)
Person without a status or without papers Covered Covered if no coverage provided by the person’s country of origin, a federal program or a private insurance contract Not covered
Traveler, tourist and all other categories of persons not eligible for a Health Insurance Card (includes those students not coming from a country that signed a social security agreement with Québec) Covered Covered if no coverage provided by the person’s country of origin, a federal program or a private insurance contract Not covered

For information on COVID-19, go to the Québec.ca website.

If you are worried about COVID-19 or have symptoms such as cough or fever, you can call your regional telephone number:

  • Québec: 418 644-4545
  • Montréal: 514 644-4545
  • Montérégie: 450 644-4545
  • Outaouais: 819 644-4545
  • Elsewhere in Québec: 1 877 644-4545 (toll free)

Health Insurance Card: Renewal or replacement

Your Health Insurance Card remains valid until the last day of the month indicated on it. For example, if the expiry date on your card is 2020 06, it is valid until June 30, 2020.

If you have received a renewal notice, complete, sign and mail it to:

Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec
C. P. 6600, succ. Terminus 
Québec (Québec)  G1K 7T3

Temporarily, no photo is required. Thank you for not going to the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) or at a CLSC for any RAMQ-related services.

For a lost, damaged or stolen card, use our online card replacement service or call our client relations centre.

Expired Health Insurance Card

Exceptionally, an expired card will be accepted if you need urgent health care, whether the care is related or not to COVID-19. We still invite you to order your card renewal form or call our client relations centre.

If you need prescription drugs but your card is expired, call our client relations centre.

Registration for health insurance: Obtaining a card and the waiting period pending eligibility

If you are newly settled in Québec and want to register with the Québec Health Insurance Plan, call our client relations centre to obtain the necessary form. For the time being, our Montréal and Québec reception desks are not accessible to the public.

If you have received a registration form, complete, sign and mail it with all required documents to:

Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec
C. P. 6600, succ. Terminus 
Québec (Québec)  G1K 7T3

Temporarily, no photo is required.

If you need to go to a COVID-19 screening clinic, you have to call 1 877 644-4545 first. If your condition warrants it, you will be referred to a screening clinic. The test will be administered at no cost to you, along with any other care necessary to treat the disease, whether or not you have a Health Insurance Card. However, non COVID-19 related care will be covered only after your waiting period pending eligibility, in keeping with the usual rules.

Persons outside Québec: Health insurance coverage

The terms and conditions of the social security agreements continue to apply. Directly contact the health facility providing you with health care in your host country for more information. If you return to Québec, you will be covered by the Québec Health Insurance Plan upon your arrival.

The Canadian government advises Canadian citizens and permanent residents abroad to return to Canada and to find out about the return options still available to them. They must consider returning to Canada sooner than planned if their options become more limited.

If you are currently unable to return to Québec, please note that your eligibility for Québec health insurance will not at all be called into question during the pandemic. If you wish to check your eligibility during your absence, we invite you to contact us.

We strongly recommend that you check with your private insurer about the terms and conditions of your coverage while you are temporarily outside Québec. Some insurers have taken special measures due to the current pandemic. Please remember that RAMQ offers minimal coverage for services received outside Québec. By checking your coverage with your private insurer, you could avoid some unpleasant surprises if you need to later file a claim. For further information on health coverage outside Québec, refer to our webpage Know which services are covered outside Québec.

Foreign workers and students in Québec: Health insurance coverage

Given the current exceptional circumstances, RAMQ will maintain your health insurance coverage, as well as that of the persons accompanying you, as the case may be.

If the permit authorizing you to be in Canada temporarily expires soon, contact Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada to find out about renewing your right of residence in Canada.

If you have applied to have your work permit renewed and have an acknowledgment confirming that you did so before the expiry of the previous permit (meaning you have a legal status), you can renew your registration with RAMQ. Please call us to obtain the required form.

Call us also, if due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you have obtained a new open work permit instead of an employer-specific permit.

Given the current exceptional circumstances, RAMQ will maintain your health insurance coverage, as well as that of the persons accompanying you, as the case may be.

The Québec government has extended the validity of certain Québec acceptance certificates from April 30, 2020 to December 31, 2020. In view of this decision, RAMQ may extend your coverage until December 31, 2020 without you having to submit a new certificate. However, we will require a new confirmation of enrolment from your educational institution. Contact us to obtain the required form. To extend your coverage beyond December 31, 2020, a new Québec acceptance certificate will be required.

Registration with the Public Prescription Drug Insurance Plan

Before you consider registering with the Public Prescription Drug Insurance Plan, check whether you still have access to your employer’s employee benefit plan. We invite you to contact your employer or insurer as they alone can provide information on your situation. It is important to note that whether or not an employee benefit plan is maintained during a temporary lay-off depends on the applicable insurance contract.

If you still have access to your employer’s employee benefit plan, you cannot register with the public plan. In this situation, you may have to pay in full the cost of the premium.

If you no longer have access to your employer’s employee benefit plan and you do not have access to another private plan (e.g. through your professional order or association or through your spouse), you then have to register with the Public Prescription Drug Insurance Plan.

If you no longer have access to a private prescription drug insurance plan, you have to register with the public plan, using our online prescription drug insurance registration service or by calling our client relations centre.

Coverage under Public Prescription Drug Insurance Plan

Exceptionally, RAMQ has committed to maintaining the prescription drug insurance coverage of persons who were late in filing their 2019 federal tax return. This temporary measure will apply until Employment and Skills Development Canada sends us new information concerning your eligibility for the GIS. In any case, it will end on December 31, 2020 at the latest.

If Employment and Skills Development Canada notifies us that you no longer are to receive the GIS, your prescription drug insurance coverage will be modified accordingly. If applicable, you may have to retroactively repay a portion of the premium, as well as the amount RAMQ paid for your prescription drugs.

Prescription drugs authorized under the patient exception program or the exceptional medications program

Given the resumption of activities, we are ending the period of extensions for authorizations regarding the Patient Exception and Exceptional Medications programs as planned on July 15, 2020.

Exceptionally, if you have been unable to see your prescriber and we have not received a renewal request, your extension will continue until August 15, 2020. This is for those authorizations whose end date falls between July 15 and August 14, 2020. Certain exclusions apply. No additional extension will be granted after August 15, 2020. Pharmacists and prescribers have been notified. You will not be receiving a letter to this effect.