Québec residents benefit from insured healthcare services and products under the Health Insurance Plan, as well as prescription drugs if they have registered for the Basic Prescription Drug Insurance Plan.
Health Card – Carte Soleil
To get your health card or for more information about the Québec Health Plan, contact the Québec health insurance Board (RAMQ – Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec) at 418-646-4636 (press 2 for English) or go to www.ramq.gouv.qc.ca/index_en.shtml.
- To qualify for a health card, you must be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident who lives in this province for 183 days of the year. You cannot get a card if you are a visitor, tourist, or student from another province.
- If you have just moved here from another province or country, you should apply for your card right away. You will not immediately qualify for Québec health insurance; however, you will be eligible for coverage after a three-month waiting period. Until then, your previous province will cover your medical services. You may have to pay for services up front then request to be reimbursed by your former province. If you are from another country, it is highly recommended that you have private health insurance coverage during the waiting period, as you will not be reimbursed by the Régie for any expenses incurred.
Prescription Drug Plan
Everyone must be covered by prescription drug insurance. Two types of insurance plans offer this coverage: private plans (group insurance or employee benefit plans) and the public plan, (administered by the Régie de l’assurance-maladie du Québec). If you have access to a private plan, you must choose that plan. Otherwise, membership in the public plan is required.
In order to receive services covered by the Health Insurance Plan and Public Prescription Drug Insurance Plan, you must present your valid health care card. Failure to present your valid card may result in you having to pay for the services you receive and then apply to the RAMQ for a reimbursement. There is a special form available for this purpose.
Service in English
Québec has an access program which entitles “English-speaking persons to receive health and social services in the English language…“. This means that some institutions have been specially chosen to provide services in English. NOT all of these places can, nor are they obligated to give services in English at ALL times. It depends on time and type of services you need; but, if you ask for service in English, you can expect that an effort will be made to refer you to a staff person who is able to help you well enough in English.
For further information about health and social services in English, you can call Jeffery Hale’s Community Services in English at 418-684-JEFF (5333) or visit their website at www.jefferyhale.org/en. For more information about the Ministry of Health and Social Services visit www.msss.gouv.qc.ca/en.
811 – Info-Santé
Info-Santé is a telephone information and advice service that has nurses responding to health and well-being concerns 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A Simple 3-digit number (811) is used for the entire province of Québec.
911 – Emergency Services
911 will connect you with emergency services. You may have to ask for English services because there is no dial option to choose French or English.