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Sunday, May 29, 2016

Applying for a Saskatchewan Health Services Card (also called "Health Card") is the first step to getting provincial medical coverage.  Learn about who is eligible, how to get your card, Saskatchewan’s health system and what medical services are covered.

Who is Eligible for Coverage

If you are a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident/landed immigrant and you make your home in Saskatchewan, and you are ordinarily present in the province for at least six months of each year, you are eligible for Saskatchewan health coverage.  If you are not a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident/landed immigrant but are in Saskatchewan under either a Study Permit, a Work Permit or a Minister's Permit issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, you may be eligible for all health benefits and programming normally available to permanent residents of the province.  You can contact Saskatchewan Health Registration for free at 1-800-667-7551 to discuss your eligibility.

If you move from another province to Saskatchewan, there are also rules affecting coverage.  For more information, visit Moving to Saskatchewan.  In all cases, it is necessary to apply for a Saskatchewan Health Services Card, which is free. 

To find out when health coverage begins, visit Special Classes of Newcomers.

Saskatchewan Health Services Card

To register for Saskatchewan health coverage, you need to apply for a Saskatchewan Health Services Card.  There is no cost to apply.  You are the only one who can use your Health Services Card. 

Information and application forms are available at eHealth and from the offices of administrators of towns, villages, rural municipalities.  You can also call 787-3251 (Regina residents) or 1-800-667-7551 (Toll Free) to have a form mailed to you.

You should apply for your card as soon as you arrive in Saskatchewan.  Your spouse or partner and all dependents under the age of 18 who live with you in Saskatchewan can be covered.  You must apply for a Health Services Card for each person and they must also meet the eligibility requirements.  If they are in Canada as visitors or tourists, they may not be eligible for coverage.  Please check with Saskatchewan Health Registration (1-800-667-7551).

Dependents over the age of 18 must apply for their own Health Services Card and must meet the eligibility requirements.  Dependents over the age of 18 who are full-time students in another province may be eligible for Saskatchewan health coverage.  You will need to advise Saskatchewan Health Registration that they are living outside Saskatchewan to attend school.  The education facility will have to confirm that they are a student.

Health Card ImageIf your application is approved, you will be sent a small, plastic Health Services Card in the mail approximately one week before your coverage effective date.

Some immigrants will have some free services under the Interim Federal Health Plan before they get their Health Services Card. 

You must show your Saskatchewan Health Services Card when you visit a doctor, seek other treatment covered by Saskatchewan Health and get prescription medication.  No one else can use your card.  Your Health Services Card has your name, health number and birth date on it.  It is important to keep it safe.

Health Services Card Application provides the application form and a list of identification documents you need.

If you move, you need to inform Saskatchewan Health Registration of your new address.  You can use ExpressAddress to let various government agencies know about your new address.  Just go to ExpressAddress and follow the instructions there.

If you lose your card, you will need to tell Saskatchewan Health Registration immediately and ask for a new card.  You can obtain a card by calling this free phone number from anywhere in Saskatchewan: 1-800-667-7551.

Saskatchewan's Health System

Newcomers to Saskatchewan have access to a publicly-funded health care system which provides basic medical care for eligible Saskatchewan people without direct cost to them.  Saskatchewan Health is the government ministry that is responsible for health care services.  Basic services are meant to help people stay healthy and treat them when they are sick.  Saskatchewan has some of the best medical centres and technologies in the world.  Medical programs and services are delivered throughout the province with the help of many service partners in the Saskatchewan Health Regions.

If you have a particular medical problem and are receiving treatment, it is a good idea to bring copies of your medical records and an English translation of them with you to Saskatchewan.  This will help doctors in Saskatchewan understand your health problem better, although diagnosis and testing may be done in Saskatchewan again.

Saskatchewan health coverage provides for certain kinds of medical treatment.  Some people choose to purchase extra medical coverage through a private Health Insurance Plan.

Basic Medical Care

Saskatchewan health coverage includes basic diagnosis of medical problems and essential medical treatment by specialists, physicians, surgeons and some other healthcare professionals.  For example, staying in the hospital costs about $750 a day in Saskatchewan.  The cost of having a baby in a hospital in Saskatchewan is about $3,500.  With Saskatchewan Health coverage, there is no charge to you or your family.  If you want to have your children immunized to protect them from diseases, it does not cost you any money.

Health LineYou can also ask for medical advice using a free, confidential HealthLine 811 answered by professional registered nurses 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Over-the-phone interpretation services are available.  If you have problems hearing, please call 1-888-425-4444 to use HealthLine.

Some services are only partly covered, for example, ambulance services.  People must pay for other services, such as dental work, purchase of prescription medicine and purchase of eyeglasses.  Saskatchewan Health has medical plans that pay some of these costs for lower-income families, seniors and people with disabilities.  Some examples are drug coverage and a senior’s drug plan based on income, dental care and help buying eyeglasses or hearing equipment.

For more information about what services are covered, call 1-800-667-7766 or visit Prescription Drug Plans and Health Coverage.

Extended Health Benefits

Saskatchewan’s medical system covers the cost for basic medical care.  You can also choose to purchase a private health insurance plan.  Buying insurance means you buy a membership in the plan and pay a regular fee.  Health insurance plans vary, but usually pay for services such as dental care, eyeglasses and ambulance trips for you, your spouse and family.  These are called extended health benefits.  Health insurance companies are listed in the Yellow Pages of your telephone book.  Many employers offer private health plans for their employees.  Employees often pay a fee that is deducted from their pay.

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