IFH provides temporary health insurance to refugees, protected persons and refugee claimants in Canada. This occurs when not yet covered by a provincial or territorial health insurance plan. The coverage is also for eligible dependants. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) delivers the program. FAS Benefits Administrators Limited (Vegreville, Alberta) administers the program. The General Inquiries contact is: (888) 242-2100.

You show the pharmacist your photograph-bearing document. It is called “Acknowledgement of Convention Refugee Claim”, or “Determination of Eligibility”, or “Certificate of IFH Eligibility.” You may see a code number on the document: IMM 1442. The coverage is one year at a time. You no longer need to renew this program annually. It will remain active until a decision has been made regarding your refugee claim. Once a decision has been made, your coverage will remain active for 90 days. If you have been denied and appeal this decision, your coverage will continue until the appeal has been heard. If you have been approved, you will need to apply for OHIP prior to the date that the 90 day grace period ends.

Sometimes patients with IFH also have Ontario Drug Benefit coverage. This can be confusing. Such patients get the ODB coverage only through Ontario Works or Ontario Disability Support Programs. Those are the two systems that provide ODB coverage without Ontario Health Insurance (OHIP). Whether IFH or ODB is used seems to make no difference.