As a new immigrant to Newfoundland & Labrador, one of your first jobs should be to apply for a Newfoundland health card. This card records your Newfoundland health number and is proof of your eligibility for free healthcare under Newfoundland’s Medical Care Plan (MCP).
You must provide your Newfoundland health card whenever you access healthcare in Newfoundland. You will also need it when registering with a family doctor.
In this post, we will give you an overview of the Canadian and Newfoundland healthcare systems and explain how to apply for a Newfoundland health card in simple terms.
For more information on Canadian health care and other provincial health cards, refer to our article on applying for health cards in Canada.
Canadian Healthcare – An Overview
Canada’s excellent healthcare system provides free primary care to eligible residents. Healthcare is publicly funded and administered at the provincial level. The provincial systems operate similarly, but there is some variation in coverage.
Your provincial plan will provide basic coverage while travelling within other provinces and territories. However, if you move province permanently, you must re-register for healthcare with your new province.
How To Apply For A Newfoundland Health Card – The Basics
The following sections explain how to apply for Newfoundland Health Card in more detail, but some basic facts about the process are provided below:
|Health Plan Name||MCP|
|Cost of Application||Free|
|Ongoing Insurance Cost||Free|
|Application Methods||Mail, Fax, Drop-Off|
|Processing Time||Approx 2 Weeks|
|Wait Period (moving from outside Canada)||None|
|Wait Period (moving from within Canada)||2-3 months|
* In-Person Applications Currently Not Available Due To Covid
Who Is Eligible For Newfoundland Medical Care Plan?
If you are legally entitled to live in Canada and plan to make Newfoundland your permanent home, you will be eligible for a Medical Care Plan or MCP Newfoundland.
Alternatively, you may be eligible if you are in Canada on a temporary work or study permit. However, you must prove that your stay is for at least a year and provide additional documentation.
Who Isn’t Eligible For Newfoundland Medical Care Plan?
If you are a student from another province or territory and plan to return to your home province after your studies, you won’t be eligible for MCP Newfoundland. However, you will still receive coverage from your home province in Newfoundland.
What Is The Wait Period For Newfoundland Medical Care Plan?
If you move to Newfoundland from overseas, there is no waiting period for coverage, and you should apply for your health cards soon after you arrive.
However, there is a wait time for people who move to Newfoundland from another province. In this situation, your coverage won’t start until the 1st day of the 3rd month following the date you became a resident.
For example, if you become a permanent Newfoundland resident on July 12th, your coverage will start on October 1st.
You will continue to receive basic coverage from your previous province or territory in the interim period.
What Documentation Will I Need To Apply For MCP Newfoundland?
To apply for a Newfoundland Health Card, you must provide documentation to prove that you have a right to reside in Canada. Some acceptable documents are listed below:
- Unexpired Canadian Passport
- Canadian Birth Certificate
- Permanent resident card
If you are in Newfoundland on a temporary visa, you will need to provide the following THREE documents:
- Work or study permit valid for at least 12 months
- Valid passport
- Letter from university or employer
You can send original documents; photocopies will also be accepted.
How To Apply For A Newfoundland Health Card
You can download an application form to apply for a Newfoundland health card from the NL government website. The completed application (along with your documents) can then be mailed, faxed or dropped off at either of the following locations:
Grand Falls-Windsor Office: MCP
22 High Street, PO Box 5000
Grand Falls-Windsor, NL, A2A 2Y4
Telephone: 709-292-4000 Toll Free: 1-800-563-1557 Facsimile: 709-292-4052
St. John’s Office: MCP
45 Major’s Path, PO Box 8700
St. John’s, NL, A1B 4J6
Telephone: 709-758-1600 Toll Free: 1-866-449-4459 Facsimile: 709-758-1694
At the time of writing, the above offices were closed for in-person applications due to COVID-19. However, both locations have drop boxes.
What Is Covered By Newfoundland Medical Care Plan?
MCP Newfoundland will cover you for medically necessary healthcare services such as:
- visits to a physician’s office, hospital or beneficiary’s residence
- surgical, diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, including anesthesia
- pre-and post-operative care
- complete maternity care
- radiology interpretive services
- Specific surgical-dental procedures which are medically necessary to be performed in a hospital by a dentist or oral surgeon
What Isn’t Covered By Newfoundland Medical Care Plan?
MCP Newfoundland won’t cover you for the following services:
- ambulance services or other transportation
- surgery for cosmetic purposes
- eye examinations for corrective lenses
- routine dental services
- services provided by chiropractors, optometrists, podiatrists, naturopaths, osteopaths, physiotherapists, nurses or other paramedical personnel
- sex change surgery, unless recommended by the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry
Although the Newfoundland Medical Care Plan doesn’t cover prescriptions, some people receive coverage under a supplementary Drug Prescription Program (NLPDP). These plans assist the following groups of people:
- Low-income families
- Those with especially high prescription costs
- Those with certain medical conditions
All of the above require additional applications to be submitted.
Finally, many Canadians have private supplementary insurance for medical services not covered by the provincial plan. For example, employers often provide supplementary health coverage in their benefits packages, or you can acquire coverage personally.
How Do I Register With A Family Doctor In Newfoundland?
Once you have received your MCP cards, you can register with a family doctor. You are free to register with any doctor who is taking on new patients.
If you need guidance, the Find A Doctor NL website provides details of doctors in NL who are accepting new patients.