As a new immigrant to Nunavut, one of your first jobs should be to apply for a Nunavut health card. This card is the record of your Nunavut health number and is proof of your eligibility for free healthcare under Nunavuts’s Health Care Plan.
You will need to provide your health card whenever you need to access healthcare in Nunavut.
This post will give you an overview of the Canadian and Nunavut healthcare systems, and we will explain how to apply for a Nunavut 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 has an excellent healthcare system which provides free primary care to eligible residents. Healthcare is publicly funded and administered at the provincial/territorial level. The provincial/territorial systems operate on a similar basis, but there is some variation in coverage.
Your provincial/territorial plan will also provide basic coverage while travelling within other provinces and territories. However, if you move province permanently, you will need to re-register for healthcare with your new province.
How To Apply For A Nunavut Health Card – The Basics
Your Nunavut health card application can appear complicated, but it involves the following basic steps.
- Gather the required documentation
- Download or collect an application form
- Complete the application form
- Submit the application form and documentation photocopies via mail or email
- Your Nunavut Personal Health Cards will be mailed to you
The following sections explain these steps in more detail, but some basic facts about the process are provided below:
|Nunavut Health Care Plan|
|Cost of Application||Free|
|Ongoing Insurance Cost||Free|
|Application Methods||Via Mail or Email|
|Coverage Wait Period*||2-3 months|
Who Is Eligible For The Nunavut Health Care Plan?
If you are legally entitled to live in Canada and plan to make Nunavut your home for at least 12 months, you will be eligible for Nunavut health coverage. This also applies if you are on a temporary work or study permit, so long as you can prove you will be in the territory for at least 12 months.
If you are eligible, then 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 Nunavut resident on July 12th, your coverage will start on October 1st.
However, if you move from within Canada, you will continue to receive basic coverage from your previous province/territory in this interim period.
People moving from outside Canada won’t be eligible for any government coverage. In this situation, private third-party insurance would be the only coverage option for the first 2-3 months.
Who Isn’t Eligible For The Nunavut Health 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 Nunavut health coverage. However, you will still receive coverage from your home province while in Nunavut.
Also not covered are workers or overseas students whose stay in Nunavut is less than 12 months.
Are You Planning A Move To Canada?
Are you wondering whether to make the move and have endless questions?
We have the answers to these and many more questions.
We have the answer to these and many more questions.
What Documentation Will I Need To Apply For A Nunavut Health Card?
To apply for a Nunavut health card, you will need to provide 3 pieces of documentation:
- Primary ID which confirms your right to reside in Canada (e.g. birth certificate, Canadian passport, immigration documents)
- Secondary ID (e.g. driver’s licence, previous healthcare card, employment card)
- Proof of residence (e.g. employment contract, letter from employer)
How To Apply For A Nunavut Health Card
First, download and complete the application form.
Application forms are also available at all community health centres and nursing stations in Nunavut, the Qikiqtani General Hospital in Iqaluit, and the Health Insurance Programs Office in Rankin Inlet.
You should then mail the completed Nunavut health card form and photocopies of your documents to:
Department of Health, Health Care Registrations Department, Health Insurance Programs, Government of Nunavut, BOX 889 Rankin Inlet, Nunavut (NU) X0C 0G0.
Alternatively, you can send your form and documents via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
What Is Covered By The Nunavut Health Care Plan?
The Nunavut Health Care Plan will cover you for medically necessary healthcare services such as:
- Visits to general practitioners, surgeons and other doctors
- Hospital services
- Obstetrical care, including prenatal and postnatal care
- Medically required diagnostic tests such as X-rays
- Laboratory services (e.g. blood tests)
- Some ophthalmic services
- Medical travel assistance (where medically required services aren’t available in your area)
What Isn’t Covered By The Nunavut Health Care Plan?
Nunavut Health Care Plan won’t cover you for the following services:
- Annual physical exams between the ages of 10 and 65
- Prescription drugs (unless administered in hospital)
- Most optometric services
- Dental services, unless medically necessary
- Alternative treatments such as naturopathy
- Complementary treatments such as massage therapy and chiropractic services
- Podiatry services
- Cosmetic procedures
- Ambulance services (apart from inter-hospital transfers)
- Alcohol and drug rehabilitation
Additional Health Coverage Options
There are two other government programs that provide coverage for services not covered by the Nunavut Health Care Plan. These are:
Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB)
Non-Insured Health Benefits is a government program offered to eligible Land Claim Beneficiaries. It helps to pay for some costs not covered by the Nunavut Health Care Plan.
Extended Health Benefits (EHB)
EHB is another government program covering Nunavummiut diagnosed with specified conditions, non-aboriginal seniors of 65 years of age or older, and medical travel for individuals (conditions apply).
The final option is 3rd party supplementary insurance. This private coverage is often included in employee benefit packages, or you can acquire your own coverage.
How Do I Find A Family Doctor In Nunavut?
You can find details of doctors and medical facilities in your area using the Government of Nunavut Health Facilities Map. Click on your community on the map, and the tool will show details of facilities in your area.