As a new immigrant to Prince Edward Island (PEI), one of your first jobs should be to apply for a PEI health card. This card is your record of your PEI health number and is proof of your eligibility for free PEI health care.
This post will give you an overview of the Canadian and PEI healthcare systems and explain in simple terms how to apply for a PEI health card.
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 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 PEI Health Card – The Basics
The following sections explain how to apply for a PEI health card, but some basic facts about the process are summarised below:
|PEI Health Care|
|Cost of Application||Free|
|Ongoing Insurance Cost||Free|
|Application Methods||Online or Mail|
|Processing Time||5 weeks|
|Wait Period (moving from outside Canada)||None|
|Wait Period (moving from within Canada)||2-3 months|
Who Is Eligible For PEI Health Care?
You are likely to be eligible for Prince Edward Island health care if:
- You are lawfully entitled to be or remain in Canada (e.g. Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or on a work permit) and,
- PEI is your primary residence for at least 6 months plus a day every year
International students may be eligible, but conditions apply.
Who Isn’t Eligible For PEI Health Care?
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 PEI health coverage. However, you will still receive coverage from your home province while in PEI.
What Is The Wait Period For PEI Health Care Coverage?
If you move to PEI from overseas, there is no waiting period for coverage, and you should apply for your health cards as soon as possible after you arrive.
However, there is a wait time for people who move to PEI 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 PEI 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 A PEI Health Card?
To apply for PEI Health Card, you will need to prove your right to be in Canada with copies of the following documents:
- Canadian Citizen: Health card from the former province, front and back if applicable, or birth certificate
- Canadian citizen returning from another country: Canadian passport
- Permanent Resident: Confirmation of Permanent Residence document or both sides of Permanent Resident card
- International Student: Study Permit & proof of enrolment from a designated learning institution
- Working Visa: Immigration record
You will need to provide documents for all family members on your application.
How To Apply For A PEI Health Card
Many people will find that the easiest way to apply for a PEI health card is via the PEI Government website. You can complete the online application and upload copies of your documents. The estimated completion time is 15 minutes.
The alternative is to download an application form from the government website. You should complete this and submit it along with copies of your documentation to one of the following locations:
- PEI Medicare, 126 Douses Road, Montague, PE C0A 1R0
- Health PEI, 16 Garfield Street, PO Box 2000, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8
- Any Access PEI Centre
What Is Covered By PEI Health Care?
PEI health care will cover you for medically necessary healthcare services such as:
- Visits to general practitioners, surgeons and other doctors
- Hospital services
- Psychiatric care
- Drug & addiction programs
- Obstetric services
- Medically required diagnostic tests such as X-rays
- Laboratory services (e.g. blood tests)
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 Isn’t Covered By PEI Health Care?
PEI health care won’t cover you for the following services:
- Prescriptions (apart from during a hospital stay)
- Eye care
- Dental care
- Alternative treatments such as naturopathy
- Complementary treatments such as massage therapy and chiropractic services
- Cosmetic procedures
- Hearing aids
Assistance is available for prescription costs for some residents under the PEI Pharmcare scheme. Eligibility is income-based.
Many Canadians have private supplementary insurance for medical services that aren’t covered by the provincial plan. Employers often include supplementary health overage in employee benefit packages, or you can acquire your own coverage.
How Do I Register With A Family Doctor In PEI?
Once you receive your health card, you can register with any family doctor in your area accepting new patients. However, there is currently a shortage of family doctors in PEI, and you may have to wait to register with one.
If you have difficulty finding a doctor, you should sign up for the patient registry program.
If you need medical help in the meantime, you could visit a sit walk-in centre or call the PEI health line at 8-1-1 for advice.