SUBMIT A COMPLAINT

OHIP / HEALTH CARD RENEWAL DENIED

1 downtown hamilton, Hamilton, ON, CA Review updated:

I went to the OHIP office to renew my 13 month old daughters health card. First of all the only person that wass nice was the greeter who gives the numbers the rest of staff talk to you as if they are doing you a favour, Extremely Rude. I was asked to provide her birth certificate and her old health card. after providing her with all the information she did not accept her birth certificate because she was born in Texas and she asked me for her citizenship card and said there is no way to get a health card without a Canadian citizenship card. I asked her how did you guys give her a health card the first time. she said.. they made it an exception to give me time to obtain a citizenship card as a proof that the baby resides in Canada. I think it was OHIPS job to tell me this when providing me a health card in the first place.. i was never told anything. This is lame I'm a canadian citizen I live here and i pay every god damn tax they throw at me and if I have a health card.. my wife has a health card and some next dude who is doing drugs and getting free checks from government every month has a health card.. i think my 13 month old daughter deserves one too. I have no problem obtaining her citizenship card but the process takes 10 months.

So
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Comments

  • Ta
      Sep 23, 2009

    Amen brother. They are pretty rude and ignorant, especially at the Hamilton office. You need to jump thru more hoops to get a health card, than you do to get a mortgage for a home.

    +1 Votes
  • Ta
      Sep 30, 2009

    Amen brother. They are pretty rude at every office that I've been to over the past decade. When my health card expired 5yrs back, my circumstances were such that I was unable to renew it right away. Since then I've been in and out of ohip offices, but since I don't have a drivers license or passport, they refused to re-issue my health card. I walked in for the umpteenth time today and the demon at the front counter tried her best to send me back home. I had all the documents that I could muster to prove my citizenship, residency and identity but she insisted that I needed a drivers license or passport. And she tried her level best to deny my request to speak to a manager. She relented finally when I lied to her that I thought I could be pregnant and finally granted my request. So today, after 5 long years, I have a piece of paper that entitles me to the health coverage that I've been paying through my nose for, all these years...

    +1 Votes
  • Na
      Oct 13, 2009

    My parents who are canadian citizens and have been living with me for almost 7 years. They were denied coverage because they overstayed out of country one time. Now every prove I give them that they live here with me in Ontario is not enough. So far I have sent MOH hundreds of documents but to no avail. Health care is a right of every Canadian. They are not doing any favours by providing you with the healthcare. I am looking for a lawyer to sue the MOH as denying access to healthcare to Senior citizens is almost criminal in my mind. Also there are so many departments created inside the MOH which deal with the review process. I think its a waste of tax dollars as these departments as they take months to process a single file. These departments and people taking handsome salaries should be audited to make sure they are skimming on the tax payers money and not producing any results. I honestly think these departments were formed just for the sake of creating jobs inside the MOH.

    +1 Votes
  • Ja
      Nov 16, 2009

    Wow! Your stories about the Canadian health care system sound like an absolute nightmare. Yet our spawn of satan president, Obama and that hussy, Nancy Pelosi are trying to make our health care system in the U.S. mirror yours. Very very scary. Thank you so much for your input.

    0 Votes
  • Ou
      Feb 03, 2010

    This is the myth of universal healthcare for Canadians.

    The OHIP legislation apparently specifies that you are responsible for proving your eligibility for OHIP coverage. Basically you're guilty until proven innocent, and the staff know and take advantage of this. If they suspect you might be ineligible they'll go ahead and deny you. They know their system gives them the edge.

    In my case I didn't find out until 2009 my card had been deactivated in 2003 for having a mailbox as my mailing address (that year they had blindly done this to anyone with a mailbox mailing address who didn't respond to a letter they supposedly sent - I never did get mine even though I did get my T4's, taxes, courier shipments, bills, etc. that went to the mailbox). I'd actually used my card several times between 2003 and 2008 and no one had ever contacted me about it until I used it in 2009 (At one place in 2007 I even called them back for followup and wasn't told my health card had been deactivated). There isn't even an office where I live and I had to pay $15 to travel to another city to deal with them (I couldn't really afford it since I wasn't working and it was food out of my mouth, but I had to try and get it resolved). Supposedly they make regional visits, but when I asked about that I was told to come into the office (though they didn't tell me to bring in documents going back to 2003, which later became an issue and meant I'd wasted the money to go to the office).

    When I went to the office the person I dealt with was nice enough, but they called the Kingston office and I wound up speaking to an extremely rude person who insisted on treating me like a criminal. Since she seemed to have already decided I was a criminal trying to commit fraud, everything I said or did was apparently suspicious. At one point she even questioned me about having a driver's licence, somehow seeing it as proof I was trying to defraud the system. I was looking for a job and had hoped to find some labour work, where a driver's licence is often a plus (especially for construction work, or any sort of moving work), but even if that wasn't the case, how is having a government issued ID an indicator of trying to defraud OHIP? At one point she asked me a question I found so ludicrous that I scoffed. She mistook that as me laughing her off, informed me that fraud is no laughing matter and that she takes her job seriously and I shouldn't be laughing about it. I tried to calm her down and play nice even though I was thinking, "she's been treating me like a criminal for the past 10 minutes, completely misunderstood my so-called laughter, and she's worried about MY attitude?"

    As seriously as she thinks fraud is she doesn't mind defrauding the Federal Government of the money they've been paying Ontario with transfer payments for their share of my Health services since 2003 (I"ve been a resident of Ontario since 1994). As sure as she is that I'm not elgible and they were right to cut me off to begin with, and as seriously as she thinks fraud is, she doesn't think it's serious enough for her to actually press charges against me. Know why? They don't have to. They can just cut you off. They don't need to go to court and don't want to go to court - they know in court THEY have to prove YOU guilty instead of making you jump through their hoops to prove your innocence, er, I mean, eligibility. If a cop or prosecutor treated you like they treat you a judge would lace into them for wielding their power maliciously. I can't imagine how much of a windfall Ontario gets in Federal transfer payments for people who have been denied benefits, but are residents of Ontario.

    Unfortunately for me I was homeless for most of 2008 and 2009 (actually, one of the things that apparently proved my 'guilt' to the Kingston woman was that when my sister was ill in 2008 with an undiagnosed disease she sent me a bus ticket and I went to Saskatchewan for a month to take care of her and her place until she was finally properly diagnosed and treated and started getting better). I don't have any documents to prove residency in Ontario for 2008/2009, and perhaps not surprisingly to anyone who's been homeless, putting in my 2008 tax return wasn't a big priority for me since I knew I wouldn't be getting any money back. I sent more than 100 pages of documents to OHIP for [protected] including ones that showed I was a student in 2003 and tax reprints for [protected] (having been homeless I didn't have many originals so I got the reprints straight from the Canadian Revenue Agency and sent them in). Proving that they shouldn't have cut me off in the first place doesn't matter. Remember, you're guilty until proven innocent. I have to somehow provide phone bills, rent reciepts or something with an address for 2008 and 2009 (every 12 month period you must be able to prove 5 months of that was spent in Ontario - there is no onus on them to prove you weren't before cutting you off from the 'universal' healthcare you supposedly get as a Canadian, and for which Ontario's been getting funds from the Feds meant for my healthcare). Oddly enough Bell wouldn't hookup a telephone for me at the park bench, and though I asked I just couldn't get a rent receipt for that park bench either (stupid park slum landlords are never around). 4 Months later I still don't have coverage. Apparently while I was homeless I was supposed to have had the decency to make sure there was a papertrail for OHIP's sake, and not having done so means they must've been right all along.

    OHIP is a bad joke. You could be cut off and not know it. If you are cut off, good luck proving you're eligible. Like I said, I sent in 100+ pages of documents, but all it takes is a 7 month period in an 12 that they don't see proof for and they can cut you off. Will they return the transfer funds to the Feds? No. Ontario gets to keep that money even though it won't go for the purpose it was meant to.

    I will say this in regards to the attitudes of the workers, the person I dealt with in person was resonable and wasn't treating me like a criminal or being rude to me. She even suggested a course of action, but I didn't take it since it would've seemed suspicious to the person I'd been speaking to in Kingston and been seen as proof of the misguided suspicions (though it I had followed that advice I might have a health card by now). The person I dealt with in person had some compassion and empathy, unlike the person on the phone who I firmly came to believe had become emotionally involved in making sure I wouldn't be issued a card (made me wonder if she just didn't want to admit a mistake in deactivating my card in 2003 or what, though as far as I can tell there is no repurcussion for them if they do accidentally or even purposely cut off an eligible person). I also got the impression the Kingston worker had never known the darker side of life, or why people might need things like driver's licences even if they don't have cars. While I am happy for her if she hasn't seen the darker side of life or experienced poverty, some empathy, understanding, or at least the ability to realize one piece of missed mail doesn't and shouldn't brand a person a criminal/fraudster for the next 6 years should really be a requirement for anyone dealing with people when they're vulnerable and in need, as many OHIP applicants are.

    The don't seem to understand they're not doing us a favour by 'giving' us coverage. As residents of Ontario and Canada we are entitled to them. Instead of looking for excuses to deny us they should be trying to help us get the coverage we're entitled to.

    -1 Votes
  • Re
      Nov 18, 2010

    I just went to the OHIP office to get a new card for my daughter. The address in the "system" was wrong--it was our address from 8 years ago. This gave the clerk license to lecture me on the evils of not changing our address with OHIP. I pointed out that there was no address on the red and white card, and that no one--not the doctor's office or the government--had ever said that the address had to be changed. I also pointed out that I had never changed the address on the cards before, yet OHIP seemed to have my 2002 address, even tho I had a red and white card since it came out, sometime around 1990. She wanted me to get a new card too, but I refused to give up my red and white card. She said "why" and i said it's a huge hassel to get it renewed every few years. She said "a hassel?? To get FREE health care??" I said "yes, and by the way, it's not free unless you're on welfare. I pay huge taxes including a $950 health care premium." Well hat set her off! I got the lecture of my life on how health care is a privilege and I could be denied care. That is not true: health care is a right and as someone born in Ontario, living my whole life in Ontario, working and paying taxes in Ontario, I was entitled to it.

    Where do OHIP clerks get the idea they have a right to lecture people, treat them badly, be rude, obnoxious etc. and threaten to deny us health care just because their annoyed? This is really about the corporate culture--OHIP is obviously training people to do this. Also, the whole "change the address" thing is some new regulation they developed over the years that was not well advertised. How are people supposed to know this if they don't tell us?

    OHIP employees are badly trained and given way too much power. Something has to change here.

    -1 Votes
  • Ot
      Dec 09, 2010

    So went to the health card office only to be told I have to prove I'm a Canadian citizen, cause you know apparently I'm Mexican. They think in the past 2 years I could have somehow went to another Country (without a passport) And magically became a citizen there. You know what... [censor] YOU. I'm 18th generation Canadian, I shouldn't have to prove [censor] all to you,

    My grandfather was a major in WW2, not for you to sit in your little comfy [censor]ing desk and tell his grand daughter how not [censor]ing Canadian she is. This was probably the most insulting conversation I've ever had with someone and when I do bring in my tax form to prove I'm a citizen I'm also bringing in my family tree, to show you not only am I [censor]ing Canadian but my family was one of the founders of your little [censor]ing country [censor]. I'm 100x the Canadian you'll ever [censor]ing hope to be. [censor] the government they are stupid. Watch who the [censor] you call a Mexican

    I'm a 21 year old Canadian citizen, pregnant and they refuse to give me my card, [censor] the Canadian government I'll just pay for the pills out of my own pocket rather than listen to some [censor] insult my dead grandfather who fought so she could have her [censor]ing freedom.

    -2 Votes
  • Oh
      Feb 09, 2011

    Jesus christ you people [censor] a lot. "Boo, I get free healthcare it's SOO annoying to have to prove to the government that I'm actually entitled to it!" Let me get this straight: the OHIP office did you a favour by letting you insure your daughter even though she was not a Canadian citizen (because you know, despite what you may think the government doesn't really want your child to die) and you're complaining about it? It's YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to make sure you get the necessary documents before you show up at the office. Then again, since you can't read a simple sentence such as "proof of citizenship required" this might be a bit too much to ask for you.

    To all the U.S. sympathizers: you know how much the Americans spend on healthcare? 15% of their GDP. You know how much Canada spends? 10% of our GDP. "But wait!" you say, "how can this be true? The Americans don't even have universal coverage!" That's right. They pay $2, 700/person, we pay $2, 200/person. We cover *every single citizen and permanent resident* while the Americans pay *more* and that's just for the vets and the elderly!

    "When my health card expired 5yrs back, my circumstances were such that I was unable to renew it right away. Since then I've been in and out of ohip offices, but since I don't have a drivers license or passport, they refused to re-issue my health card."

    Hint: YOU know that you are a citizen, but how do they? Are you seriously suggesting that we just give out healthcards to everyone who asks for one, without requiring identification? No? Then STFU and come back with your driver's license. Or Passport. Or Citizenship Card. Note the 'or'. It's not that [censor]ing complicated.

    "Wow! Your stories about the Canadian health care system sound like an absolute nightmare."

    See what I wrote above. You're already paying more than we do for healthcare, but you don't get any of the benefits. I bet you're real proud of that. Keep in mind these horror stories that you're reading are people saying "I went to the office, asked for a healthcard but didn't bring any ID. They didn't give it to me! Canada sucks!"

    "They were denied coverage because they overstayed out of country one time. Health care is a right of every Canadian. "
    That's right, of every CANADIAN RESIDENT. You can be out of the province for up to 212 days every year. If you're out of province more often than that, what do you need OHIP coverage for?

    "I'm a 21 year old Canadian citizen, pregnant and they refuse to give me my card, [censor] the Canadian government I'll just pay for the pills out of my own pocket rather than listen to some [censor] insult my dead grandfather who fought so she could have her [censor]ing freedom."

    That's what's wrong with our generation. You think the rules don't apply to you. Tell me love, what does your grandpa have to do with this? Did Stephen Harper personally descend from his golden throne and kill him in his sleep? No? So what's your problem with the government?

    Let's play "a day in another person's shoes". I know it's hard, but stretch your mind a little. Let's pretend that you're an employee at the ServiceOntario office, listening to [censor]s [censor] at you day in and day out. A 21-yo chick walks up to you and says "I need a healthcard" "Can you show me the three pieces of identification that are required from everyone to get a healthcard?" "No." "I'm very sorry, bu--" "MY GRANDFATHER WAS A VET YOU LITTLE [censor]ING COUNTRY [censor] FOUNDING FATHERS ENTITLEMENT ENTITLEMENT I'M ALSO PREGNANT SO GIMME GIMME GIMME". Would you want to help that person? Yeah, me neither.

    For all the posters above, let me give you a step by step guide of making your health card renewal day go smoother:

    1) Google "what documents do I need to bring to get my healthcard".
    2) Gather them.
    3) Did you gather them? No? Go back to Step 2.
    4) Go to the office.
    4. a) check your attitude at the door. Yeah, I know it's obvious but reading all of your posts I think it merits a mention
    5) Renew health card.

    You're welcome.

    +2 Votes
  • Ih
      Mar 02, 2011

    What the [censor] is wrong with you?
    Did you read the URL of this web site?
    It's for COMPLAINTS!
    Why are you at this web site? To complain about complaints?
    Are you a government employee? With the Ministry of Health or Service Ontario?
    Are you Stephen Harper?
    Stop wasting tax dollars surfing the net!

    0 Votes
  • Ih
      Jul 22, 2011

    I tried to forget the idiocy I had to endure, but additions to this thread are emailed to me. So, here I am again.

    Hamilton is mentioned more than once in this thread. My nightmare was at the Ottawa office. My OHIP card had expired several years ago. I tried to renew it only because I broke a bone in my hand. I had brought all the documents which I thought would suffice. But, after looking at the relevant documents, the OHIP clerk sat there flipping and peering through the blank pages of my recently renewed passport for what seemed like 15 minutes to me at the time (like a cop trying to make a perv nervous and admit to something?). So I uttered some impolite words under my breath. A security guard then appeared behind me within seconds as if out of thin air. I demanded to see the supervisor. The supervisor told me to bring earlier cable bills, that they would suffice. So, I went back home, then returned with a stack of bills (what if I had been one of those who don't get paper bills?) This time, contrary to what his supervisor had ordered, the clerk demanded to see my tax returns. More epithets came out of my mouth, and, again, I demanded the supervisor. She cleared up the situation within minutes. I now have a valid OHIP card. Big Deal.

    About 10 years ago, my wife waited 12 hours sitting in emergency (Ottawa) until she fainted from exhaustion and pain. Only then, was she taken to surgery. Last year, she was told by her PCP that she'd get a surgery date for carpal tunnel syndrome. After more than 18 months, there is still no date, and she's still living with pain. My stories are probably nothing compared to what others have endured.
    As Canadians, we have to keep quiet, not complain, and don't get sick, right?

    Everytime I see a complaint about the Canadian health system, I see retaliations that are venomous and louder. They invariably compare the Canadian system to that of the US.

    The point is not whether the Canadian system is better or worse than another. The point is that there is lots of room for improvement!

    +1 Votes
  • Ca
      Sep 03, 2011

    OHIP staffs are the rudest I have ever seen in Canada. They our ROBOCOPS.

    -1 Votes
  • Strongly agree with "I hate freeloaders and trolls" this service Ontario is joke... Like the health care it self in Canada "free" health care if you won't die in the emergency room waiting for a doctor to see you... As per Service Ontario employees I don't know who train them at all, but every time I visit the place I learn something new and not because the rules are changing in the government but because the clerks at Service Ontario making up some "###" rules that do not exist... It all should be done online like the driver license renewal ! My wife changed her last name when we got married... We had to change it on all of her ID cards passport etc... But when we went to Service Ontario couple of different locations every clerk made his own rule like: 1. "Oh, you have to change it on the passport first" 2. ""Oh, you have to change it on the Driver License first" 3. "Oh, we cannot do it all ?!?!?!" In the end we called the main office they told us that it should be no problem to do it, they basically laughed from all the excuses that the clerks gave us... Even though it was not so funny to us to go to Service Ontario 3 times for the same ###... We pay taxes pay for useless untrained clerks to sit in the Service Ontario locations across Ontario and give us attitude every time you come to get what you deserve... So no one do you a favor here as per "OhTheIrony" those clerks are just so useless they do not know what they are doing, at least 90% of them... And if they did something in your favor it's not because they like you or because the Government is so generous it's because those f...king clerks do not know what they are doing... The Government should train them more before they place them in Service Ontario locations and waste our taxes on there's salaries... I bet they do not make minimum wage...

    -1 Votes
  • Kh
      Mar 17, 2014

    I just found out that my health card was expired a year ago when I visited a doctor. I never got any notices to renew my card and there's barely any chance that I would have checked my health card unless I am SICK. I went to the service ontario office and the staff rejected to renew my card because I cannot prove my residency within last 3 months. I am a stay at home mom and no bills are under my name except my bank and credit card. They are also paperless statement so I asked the bank to give me the printed and stamped statement and they were also rejected because they were not ORIGINAL! I also gave them my notice of assessment from last year and my child tax benefit statement which shows that I have received all the universal benefit amount last year and the staff again said it doesn't PROVE that I was in Canada for last 3 months because I was out of country for like 5 days (to see my grandma in the states who was sick and passed away during the visit) last month. (There was no stamp of going out of Canada in the passport and there's only the entrance record when I came back from the states.) I am just speechless because I was never out of country for last 1 year except those 5 days! I even asked if I can show them my boarding pass and all and the staff said no. This is ridiculous.

    Besides all these, all the staff I have met so far(like 3 people) in the office in Yonge and Sheppard location, they seemed really annoyed by all these process and gave me the looks as if I was some kind of criminal who asks for free health card which should be the right any Canadians have!!! (One of the staffs even told me like I could have been to the states more than a year and like "where were you when your health card was expiring? You could have been out for more than a year and who knows?") VERY RUDE! I was very offended by their attitude who wouldn't try to help resolving this matter. I also had to go back and forth to the bank to get the statement because the first staff member told me to go ask the bank, came back there to only hear those are not acceptable (and I also had to travel 2 times to the bank in the extreme cold with my baby with me!!! To get the statement AND to ask for the original statement, which the banj said it's not possible to get the past original statement, only printed ones instead.)

    I never felt this offended in any of the government services and Service Ontario was the worst and rudest place I have ever seen in Canada.

    0 Votes
  • Ph
      Feb 08, 2015

    Be glad you don't live in Northern ontario. We have to drive over one hour to get a baby delivered while we have a big beautiful hospital right in our town. Go figure. Something so natural can't be handled locally. Northern Ontario hospitals are band-aid stations most people have lost faith and treat themselves too complicated to see specialists. They wonder why Northerners die younger"we have No doctors" that would do it. But that makes it cheaper.

    0 Votes
  • Ph
      Feb 08, 2015

    you would think it would be an easy process for renewal since they have all the info already. As for a picture " like no one has a camea these days. Stand there while i take your picture and here is your new card Mr. Ontario.

    0 Votes
  • Pe
      May 22, 2016

    After reading some of the very valid comments regarding the OHIP treatment, there just might be the possibility of a class action suit to change some of the ridiculous rules that they rely on to refuse health coverage to Canadian citizens. Perhaps the only way that OHIP will listen is if they are legally forced to change.

    0 Votes
  • Gr
      Sep 21, 2016

    My daughter was a student out of province, just recently graduated with her Bachelor of Science degree and is doing some travelling before she pursues her Master's. After working all summer in another province, she came back to my residence in Ontario to spend some time with family before she flies overseas. This requires several immunizations, which her student health plan, which we pay for, or OHIP, won't cover. Most of the expenses has come out of her pocket. She went to see her father's doctor and the receptionist told her she wouldn't be accepted if she didn't get a new health card. Her father won't relinquish his red and white card and has never been refused treatment. Both he and my daughter are diabetics and it is imperative for them to be seen regularly by a doctor and to check their blood sugar at least 3 x a day with testing trips, which also are paid for out of pocket. My daughter was already very stressed, after graduating from a very arduous program, packing up her apt; driving to another province to work hard all summer (a summer camp where she lived and worked 24/7), then driving to Ontario, having to get all these vaccinations co-ordinated (most of them aren't carried by doctor's offices, and have to be ordered through a pharmacy, which she had to do herself), get health insurance for her trip, and a myriad of other details she has to take care of, including working on a project she needs to get into her Master's program. It was over an hour for her to drive to her father's doctor's office; then she had to drive all the way back to the Service Ontario office in my home town, where they wouldn't accept her driver's license as I.D. because it doesn't have an Ontario address! She will be getting her Master's out of province and doesn't have an official Ontario address because she is in transition. She tried to explain her situation to no avail. She had to then go to the Post Office to get some kind of verification that she is using my home (for which I pay a fair chunk of taxes for, plus all the taxes and other costs associated with the business I run from it) as a temporary address. After finally getting a slip of paper from Service Ontario with what is supposed to be her new health card #, she now has to take another trip all the way back to the doctor's office just to be seen. I couldn't believe they would make her go through all this, when her father's red and white health has always been accepted, and both he and I could have easily vouched for her; as we have plenty of vailid Ontario I.D. and pay plenty of taxes. One of the ironies of all this is when my daughter had to go get bloodwork; the lab is at the Rehab centre, where she had to wait with all the local addicts and derelicts who I know are being subsidized through my tax dollars! How many of them use homeless shelters or are transient or are of "no fixed address"? Yet they treated my daughter as if she had done something criminal, and if she didn't hand in her red and white card, she would be penalized by not getting the vital care her condition requires, plus not be able to get the vaccinations she needs for her trip. Which she so absolutely deserves after working so hard for 5 years to get a decent educatio; and has always been a law abiding, productive, tax paying member of our country, wherever she lives. She's always had a job and already pays taxes and E.I., etc; including a few stints with Federal govt. depts.; for which hefty tax deductions were made, and after all was said and done, she barely made minimum wage - if that's what they do to Service Ontario employees, maybe that's why they act the way they do! Just another outraged taxpayer.

    0 Votes

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