Doly Begum MPP, Scarborough Southwest

Government of Ontario

Switching to a photo health card

If you still use a red and white health card, it’s time to easily replace it with the more secure photo health card. There are still 300,000 of the old health cards still in circulation, that's about 2% of all health cards.

As of July 1, 2020, red and white health cards will no longer be accepted as proof of Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) coverage for insured health services. Doing so will help protect Ontario’s health care system against potential fraud.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Bring the right documents. Bring your red and white health card and three separate documents – one from each of the following categories:
    • proof of Canadian citizenship or OHIP-eligible immigration status, such as a Canadian passport, Canadian birth certificate or permanent resident document
    • proof of residency in Ontario, such as a driver’s licence
    • proof of identity, such as a credit card or utility bill
  2. Download, print and complete a Health Card Re-Registration Form
    • bring this to a ServiceOntario centre
  3. Visit a ServiceOntario centre near you

If you have a valid address on file, you will receive a letter in the mail asking you to switch to a photo health card. If you get a letter, please follow the instructions in it. All red and white card holders must make the switch before July 1, 2020.

See the full list of acceptable documents for each category. All three must be originals – photocopies or printouts will not be accepted.

No fee

It’s free to switch to a photo health card.

Medical exceptions

If you can’t visit a ServiceOntario centre for medical reasons, a physician or nurse practitioner must complete a Health Card Medical Exemption Request form for you. You can have a friend, family member or someone else bring the completed form, along with your required documents, to a ServiceOntario centre.

Change your address

Make sure your address is up to date. You can’t do this through your health care provider or by updating information for another government service or document, such as renewing your driver’s licence.

Change your address by:

  • going online (as a red and white cardholder, you’ll need to give the postal code for your previous address)
  • visiting a ServiceOntario centre
  • mailing a completed change of address form to the following:
    • ServiceOntario
      PO Box 48
      Kingston, ON K7L 5J3

For help with this and any other provincial issue, you can also contact my office.