The healthcare system of Alberta is fairly simple to understand and similar to other provincial health care systems in Canada. With a bit of high-level guidance, you should have no problem finding the right type of healthcare for you and your family in the province of Alberta. Let’s show you around!
Healthcare in Alberta is administered by the Alberta Ministry of Health and Wellness. Medical care is delivered on behalf of the Ministry of Health by Alberta Health Services. Shared responsibilities include overseeing and funding Alberta’s health programs and medical services. Furthermore, Alberta is divided into five health zones, each with specific programs and services for that zone. Visit the Alberta Health Services web site to learn which zone you belong to.
The Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP)
The Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP) is Alberta’s provincial health care plan, guaranteeing universal access to medically necessary hospital and medical services. In addition to medical services, AHCIP covers a range of other services designed to meet special needs. To be eligible, you must be a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant and must not be present in Alberta for at least 183 days out of any calendar year.
Certain non-medically necessary procedures are excluded from AHCIP. These include (but are not limited to) cosmetic surgery, experimental procedures, routine dental care, eye examinations for those between the ages of 19 and 64, massage therapy, and prescription drugs.
In addition to domestic coverage, the AHCIP also provides limited coverage abroad. Albertans travelling out of Canada can have their doctor bills covered up to the amount of equivalent service in Canada, or what is billed, whichever is less. Be aware that medical expenses outside of Canada can be significantly more expensive, leaving you with a large bill. When travelling abroad, keep medical travel insurance in mind!
Prescription Drug Coverage
While AHCIP does not normally cover the cost of prescription medication, you may be eligible for coverage if you meet certain criteria. These include (but are not limited to) receiving income assistance from the Albertan government, being over the age of 65, admitted to a hospital or public long-term care facility, or receiving cancer care through the Cancer Board.
Health Link Alberta
Health Link Alberta is a nurse telephone advice and health information service available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To access Health Link, dial toll-free 811 within Alberta, or visit this website.
Alberta offers a wide range of healthcare services and assistance plans, many of which we have not touched on in this brief overview. These include services like palliative care, cancer care, mental health care, eldercare and disability support, and more. Novus is an excellent resource for you to learn in detail exactly what the Albertan healthcare system can provide for you. Find us here! We wish you the best of health!