Government to phase out red and white OHIP cards

February 12, 2020

January 9, 2020

News from the Ontario Ministry of Health


Government of Ontario Protecting the Health Care System from Fraud

Switching to Secure Photo Health Card is Easy and Free


Ontario is protecting the health care system against fraud by ensuring the final transition to a more secure photo health card. As of July 1, 2020, red and white health cards will no longer be accepted for Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) services.
“The advanced security features of the photo health card help protect our public health system and is another measure to improve value for taxpayers’ dollars,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “While there is no cost to convert or renew an Ontario photo health card, there could be significant costs by allowing red and white health cards, which could be used fraudulently, to remain in circulation. Each month, individuals using these outdated cards access up to $108 million in health services.”

Starting this month, individuals with red and white health cards will begin to receive letters letting them know that they will need to get a photo health card at a ServiceOntario centre before the July 1, 2020 deadline.

Photo health cards can easily be obtained for free at ServiceOntario by:

  • Bringing the right original documents (proof of Canadian citizenship or OHIP-eligible
  • immigration status; proof of residency in Ontario and proof of identity);
  • Completing a Health Card Re-Registration form ahead of time or by getting one at
  • ServiceOntario; and
  • Visiting a ServiceOntario centre.

For the complete memo on OHIP red and white cards (EN), please see here [PDF].