Health card deadline will not be extended, but you can still use it

Ontario’s health card renewal deadline is set for the end of February. Dilshad Burman with the province's response to calls for an extension.

By Dilshad Burman

Despite calls from senior’s and disability advocates, the Province of Ontario’s health card renewal deadline set for the end of February will not be extended, but a few accommodations are being made.

Health card renewal deadlines were extended at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020 and Service Ontario letters were sent out over the 2021 holidays informing people they must hold a non-expired card by Feb. 28.

In a statement to CityNews, the Ministry of Health said most Ontarians have been able to safely renew their health cards during the pandemic and it encourages everyone to do so as soon as possible.

However if you cannot manage to renew by the deadline, the ministry said “health care providers have been asked to continue to accept expired cards, and most people will continue to be able to use their health card to access insured health care services as they always have, despite the deadline.”

Advocates have been calling for alternates to in-person renewal, including an online process for all Ontarians who are able to do so, to ensure people can stay safe during the Omicron surge and avoid non-essential errands.

RELATED: It’s time to renew your Ontario health card; advocates call for deadline extension

Currently, the option for online renewal is only available to those with a valid driver’s licence and the province says it is working on making the online option available to Ontario photo ID holders. As of this month, those with a provincial photo ID can renew by mail.

The mail-in option also remains in place for people under 16 or over 80, those living in long-term care homes, and those who cannot visit a Service Ontario centre in person and have a medical exemption.

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