Alberta Health Care is a publicly funded program that ensures its residents avail of financial aid to some extent. The good feature of AHCIP is that you can get medical services out of Alberta in Canada by showing an AHCIP card to the hospitals.

AHCIP offers eligible Albertans complete coverage for various dental and oral surgery procedures and the essential medical treatments that a doctor may prescribe you. You may have coverage of eye, auditory, paramedical and travel insurance, medical room and private staff services, and ambulance insurance under this program.

We will walk you through the application procedure for health insurance in Alberta and explain everything you need to get your AHCIP. Want to know more about Alberta Health Care? Stay tuned and know what is covered and what’s not under AHCIP. 

So, let’s get straight into it!

How Does Alberta Health Care (AHCIP) For Newcomers Work?

Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP) is responsible for providing medical care to all the citizens of the province of Alberta. AHCIP deals with the patient’s necessary treatments regarding dental, oral, facial, and many other ailments.

A patient’s personal doctor plays a vital role in guiding you about your major surgeries or important treatments. If you are under 18 or above 65, you can get several offers through AHCIP, such as specific dentistry, facial oral surgical health services, and eye analysis.

You must be eligible to own AHCIP as an Albertan. Before residing here, you must apply for an AHCIP card. In addition to AHCIP, you can also hold private health coverage. Your doctor prescribes those drugs or treatments that are covered under AHCIP.

What Does Alberta Health Care (AHCIP) Cover?

All qualified residents can get primary health coverage through AHCIP. This indicates that if you participate in this health program, you can avail of some offers; otherwise, you will not be able to. You can avail of these offers inside your resident province only.

You can take an overview of this coverage below: 


The Covered Treatments: Dental services include all types of dentistry, mouth-related oral treatments, and facial surgical procedures under AHCIP. The aged people with a hand-to-mouth living style and less income can avail of certain ins capped at $5000 per five years for approved treatments.

Uncovered Treatments: Routine checkups regarding dental ailments, including care, tooth filling, cleaning, and getting rid of the tooth, are not covered under AHCIP. You have to pay out of pocket for these procedures, irrespective of your health card.

Auditory Aids

The Covered Treatments: Alberta Aids to Daily Living (AADL) can provide you with 2 auditory aids for only one time in five years.

Uncovered Treatment: Surgical equipment, prostheses, medications, assistive devices, and other healthcare services are not included in the AHCIP. AADL is helpful in this case.


The Covered Treatments: AHCIP covers full eye checkups and half eye checkups for a year if you are under 18 or above 65. You can avail full checkup if you are between 19 to 65 years old. 

Treatment must be done under the guidance of your eye specialist in case of any damage to your eyes via any accident, medical illness, or other health condition. You can get additional advantages from the dental and optical program if you have less or an average salary.

Uncovered Treatments: If you are between 19 to 65 years old overseas, you can’t have your spectacles, lenses, laser surgery, and preventive services under AHCIP.

Prescription Drugs

The Covered Treatments: AHCIP deals with hospital-administered drugs. The above 65 citizens might get some sort of financial aid. You can avail of the non-group (private insurance card) insurance coverage if you are under 65.

You can get 30% off the medical bill if it costs about $25 under private health coverage. You have to pay about per month for non-group insurance for about $64 if you are a single person. For a family, it may go up to $118 per month.

Uncovered Treatments: The Alberta Health Care Insurance Program (AHCIP) doesn’t include prescription medications given outside of a hospital, along with several vaccines and travel-related vaccines.


The Covered Treatment: The AHCIP offers limited coverage to select podiatric treatments or foot care with the benefit of $250 annually. These sorts of treatments usually demand extra costs. If you are a low-income aged person, you can get the benefit of $200 annually with $25 per physiotherapy appointment. 

Psychological care may charge about $60 per appointment, and in this way, you will have a benefit of $300 per year. AHCIP covers physiotherapy only if your doctor has prescribed it and also if it’s necessary. 

Uncovered Treatments: If any doctor other than your own physician prescribes you any treatment, then AHCIP will not deal with it. 

Travel Insurance

The Covered Treatments: AHCIP covers travel insurance in two ways:

  1. Doctor’s Services

If you get medical care under insurance from a doctor outside of Canada, you will pay less than the original bill. It will be according to the amount that Alberta’s doctor would charge.

  • 2. Hospital Services

Your daily fee for a visit to a hospital is Canadian $100, excluding the day of departure from the hospital. Outside the hospitals, you can also get a checkup for $50 daily, with a daily visitation cap.

Uncovered Treatments: It will not cover services other than emergency treatments outside Canada. Travellers who leave Canada are highly advised to purchase travel medical insurance.

Medical Room

The Covered Treatments: AHCIP covers the administration of pharmaceuticals in the hospital, operation theatre, care centers, radiations, anesthesia facilities, regular surgical tools, physiotherapy, and ambulance service inside Alberta. 

Uncovered Treatments: AHCIP does not cover the trials and experiments in hospitals, auditory aids, wheelchairs or moving supports, and ambulance facilities. Some of these services can undergo Alberta Aids to Daily living.

Private Duty Medical And Nursing Supplies

The Covered Treatments: If you are a non-group insurance diabetic, you can avail of $600 per person coverage. It may include needles and syringes for insulin, glucose, and urine testing strips. 

You can get medically necessary nursing services by having staff in the home with the benefit of $200 per family annually. If you want to get braces, artificial legs, and hands, then you can get a 25% discount on the original bill under this program.

Uncovered Treatments: Alberta Health care does not cover wheelchairs for your personal use. The Alberta Aids to Daily Living program offers eligible citizens partial funding for essential surgical tools. You may have to pay by yourself for home-based care services.


The covered services: In case of any sickness, you can avail of several ambulance services, including effective therapeutic treatments and transitions from one place to other in Alberta under non-group health insurance. 

Uncovered services: AHCIP does not cover ambulance services; they are under hospital services. AHCIP may deal with inter-facility transitions.

Eligibility Criteria For Alberta Health Care (AHCIP)

  • You are eligible for AHCIP if you stay here in Alberta for at least 12 months with the approval of your lawful immigration. 
  • Secondly, you must show your presence for 6 months or 183 days of one year in Alberta to be eligible.
  • Moreover, you can not apply for residence or health coverage in any other province while living in Alberta.
  • You must hold the documents that Immigration, Refugee, and Citizenship Canada issues to avail of the AHCIP.
  • You must have entered Canada legally with the proper paperwork of immigration.

How To Apply As A New Immigrant For An Alberta Health Card?

We recommend that you register for health insurance under the AHCIP within 90 days or three months of your arrival in Alberta to avoid neglect of your health. Here are some easy steps you may follow for application:

  • Download the application form for health coverage.
  • Complete it by giving all the useful and appropriate information to avoid errors.
  • Attach all the necessary and required documents with the filled application form.
  • Send it via mail or go physically to hand it over to the authority.

Application Options For An Alberta Health Care Card

You can take one way between the three choices of either submitting in-person, online, or via mail:

In Person

You should hand the form to a registered person who has been allowed to do so. You have to present your original documents in front of him; he will analyze these documents and then will give them back to you on the spot.

If documents are imprinted in any language other than English, then the government-approved translator must have translated them. This translation must be imprinted there on your documents.

The bright side of on-site submitted applications is that the application has a processing time of 5 days only.


You can apply online by following the steps mentioned earlier. In this case, you have to fill this form online without taking a print of it. But we must advise you not to follow this method as there are chances of objection regarding your documentation as it requires factual verification and it must be done in person.

By Mail

If you choose this way, you must attach copies of the original documents rather than the original ones. The black side of this method is that the processing time for a submitted application is about six weeks.

Requirements For AHCIP Registration

You must be aware of the necessary documents attached to the application form. They may be:

-Documents of Alberta residency.

-Identification proof.

-Lawful and legal resident proof in Canada.

  1. Documents Of Alberta Residency.

You have to show the following proofs of your residency in Alberta:

  1. Identification Proof

Anything that is attested by yourself is proof of your own identity. You can check what the identification documents below are:

  • PR certificate or card.
  • Driving license of Alberta.
  • Attach an ID card that belongs to Canada.
  • Your citizenship card of Canada.
  • A passport.
  1. Lawful And Legal Resident’s Proof In Canada

It is crucial to distinguish between the legal resident’s proof and the other resident’s documentation. You must demonstrate your legal right to reside in Canada using this document. 

Moreover, proving your residency in Alberta is necessary for the evidence of legal residency in Canada. You can demonstrate your legal right to remain in Canada by using the following documents:

  • PR card.
  • Birth certificate according to your arrival in Canada.
  • Canadian passport.
  • Study or work permit.
  • Certificate of Canadian citizenship.

It’s important to apply for registration for AHCIP with all these documents. You can’t skip any! Make a list and tick mark simultaneously as you attach one.

How To Renew And Replace Your Alberta Health Care Card?

You run the danger of dropping your AHCIP coverage if you lose the availability of your Alberta Health Care card. It occurs when you move out of your province for the allotted 212 days per year. Also, you may face this situation if you do not inform the AHCIP office that you are going on vacation.

We must recommend informing the office about your transition to another province in any case, like getting married, having a child, or moving for any other purpose. Is this move going to be an extended one or short-term?

There may exist two chances in this case, you lose your AHCIP access:

Renewal Process

If you just got married, have your status changed, or your child is no longer a reliant one, you must get in touch with the local office of AHCIP. You have to file your claim to renew your AHCIP card.

Why are you going to modify your AHCIP membership? You can check out the following reasons:

  • To alter your name or address on the card.
  • To update or remove any family member.
  • To get your age verification.
  • To add a family member.

You must complete the documents and submit your claim of renewing your AHCIP card to the approved registration office. You can mail the application form and copies of the accompanying papers.

Replacement Process

If you lose or destroy your card, you have another choice, replace your AHCIP card. Just fill out the form, and you can mail it or submit it with the required documents to the registration office of AHCIP. 

Keeping Yourself Safe During Your First Few Months In Alberta

You have to wait three months to get your AHCIP card after submitting the application. But if you want to overcome this extended period, you must pay for this process.

It might be difficult to know the eligibility criteria for coverage or reimbursement during your initial frantic days in a new nation. You might get confused when you suffer an unexpected sickness or accident.

So what must be done in this case when you are without health insurance, and an unwanted situation comes your way? Do not get panic! As there are some precautionary measures that you must follow.

This precaution lies in holding your own private health card. Because it’s natural to have an ailment you haven’t thought to suffer in your life. So to handle any type of situation, you must be prepared.

The private health insurance card can cover those treatments that a public health card does not. So it’s up to you whether you want both or any single health card.

Check Out How to Get Healthcare Services in Alberta:


How Long Do You Live In Alberta To Get A Health Card?

You must stay here in Alberta for at least 183 days which makes six months to own a health card. You will lose your eligibility if you ever leave Alberta for any purpose. These 183 days are crucial for about one year.

After losing eligibility, you may have the chance to continue with this health card if you have stayed out of Alberta for 212 days out of 365 days. But you must have to inform the AHCIP office of this continuation.

Do Seniors Pay For An Ambulance In Alberta?

No! The aged people and seniors 65 or above do not pay the ambulance bills in Alberta. As these people have less income and cannot afford other expenses, the Canadian government facilitates them in this or another way.

Hence, the government or AHCIP deals with the complete payment of ambulance expenses of seniors. The seniors can avail of this exemption only if they enroll in the Coverage for senior programs.

How Much Does Alberta Health Care Cost Per Month?

Usually, Alberta Health Care Insurance Program covers all the necessary health treatments. But you must pay the costly bills if you do not hold any. The cost of health care in Alberta starts from $76.10 per month.

According to the Canada Health Act, Alberta offers publicly financed and managed healthcare programs. These programs ensure that all the residents have access to hospitals and other medical facilities to avoid any unbearable expenses.

What Happens If You Don’t Have Health Insurance And Go To The Hospital?

If you visit the hospital for emergency aid, then you will avail all the necessary and primary treatments even if you do not have health insurance coverage. Emergency Medical Treatment And Labor Act (EMTALA) ensures that all doctors and staff must provide lifesaving treatments to the patients.

If you do not have insurance, you will be responsible for paying the full amount to the hospital or any doctor. You must ask for expenses of a non-emergency treatment in advance. It is a good idea to make a phone call beforehand visiting.

You may also lookup specifics on the portal of a hospital because expenses may vary, and sometimes dramatically!

Final Thoughts

Health Care is among the most crucial factors in settling in Alberta. To have an AHCIP while living in Alberta, you must be eligible because it covers most medical and surgical appliances and services. It may seem difficult to apply, but obviously, it is not!

You can get AHCIP by following the simplest and easiest steps. You just need to know the rules specific to your area or province because every province oversees its health care system, like the Alberta health services.

It will be easier to apply if you list the steps. But still, if you face any hurdle due to some website errors or lack of information, you can discuss it with us on OnTheMoveCanada, and we will make sure to help you out in any way. Take care!