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Ontario Health Insurance Plan

OHIP Bulletins


Physician Services InfoBulletins

To:  Physician Services/Optometry Services

Published by:  Health Services Branch

Date Issued:  November 30, 2016

Bulletin Number:  4683

Re:  Social Assistance Proof of Eligibility – Elimination of Ontario Drug Benefit Card

PDF Version Portable Document Format


Effective December 1, 2016, most Social Assistance (SA) clients will no longer receive a paper drug card and will rely on their health card for access to publically funded SA services.

The Ministry of Community and Social Services (MCSS), jointly with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC), has taken steps to enable SA clients to use their Ontario health card to access drug coverage under the Ontario Drug Benefit (ODB) program. The intent of this change is to facilitate the elimination of the paper Drug Benefit Eligibility Card, except for cases where the SA client is not eligible for a health card. This change is part of MCSS’ service delivery modernization and efforts to streamline business and become substantially paperless.

With the elimination of the paper drug card, providers who have relied on this card for verification of SA eligibility, will need to use alternate forms of eligibility verification. Social Assistance clients may present their monthly Statement of Assistance or a paper drug card, for those who continue to receive one, as proof of eligibility. If a client does not provide alternate proof of eligibility, physicians can call the Social Assistance Verification Helpline, established by MCSS, to confirm eligibility (1-888-284-3928).

Questions about this change and initiative should be sent to MCSS via e-mail to: SASM-Q&A@ontario.ca


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