Changes to OHIP take effect: What you need to know

The front entrance of Ontario's Legislative Building at Queen's Park. Nick Westoll / File / Global News

Changes to the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) are now in effect, leaving several services unfunded for coverage.

Those changes come after recommendations from a physician-led group reviewed coverage for OHIP insured services.

In August, the group delivered 11 recommendations regarding tests and procedures to Health Minister Christine Elliott.

Elliott and the Ontario Medical Association accepted the changes.

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The Ontario government insisted the updates to OHIP will improve the quality of patient care.

However several previously covered services have now been de-listed.

Some of the changes include:

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  • De-listing imaging for most sinus problems
  • Loop recorders used for the monitoring of heart disorders will no longer be covered as the physician-led group claims the devices are an outdated form of technology
  • OHIP will continue to fund more effective testing to diagnose infertility, but post-coital testing of cervical mucous will no longer be covered
  • Patients who ask their doctor to remove ear wax when it’s not medically necessary may be required to pay
  • Dipstick urine pregnancy tests performed in a physician’s office will only be covered by OHIP when its imperative to determine pregnancy to prevent patient harm
  • Physician premiums for house calls will be only be covered for frail and housebound individuals

The Ontario Ministry of Health claimed the changes will save taxpayers an estimated $83 million. As of January 1st, 2020 Ontario residents will no longer be eligible for up to $400 per day for out-of-country hospital care, this decision was made independently by the government and was not part of the recommended changes by the physician-led group.

The government has posted a full list of changes on its website. Click here.

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