I don’t have health insurance right now


March 28: I receive letter from OHIP saying, “Remember! You won’t have health insurance after April 30th because your card has expired. Come to a Service Ontario place with proof that you’re an Ontario resident and renew it.”

March 29: I call OHIP and explain that I have no such proof, since I work/study/pay taxes/live in Québec now. I’m actually not allowed to go on RAMQ, since I’m still a full-time student from Ontario. They tell me that in that case, I should just get proof from my school, and OHIP will extend my health insurance again. I say I can’t do that, because I haven’t actually been formally registered for next year.

OHIP’s recommendation: let my OHIP lapse and apply for RAMQ anyway. Just don’t mention that I’m a student. I call RAMQ. They say I can apply for RAMQ once my OHIP coverage ends.

May 2: Finally get instructions on how to apply from RAMQ. Assemble all the documents they tell me to.

May 7: Go to the CLSC; submit documents.

May 20: I receive an envelope from RAMQ that does not contain a health card. Rather, it is a letter indicating that RAMQ wasn’t satisfied with the documents that I provided, even though I went to the CLSC in person and specifically asked whether I had submitted everything necessary to make sure that this sort of thing wouldn’t happen.

May 30: Go back to CLSC, hand in more documentation.

June 5: Finally shine a flashlight into the back of my mouth to investigate the sore throat that I’ve had for a while that hasn’t gotten better. Tonsils swollen; little white spots on tonsils; headache; high temperature; difficulty swallowing; no health insurance.

I call Info-Santé so I can talk to a nurse. She says I might have strep throat, but there’s no way that I can get any treatment for it until I see a doctor who has to do a culture of a swab of my throat. I call the Montréal General emergency room. They tell me it would cost $750 just to visit the emergency room. I am currently investigating alternate means of obtaining penicillin. Buying traveller’s health insurance and then taking a quick trip to the States has not been ruled out yet.

June 6: As soon as the RAMQ office opens at 8h30, I’m gonna call them and see if I can get a temporary number or something so that I can see a doctor.


    title = {I don’t have health insurance right now},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2011-06-6,
    url = {https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/06/06/i-dont-have-health-insurance-right-now/}


Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "I don’t have health insurance right now" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 06 Jun 2011. Web. 22 Mar 2019. <https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/06/06/i-dont-have-health-insurance-right-now/>


Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2011, Jun 06). I don’t have health insurance right now [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/06/06/i-dont-have-health-insurance-right-now/

3 responses to “I don’t have health insurance right now”

  1. Morty says:

    Beware of travelers insurance. It may not cover existing conditions and will likely only cover the cost of stabilizing you and shipping you back home.

  2. Murph E. says:

    Yeah the traveller’s insurance idea was more a joke than anything.

    I called RAMQ just now. They can fax me a temporary card. Yes, fax, and only fax.

    Who in the year 2011 uses a bloody fax machine?

    Turns out the pharmacy across the street from me does. They say they’ll call me when my temporary card arrives. As soon as it does, I’m going to my family doctor.

    Oh wait. I don’t have a family doctor. I forgot. We don’t have doctors in Canada. Just waiting lines.

  3. Pickles says:

    I just got over strep throat – weird.

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