Queen’s Park ON – The Ontario government is taking action to ensure Ontarians aren’t being charged extra fees to access health care services that are covered by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP).
Ontario is stepping up efforts to investigate potential illegal fees that health care providers charge patients for services that are insured by OHIP. In some cases where multiple complaints have been received, Ontario will immediately expand proactive investigations or spot checks. For example, extra fees charged at medical clinics and fees associated with cataract surgery and colonoscopies will be investigated.
A new 1-800 number and email address is available to any Ontarian who believes he or she has been illegally charged for an insured health service. Anyone can make a complaint or ask questions by calling toll-free at 1-888-662-6613 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition, all health care providers will be sent reminder notices to ensure they fully understand their legal obligations to provide equal access to services to all Ontarians – regardless of ability to pay, who they are, or where they live. In instances where there are found to be consistent patterns of extra-billing for insured services the government will look for opportunities to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law.
“The integrity of our publicly-funded health care system is vitally important and I want to work with all Ontarians to protect it. If you or someone you love has been charged for an insured medical service, please let us know by calling the toll-free number or sending us an email so that we can enforce the rules against extra-billing. I need your help to make sure our precious, universal health care system will be strong for years to come.”
– Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care
§ Ontario’s Commitment to the Future of Medicare Act (CFMA) was passed in 2004. It increased the government’s ability to take action when Ontarians were being billed for health services that are otherwise insured by OHIP.
§ There were 189 new investigations into illegal billing in 2010/11.
§ The government frequently works with Ontarians who have been unjustly charged and takes action to recover their money.
§ Since 2007, approximately $1.3M in illegal billing has been recovered, either through reimbursements or cancellation of charges.
Find out more about OHIP services.
Learn about which charges are valid, and which are not.