Health Care Coverage

Why Health Care Coverage is Important

Health care coverage serves as proof of eligibility for an individual to receive publicly-funded health services. Without valid health care coverage, individuals may be required to pay for health services beforehand. It is a good idea to carry your health insurance card with you at all times.

A valid health care card can also be used as proof of identity. Most health care offices will ask for a valid health care card and picture ID for registration purposes.

Most health care offices will accept health care coverage from other provinces. Visitors from other provinces should always carry their health insurance cards while they are in Alberta. Visitors with Quebec Health Care (RAMQ) will have to pay for any health care services and submit for reimbursement.

Alberta Health Care Insurance

The Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP) is provincial health insurance that covers the costs of insured hospital and physician services in Alberta for all eligible Alberta residents.

Each individual has a personal health care number that is used to claim for coverage eligible medical services through the provincial health care system.

  • Canadian resident who resides permanently in Alberta.
  • An individual committed to spending 183 days in Alberta within a 12-month period.
  • Student with a 12-month study permit, who will be residing in Alberta for at least 12 months.
  • Canadian resident moving to Alberta for at least 12 months.
Invalid coverage

Your Alberta Health Care coverage may be affected for a number of reasons, including changes in:

  • address
  • marital status
  • child dependency status
  • Canadian immigration status
It is important to make sure you update your Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan as to any major life changes. If you are unsure as to why your Alberta Health Care number is invalid, please call the Alberta Health Care Information Line at 780-427-1432.
Temporary residents
Temporary residents from other provinces (who will be in Alberta for less than 12 months) and who plan on moving back home after their studies should maintain the health insurance coverage from their home province or territory. UHC can submit claims to your home province or territory for services rendered.
When to apply
You should apply for the AHCIP within 3 months of moving to Alberta. You will need to complete an AHCIP Coverage application form, found on their website or at a registry office. The completed form must be taken to a registry office. You will also need to bring government-issued photo identification (i.e. drivers' license, passport). Learn how to register.

University of Alberta Health Insurance Plan

UAHIP is a replacement plan for the provincial insurance plan, Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP) and provides coverage for international students/employees who are not eligible for AHCIP.

For more information see the International Student Services website or contact an International Student Advisor by submitting a general inquiry through our service portal.

For complete information about UAHIP visit

How to use UAHIP at the University Health Centre

At UHC, if you present a valid UAHIP eCard, we will submit a claim directly to Cowan Insurance on your behalf.

Learn how to get your UAHIP eCard

Services not covered by health care insurance

There are services that may not be covered by AHCIP or UAHIP and will need to be paid for by the patient. These services can include travel consultations, cosmetic surgery, ambulance services, dental care, and eye glasses/contact lenses.

Your health care coverage may also only partially cover services in certain circumstances (i.e. physiotherapy).

Check the AHCIP and UAHIP websites for more information on health care coverage.

Undergraduate and Graduate Student Health Plans

Student health care plans are private insurance plans that insure medical services not covered by provincial health insurance plans or UAHIP. Students are automatically enrolled for these insurance plans and the cost is assessed through tuition. Students may opt out of this plan if they have other insurance coverage.

This insurance will cover costs associated with physiotherapy, dental services, eye exams, eyeglasses and contact lenses, and prescription drugs.

For more information, visit