A Guide to the Manitoba Health Services Insurance Plan (MHSIP)

The Manitoba Health Services Insurance Plan (MHSIP) and Seniors and Active Living is a governmental health plan that provides basic health care services to anyone who lives in Manitoba and meets the eligibility requirements. Read on to learn everything you need to know about how MHSIP coverage works, the eligibility requirements, what’s covered, what isn’t and more.

    What is MHSIP?

    MHSIP stands for the Manitoba Health Services Insurance Plan. It is a government-run health plan that pays for many health care services, including visits to your family doctor and various specialists.

    MHSIP provides Manitoba residents with emergency and preventive care that’s free of charge. The costs of MHSIP are covered through taxes. All Manitoba residents pay for MHSIP through their personal income tax. MHSIP also includes Pharmacare, the provincial drug benefits program for eligible applicants, which includes those who spend a minimum of 6 months per year in the province.

    What is an MHSIP Card?

    Manitoba Health Card

    You must apply for an MHSIP card in order to receive health care services that are covered and paid for by the province. Each person is assigned a 9-digit lifetime identification health number at the point of registration that works as a file number for all medical care providers in Manitoba. The card is printed on white paper and contains red and purple print. On the white card is where each person's six-digit Personal Health Identification Number (PHIN) is found. Your health card registration is affected by a change in family status, address, marriage, new address, birth, death, adoption, legal separation or divorce should be reported to the nearest Insured Benefits Branch or Manitoba Health (via phone), and your new health card will be sent to you.

    Your Manitoba Services Health Insurance Card proves that you’re covered, and you have to show it every time you visit a doctor, specialist, or an emergency room.

    Applying for MHSIP

    To apply for MHSIP, you have to fill out the Manitoba Health Registration Form which can be found here. Alternatively, you may apply in person at your local Insured Benefits Branch or Manitoba Health Office. You will need to:

    • Complete the Manitoba Health Registration Form
    • Provide your previous province's/territory's health card number
    • Provide valid proof of legal status in Canada (i.e. Copy of Canadian Passport, Canadian Birth Certificate, Canadian Citizenship Card, Certificate of Indian Status or Permanent Resident Confirmation Card (copy of both sides))
    • Provide proof of residence in Manitoba: 6 months (183 days) in a calendar year

    How to Prove Your Residence in Manitoba

    Please provide any one of these documents, subject to the documents being acceptable to Health:

    • Signed mortgage agreement
    • Signed long term rental or lease agreement (6 months or more)
    • Current Employment Confirmation (dated letter from employer on company letterhead)
    • Notarized letter from the homeowner or leaseholder stating: (1) names of the applicants for Manitoba health coverage living with them in the residence; and (2) length of stay
    • Letter from a Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP) providers/Letter from Sponsorship Agreement Holders, regarding the applicant's residence in Manitoba

    Any two of these documents, subject to the documents being acceptable to Health:

    • Utility Bill – telephone, cable/satellite TV, gas, water/sewer (not older than 2 months)
    • Insurance policy (home or tenant)
    • Property Tax Bill (current year)
    • Valid Manitoba Driver's License
    • Valid Manitoba Motor Vehicle registration
    • Confirmation of attendance from a school, college or university (not older than 2 months)
    • Revenue Canada Income Tax Assessment (current or previous year) showing Manitoba as residence
    • Social Assistance Benefit Confirmation
    • Employment and Income Assistance Statement of Benefits
    • Child Tax Benefit statement
    • Canadian Pension Plan statement of contributions or statement of benefits
    • Old Age Security Statement
    • Until your health coverage begins you should maintain your coverage with your previous health plan.

    Where to Apply in Person for MHSIP

    There are multiple in-person options to apply in person for the Manitoba Services Health Insurance Plan.

    1. Previously closed due to Covid 19, this location now features a secure drop box for Health Registration Forms and supporting documents, and to make any change requests to your health card or Pharmacare applications.

    Address: 300 Carlton Street Winnipeg Manitoba, R3B 3M9
    Business Hours: Monday to Friday 8:30 to 4:30
    Phone: 204-786-7101
    Fax: 204-783-2171
    Toll free: 1-800-392-1207
    TDD/TTY: 204-774-8618
    TDD/TTY (Relay Service outside Winnipeg): 711 or 1 800 855 0511

    2. Service Centre - Bilingual

    Address: Main Floor, 170 Goulet Street
    Winnipeg Manitoba R2H 0R7

    3. Rural Service Locations Include:

    • 51 Rogers Street Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes Manitoba, R0G 1M0
    • 30 Dawson Rd Unit A, Ste Anne MB, R5H 1B5
    • Recreational Centre on Hwy 6 St. Laurent MB, R0C 2S0
    • 427 Sabourin St, St-Pierre-Jolys MB, R0A 1V0

    How to Apply Online for MHSIP

    To apply online for a Manitoba Health Plan Card, you need to fill out this form with necessary information, such as personal information, residence and citizenship/immigration information, etc. After you complete and sign the application, send it along with supporting documents to insuredben@gov.mb.ca. Unsigned or incomplete forms will not be processed.

    Eligibility Requirements

    In order to be eligible for the Manitoba Health Services Insurance Plan (MHSIP) you must:

    • Be a Canadian citizen or :
    • Have permanent resident status
    • Hold a valid work permit (your spouse and dependants would also qualify if you have a work permit)
    • Have established permanent residency in Manitoba and have physically resided in Manitoba for six months one calendar year

    Who are not eligible for MHSIP coverage?

    Those who are not eligible for coverage are:

    • Visitors
    • Transients
    • Tourists
    • Domestic students who are residents in other provinces but are attending school in Manitoba

    Getting an MHSIP Card

    To get an MHSIP card, you have to visit your local Service Canada Centre with the original documents confirming your eligibility as discussed above. In some cases, you may have to provide additional documents. For example, you may be required to provide a marriage certificate if you changed your name, and so on.

    Renewing or Replacing Your MHSIP Card

    If your Manitoba Health Card has been damaged, stolen or lost it is advised that you immediately contact the Insured Benefits Branch for a replacement. You can also report online by completing the eNotice of Change form.

    MHSIP Coverage

    You must have met the eligibility requirements to qualify for MHSIP coverage. Manitoba health pays your physician directly for your medically required services. Coverage is provided in the following categories:


    When it comes to dental benefits, the coverage doesn’t include routine or major services, such as cleanings, extractions, fillings, periodontics, endodontics, dentures, bridges, crowns, etc.

    There is no coverage for treatment of accidental injury to teeth.

    There is no coverage for dental surgeon services, for any specific dental procedures performed in the hospital.

    When hospitalization is required, Manitoba Health Plan and Seniors Care will insure certain dental procedures.

    Prescription Drugs

    Prescription drugs are not covered under the MHSIP umbrella. However, Manitoba Health offers the Pharmacare program which is a drug benefit program for people whose income is affected by the high costs of prescription drugs. Those Manitoba residents who don’t have access to prescription drug coverage through individual insurance plans, union, or group benefits turn to Pharmacare coverage. It’s based on a family’s total income and the amount they pay for eligible prescription medications. It is adjusted to include a spouse and the number of dependents with the deductible based on your family’s adjusted income. Pharamacare is available to all Manitobans regardless of age or disease.

    Please note that only drugs listed on the Manitoba drug formulary will be covered by Pharmacare.

    The criteria one must meet in order to qualify for the Manitoba Pharmacare program:

    • The prescriptions aren’t covered by other federal or provincial programs.
    • You meet the eligibility criteria for Manitoba Health and Seniors Care coverage.

    Extended Health Care

    Manitoba’s Extended Health Care is designed to provide financial help for medical expenses that aren’t covered by Manitoba Health. These benefits include:

    • Assisted care
    • Home nursing
    • Ambulance services
    • Semi-private hospital room
    • Prescription drug coverage
    • Paramedical services
    • Coverage for eye exams and glasses

    For more information, visit this page.

    Travel, and Out-of-Province Coverage

    When you travel outside of Canada, you are responsible for some of the costs of emergency medical or hospital care. Buying health insurance before your departure is always a good idea. Healthcare services in other countries can and will almost certainly be more expensive than in Manitoba. Manitoba Health and Seniors Care will pay for the medical services you need in case you get admitted to a hospital outside of Canada on an emergency basis.

    If you’re seen in a hospital emergency or outpatient department, your coverage is limited to $100, while physician services are covered by Manitoba Health at the rates paid to Manitoba doctors.

    As for Out-of-Province Coverage, when visiting another Canadian province and require medical or hospital care, you can show your Manitoba Health card and your medical needs will be covered by Manitoba Health.

    Out-of-Province Transportation Subsidy Program

    Manitoba residents may be eligible for help with the transportation costs in relation to accessing medical care outside of the province. You can ask your treating Manitoba specialist to apply for a transportation subsidy on your behalf if your specialist has referred you outside of the province for medical care.

    The eligibility criteria:

    • You must be referred out-of-province by a specialist for insured care and treatment that can’t be provided in Manitoba, and in the case of an out-of-country referral treatment that can’t be provided in Canada.
    • To demonstrate what investigations or services are medically necessary and why they aren’t available in Manitoba (or Canada, in the case of out-of-country referrals), your treating Manitoba specialist should provide evidence.
    • It must be demonstrated that the requested medical service is not being performed on a trial basis, of emerging technology, and not experimental.
    • Prior to the treatment occurring, approval needs to be granted for medical services requested outside of Canada.

    In case of an emergency, you may be eligible to require air ambulance services thanks to the information supplied by your referring specialist. If you require such services, you will not be charged for the cost of air ambulance transportation.

    Vision Care

    The Vision Care Plan is beneficial because it provides you with reimbursement for certain services for eligible employees and their eligible dependents. If you or your spouse are older than 65, or your children are 18 years and younger, Manitoba Health program provides you with a limited vision care benefit. Before you will be reimbursed, you must apply for the government benefit.

    Children's Opti-Care Program

    The Children’s Opti-Care Program provides assistance towards the cost of prescription eyeglasses. This program provides approximately $84 per child per year. If the child requires special needs vision care, this benefit may increase.

    This benefit is not available to those who :

    • Submit a claim 14 months or more after the glasses were purchased
    • Have an existing group benefits plan, Rewarding Work Health Plan, Manitoba Blue Cross or First Nations Insured Health Benefits

    For additional information and how to apply for the Children’s Opti-Care Program please visit this page.

    Seniors Eyeglass Program

    The Seniors Eyeglass Program is a financial assistance program for Manitobans aged 65 and over towards the purchase of eyeglasses. You may claim a single pair of eyeglasses once every three years. If a change in prescription is medically necessary, this benefit may be increased.

    What is not covered?

    Unless they are medically required, the following items are not covered:

    • Eyeglass repairs
    • Contact lenses
    • Sunglasses

    For additional information on the Seniors Eyeglass Program, dispensing fees and deductibles, please visit this page.

    Infant Contact Lens Program

    For infants born with congenital eye defects, Manitoba Health covers the cost of infant contact lenses. These services are only eligible for rebate when the service and product is prescribed by an ophthalmologist and the costs are not covered by other federal or provincial programs.

    For more information on how and where to submit a claim, please visit this page.

    Prosthetic Eye Program

    Manitoba Health will pay for a portion of the cost towards prosthetic shells and artificial lenses and or cosmetic shells and related services such as: buildup, resurfacing and repolishing. This program covers a brand new device every two years and has a maximum allowable benefit. These services must be medically necessary and not covered by federal or provincial programs.

    For more information on deductibles and how to submit a claim, please visit this page.

    Health Care for Students in Manitoba

    Prior to September of 1, 2018, all students regardless of origin were eligible to receive healthcare through Manitoba Health. That is no longer the case. Now, both domestic and international students have coverage with Enhanced Care UMSU Health & Dental Plan and Manitoba International Student Health Plan (respectively). These plans do include a fee, however that fee is based on tuition costs.

    Who is covered by the Manitoba International Student Health Plan (MISHP)?

    International students in Manitoba are required to have primary health coverage. Each student will be covered by the MISHP. This includes English Language Centre program students, degree-seeking students, and students in Extended Education certificate programs.

    This health program will cover foreign students for eligible medical services that may be difficult to afford outside their native country. These may include visits to the doctor, hospital stays, X-rays, etc. You can purchase family coverage within 30 days from the start of your academic term, and the cost of this coverage is in addition to your MISHP fee.

    International students who graduate will have their health coverage extended for 4 months after their final term. Freshmen students have emergency-only health coverage for 1 month before the first term.

    For more information on coverage, claims, finding a clinic and information specific to exact universities, please visit this page.

    Who is covered by the Enhanced Care UMSU Health & Dental Plan?

    Member eligibility is often automatic provided that a student is enrolled in and attending one on-campus course and are registered for 6 minimum credit hours. As stated above, all students must also be covered under a provincial health insurance plan. Students will be covered for a full year's worth of benefits beginning on September 1 and ending on August 31.

    For full time students beginning their term in the winter will have benefits from January 1 to August 1. New full time students must be enrolled in 9 credit hours on campus.

    For more detailed information on how to change coverage options, the appeals process and official plan documentation, please visit this page.

    Manitoba Health Care - Seniors and Active Living

    The Home Care program is designed to provide long-term health care services to the seniors. There is also the Long Term & Continuing Care Association of Manitoba (LTCAM), which is a membership-based, non-profit organization that has been a valued partner and advisor in the promotion of long-term care for seniors in Manitoba.

    To be eligible for home care services, you must be a Manitoba resident, require assistance with daily activities, require services to stay in the home or establishment as long as possible, and require more help than what is available from potential or existing support. If eligible, your case will be assessed and the regional health authorities will determine whether you should receive it in house or in an establishment.

    According to your assessed care needs, you may be eligible for home care services such as:

    • Health care (nursing care, home nutrition, physiotherapy, home oxygen concentrator, home dialysis, home ostomy, home IV therapy, and referral to other services)
    • Personal care/mobility
    • Respite care in the home
    • Respite care in another setting
    • Supplies and equipment needed for your care
    • Adult day programs
    • Enhanced support options

    Coverage for Subgroups

    The Manitoba Government covers both military and aboriginal groups in their healthcare programs. Both have free access to medically necessary care as required by a licensed physician.


    Aboriginal peoples are insured by MHSIP. The government assists aboriginals by providing public health services and health promotion programs.


    Regular Force personnel are eligible for MHSIP coverage during specified periods, based on their duty status. Benefits are immediately available to those in active duty, as well as their dependents.

    What MHSIP Does Not Cover

    Cosmetic surgery
    Dental services performed in a dentist's office
    Eye exams for people between the ages of 19 - 64, except for those suffering from specific conditions
    Care services provided by non-licensed facilities
    Some physiotherapy services
    Preferred hospital accommodation, unless specifically prescribed by a physician
    Private duty nursing
    Prescription renewals done over the phone
    Completion of forms and certificates you may need for school, work, insurance, etc.
    Testimony in court

    Common Procedures and Coverage

    There is much confusion regarding this provincial government health plan and the extent of the coverage. Let’s take a look at this breakdown of common procedures and coverage eligibility.

    X-Rays and Exams In approved facilities when ordered by a physician
    Wisdom teeth No
    Eye Exams One exam every two years for those between 19 and 64 years of age. Medically necessary eye exams are covered regardless of age.
    Glasses No
    Laser Eye Surgery No
    Rhinoplasty Yes, if it’s recommended by a doctor for medical reasons
    Breast Reduction Yes, if it’s recommended by a doctor for medical reasons
    Hospital stays Yes
    Ambulance transportation If medically necessary
    Giving birth Yes
    Therapy and Counselling
    Therapy is covered if done by a MD or a Nurse Practitioner. Counselling is not covered.
    Sexual Health
    Gynecologist Yes
    Erectile Dysfunction No
    Birth Control (including IUD) Yes
    Fertility Treatment Yes
    Dermatologist Yes
    Physiotherapy Yes
    Massage Therapy No
    Podiatrist and Foot Care No
    Allergist and Allergy Testing Yes
    Sleep Physician and CPAP Machines Yes

    Extending MHSIP Coverage

    Private health insurance can help extend your coverage. Private insurance can cover the costs of prescription drugs, dental procedures, glasses, and more.
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