A Guide to Newfoundland and Labrador Health Plan – MCP Medical Care Plan

Thanks to a new government program created to attract skilled immigrants, Newfoundland and Labrador is expecting a surge of newcomers. Canada’s most easterly province, NL welcomes about 2,500 new permanent residents each year. And all those newcomers want good health care.

    Newfoundland & Labrador Department of Health and Community Services is responsible for providing the publicly funded health care for all legal residents of NL. The health care plan is often called MCP Newfoundland, and it is available to all legal newcomers to the province who apply for it through the right channels.

    In addition to overseeing the administration of health care services in the province, this department is responsible for leadership in health and community programs, services, and policy development. There are three main components of the province’s public insurance health program – the Medical Care Plan, the Hospital Insurance Plan, and the Dental Health Plan.

    If you have decided to settle in NL, then you should inform yourself about the MCP Medical Health Plan, how to register, and what medical services it covers. Knowing this will help you in your search for the best supplemental insurance program for you and your family’s needs.

    fort point lighthouse landscape

    Free Healthcare Coverage in Newfoundland and Labrador

    The MCP is a provincial health care plan designed to provide basic medically necessary health services to the people of NL. To be eligible for MCP coverage, you must be either a Canadian citizen or a legal immigrant (and live in the province for at least four months per year).

    MCP covers many basic medical services, while certain procedures (deemed non-medically necessary) are excluded from the plan, such as basic dental care and medication (drug costs are covered by other programs).

    The Medical Care Plan coverage also extends beyond the borders of NL, including while you are abroad. However, you should know that your coverage when outside the country is provided up to the amount of equivalent service in the country (or what’s billed), whichever is less.

    To get the financial protection you need, reduce your out-of-pocket expenses, and have your peace of mind (especially while travelling abroad), it is recommended that you opt for an additional health insurance plan.


    MCP coverage is available to all eligible citizens of NL. Eligibility requires that all participants are:

    • Canadian citizens
    • Residents of the province
    • International workers and post-secondary students
    • Permanent residents in the province

    Drug Coverage

    The NL Prescription Drug Program (NLPDP) is designed to provide financial help for purchasing eligible prescription drugs for residents of the province. The NLPDP is divided into five main plans:

    • The Foundation Plan - for people in financial need.
    • The 65Plus Plan - for senior residents aged 65 and older who receive GIS and OAS.
    • The Assurance Plan - for individuals and families who experience high costs of drugs (compared to household income).
    • The Access Plan - for individuals and families with low incomes.
    • The Select Needs Plan - for residents who suffer from growth hormone deficiency or cystic fibrosis, and need to take disease-specific medications.

    The NLPDP will pay for your prescription costs only where those services are not reimbursable by a third party. In other words, it’s the payor of last resort.

    Student Coverage

    International students on full-time post-secondary studies in NL are eligible for Medical Care Plan coverage. In order to receive the MCP health card, the individual must be attending a recognized educational institution in NL for at least 12 months.

    To receive health coverage in NL, international students need to register and apply for an MCP card. At the time of registration, you need to present a letter of enrollment from the educational institution. Your coverage becomes effective on the later of the date of enrollment of the date of arrival in the province or enrollment in an educational program.

    Health coverage for international students is available for hospital and physician services that are listed under the Medical Care Insured Services Regulations and the Hospital Insurance Plan Regulations. As for other services, health insurance is available for students to purchase via post-secondary institutions they are attending.

    Registering for the Medical Care Plan

    NL residents can apply for coverage in-person or via mail and fax. The filled out Application Form must be delivered to MCP’s office, along with the citizenship/immigration documentation and appropriate identification. Click on the link to download your Application Form here or get one at doctors’ offices and hospitals throughout the province.

    Residents of the province eligible for coverage under the MCP must be residents of the province. Eligible residents are classed into four groups:

    • Canadian Citizens
    • Permanent Residents
    • International Post-Secondary Students
    • International Workers

    Groups not eligible for NL MCP coverage, despite living in the province, include:

    Canadian Armed Forces
    Armed Forces personnel of other countries stationed in NL
    Refugee claimants
    Dependents of residents of another territory or province
    Inmates of federal prisons
    Tourists, transients and visitors
    International students with Student Authorizations that don’t meet the established criteria
    International workers with Employment Authorizations that do not meet the established criteria
    Dependents of any of the above excluded categories

    Coverage When Travelling in Canada and Outside of Canada

    MCP beneficiaries who plan to leave the province of NL, MCP will cover physician services specified under the Hospital Insurance Plan and Medical Care Plan. When it comes to services not listed there, their expenses may not be covered when received in another province or country. For example, transportation expenses (air and ground) outside the province most likely won’t be covered.

    When leaving NL, it is wise for you to be prepared for the unexpected by purchasing additional insurance before leaving the province (regardless for how long).

    You should obtain an Out-of-Province Coverage Certificate if you’re leaving NL for more than 30 days.

    • Residents who have been MCP beneficiaries for at least one year may leave for vacation purposes for up to 8 months per year. Once every 5 years, you can leave up to a whole year.
    • MCP beneficiaries leaving the province to study may receive Out-of-Province Coverage Certificate for up to a full year. They can renew it each year by providing an updated proof of enrollment from their university. Whether they will get approval depends on their intention to return to the province after completing their study program.
    • MCP beneficiaries leaving the province for work purposes may receive an Out-of-Province Coverage Certificate for up to a full year’s coverage. Those working outside the country may renew their certificate every year to get out-of-province coverage for up to 3 years. They will be required to provide a letter from the employer writer on company letterhead, stating the location and dates of employment.

    Applying For A Newfoundland Health Card

    Properly filled out applications along with all supporting documentation typically take about two weeks to be evaluated. Once accepted, you will receive your MCP Card with a personal health identity number. When registering, there are no premiums or charges for registration.

    How to Apply in Person

    If you want to apply for your health card in person, you should bring your completed application (along with all supporting documents) to one of two MCP offices. The offices are currently closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but they’re still processing health card applications. Both offices have drop boxes where you can leave your application for review.

    You can bring your application either to:

    St. John’s Office: MCP
    45 Major’s Path, PO Box 8700
    St. John’s, NL, A1B 4J6
    Telephone: 709-758-1600 Toll Free: 1-866-449-4459 Facsimile: 709-758-1694

    Grand Falls-Windsor Office: MCP
    22 High Street, PO Box 5000
    Grand Falls-Windsor, NL, A2A 2Y4
    Telephone: 709-292-4000 Toll Free: 1-800-563-1557 Facsimile: 709-292-4052

    You can also mail or fax your application form (along with photocopies of all the necessary supporting documents).

    How to Apply Online

    Residents of NL cannot apply for their MCP Health Card online. We will keep track of any changes regarding the possibility of online application and update this article to provide detailed information on how to apply online for a NL MCP Health Card.

    Forms and Documentation Required

    Canadians moving to NL must provide one of the following documentation:

    • Valid Canadian passport;
    • Social insurance card;
    • Federal Government document that contains your name and social insurance number (e.g., Assessment from Revenue Canada); and
    • A government issued birth certificate.

    Landed immigrants moving to NL must provide the following documentation:

    • Valid passport;
    • Immigration document (e.g., visitor permit, study permit, or work permit) valid for at least one year;
    • Letter form employer or university that verifies your employment (for at least one year)/full-time enrollment; and
    • Permanent resident card (a copy of the front and the back).

    At the time of registration, MCP may request other documents to verify your eligibility or identity. It is acceptable to deliver high-quality photocopies of the documentation. If you deliver the originals, they will be returned to you.

    Renewing or Replacing Your Newfoundland/Labrador Health Card

    Visit MyGovNL, create an account, activate it, and you can use the portal to:

    • renew your and your children’s MCP Health Card;
    • receive card renewal reminders via email; and
    • become an organ or tissue donor.

    Renewing Your Health Card

    MCP Health Cards issued since 2006 have an expiry date, which allows the department to maintain a clean database to enhance the accountability of MCP and improve the monitoring mechanism.

    You are responsible for renewing your MCP Health Card before the expiry date. About 80 days before the card’s expiration, you’ll receive a form via mail asking to confirm your personal information. Fill out the form, return it via the postage paid envelope provided, and MCP will process and send you your new NL MCP Health Card. Destroy and discard your previous card and start using the new one.

    You can also renew your health card online via the MyGovNL online portal. The renew it online, you must:

    have been a permanent resident of NL for more than a year;
    have an MCP Health Card that has been expired for less than a year, or will expire within 3 months; and
    be 16 years of age or above.

    MCP will send your new health card via mail once your online registration is successfully completed.

    To renew your child’s MCP Health Card online, you need to meet the following requirements:

    Your child must be under 19 years of age;
    Your child must be a permanent resident of NL; and
    You must be the parent or legal guardian.

    Replacing Your Health Card

    In case your NL MCP Health Card gets lost, damaged or stolen, you must replace it. In order to get a replacement card, you must fill out a Card Replacement / Information Update form and submit it via mail to an MCP office.

    Changing Your Address on Your Health Card

    In case you’ve changed your place of residency, it is important to notify the MCB about your address change. Click on the link to download your Card Replacement / Information Update form. When filling it out, be sure to check the Address Change box under the reasons for completing the form.

    You can also change your MCP address by:

    • bringing the printed and filled out form to the St. John’s Office: MCP or Grand Falls-Windsor Office: MCP, or
    • creating an account on the MyGovNL online portal.

    MCP Coverage Detailed

    All permanent residents of NL are entitled to provincial, universal, government-funded health coverage. Keep reading to find out more about what’s covered and what isn’t covered by the Medical Care Plan, as well as about extended health care, drug plans, and coverage for those traveling within the country and beyond its borders.

    dentist instruments


    The Dental Health Plan is a part of NL public insurance health program and it is divided into five programs:

    Children’s Dental Health Program: 0-12 years

    The program provides dental services for children up to 12 years of age. Covered services include: cleanings every 12 months; examinations every 6 months; sealants; routine fillings and extractions; and fluoride applications for those aged 6-12 years every 12 months.

    Income Support Program Youth: 13-17 years

    The program provides basic dental services (which are listed in the Dental Health Plan Payment Schedule). Services are available to people aged 13-17 whose family receives Income Support. Covered services include: Examinations every two years and routine fillings/extractions.

    Low Income (Access) Program Youth: 13-17 years

    The program provides basic dental services (which are listed in the Dental Health Plan Payment Schedule) to people aged 13-17 who meet eligibility criteria and have enrolled in this plan. Covered services are the same as for the Income Support Program.

    Adult Dental Program: 18+ years

    The program provides basic dental services (which are listed in the Dental Health Plan Payment Schedule). There is the addition of a denture component, with a limitation to standard dentures only. Covered basic services can be received every 3 years, and dentures every 8 years.

    The costs of standard dentures will be paid by the Adult Dental Program, while any additional costs are the responsibility of the patient. Before commencing with a treatment, it is advised that you talk with your dental provider about the expenses.

    Surgical Dental Program

    The program provides insured dental services under the Medical Care Insurance Act. Such services are defined as those that are:

    • Deemed medically necessary
    • Listed in Section 3 (b) or the Medical Care Insured Services Regulations

    Dental Costs

    There is no co-payment for eligible services received under any of these dental programs. However, there is a certain annual cap per patient. However, there is an annual cap for services received under the Adult Dental Program - $300 for basic dental services and $1,500 for dentures.

    bottles of medications

    Prescription Drugs

    Unless they are administered in a hospital, prescription drugs are not covered by the NL MCP. However, there are programs designed to provide financial help for prescription drug coverage. There are five prescription drug coverage plans, including:

    The Foundation Plan

    Provides complete cost coverage for residents in financial need, such as those receiving governmental financial support.

    The Access Plan

    Provides prescription drug coverage for individuals and families with low incomes. Those who meet the eligibility criteria for this plan are:

    • Single residents with a net annual income of $27,151 or less.
    • Couples with no children with a net annual income of $30,009 or less.
    • Families with children with a net annual income of $42,870 or less (this also includes single parents).

    The 65Plus Plan

    Provides prescription drug coverage for senior residents (65 years old and up) who receive Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) and Old Age Security Benefits (OAS). Those eligible for the 65Plus Plan are automatically qualified for the Ostomy Subsidy Program.

    The Assurance Plan

    Provides prescription drug coverage for individuals and families who are experiencing high drug costs (relative to their net annual income). According to this plan, drug coverage is based on the following:

    • 10% or more of net income spent on prescription medication when earning $75,000-$149,999.
    • 7.5% or more of net income spent on prescription medication when earning $40,000-$74,999.
    • 5% or more of net income spent on prescription medication when earning less than $40,000.

    The Select Needs Plan

    Provides full prescription drug coverage for all residents who suffer from growth hormone deficiency or cystic fibrosis, and need to take disease-specific medications.

    men visiting doctor office

    The Hospital Insurance Plan

    The Hospital Insurance Plan is the third main component of NL’s public insurance health program, and it offers the following in-patient hospital coverage:

    • Diagnostic procedures (such as respiratory therapy, nuclear medicine, laboratory, x-rays).
    • Nursing services.
    • Accommodations and meals at standard rates. Semi-private or private rooms only covered if medically necessary or if a standard room is not available.
    • Rehabilitative services (such as occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech therapy and audiology).
    • Drugs, medical and surgical supplies.
    • Radiotherapy isotopes and services (if available).
    • Labour, delivery and operating room.

    Furthermore, there is some coverage for certain out-patient hospital services, such as:

    • Various diagnostic, X-ray and laboratory procedures.
    • Anti-rejection drugs for transplant patients.
    • Rehabilitative services (such as occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech therapy and audiology).
    • Surgical and medical day procedures.

    The hospital plan doesn’t cover the following services:

    • Private nursing.
    • In vitro fertilization and other procreative treatments.
    • Ambulance services.
    • Drugs and appliances for use outside of a hospital setting (unless covered by the Insured Outpatient Services).
    • Preferred accommodations (semi-private and private hospital rooms).
    • Services without specific medical indication (such as x-rays for cosmetic procedures, etc).
    • Bedside devices (such as phones, radios and TVs), unless used for teaching purposes.
    • Canadian Armed Forces and RCMP members covered by some federal insurance program.
    high school students and teacher.


    Since 2007, health care coverage under the MCP has been extended to foreign students attending post-secondary educational institutions in NL. It applies to any non-Canadian individual who received a study permit issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. They must attend a recognized post-secondary institution in NL for at least one full year.

    Health coverage for international students (and their dependents) becomes effective on the day of enrollment in an educational program, and it’s renewable each year. If eligible, you’re required to present a letter of enrollment from the educational institution.

    As for the medical services, international students can only receive services listed under the Medical Care Insured Services Regulations and the Hospital Insurance Plan Regulations. Other services, such as NLPDP, are available to them if they purchase additional coverage through their post-secondary educational institution.

    Seniors Benefits

    The coverage and services that seniors receive as MCP beneficiaries include the 65Plus Plan (prescription drug coverage) and access to personal care homes and long-term care facilities.

    When it comes to residential options, there are a variety of them available to senior NL residents. The Department of Health and Community Services provides funds for subsidies to eligible senior residents who reside in:

    What Isn’t Covered Under The Medical Care Plan

    X-Rays and Exams If deemed necessary in an approved public hospital.
    Wisdom teeth No.
    Eye Exams Children - $55 once a year
    Adults - $55 once every 3 years
    Glasses Children - $175 for single vision lenses and $175 for bifocals
    Adults - $125 for single vision lenses and $125 for bifocals
    Laser Eye Surgery No.
    Rhinoplasty No.
    Breast Reduction No.
    Hospital stays Yes.
    Ambulance transportation No, unless covered by the Emergency Health and Paramedicine Services or Medical Transportation Assistance Program (MTAP).
    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) No.
    Fertility Treatment No.
    Dermatologist Yes
    Physiotherapy No
    Massage Therapy No
    Podiatrist and Foot Care No
    Allergist and Allergy Testing Yes
    Sleep Physician and CPAP Machines Yes

    Extending Newfoundland Labrador MCP Coverage

    Extended MCP Coverage Plan

    Extended health coverage provided by the NL MCP includes programs such as:

    • Chronic Disease Action Plan. Plan designed to provide extended health coverage to people suffering from conditions and diseases that affect a significant portion of the population. These include diabetes, chronic pain, cancer, heart disease, kidney disease, arthritis, stroke, and lung disease.
    • Emergency Health and Paramedicine Services is a provincial ambulance program that provides routine and emergency medical transportation to the residents of NL.
    • Medical Transportation Assistance Program (MTAP). Program is designed to provide financial help to beneficiaries of the MCP who meet substantial travel costs to receive specialized insured medical services.
    • Provincial Kidney Program is designed to provide oversight and leadership regarding kidney care initiatives and other dialysis programs in the province.
    • Health Programs for Persons with Disabilities are designed to provide assistance to people with disabilities and their families. The following are major programs and services funded by the Department of Health and Community Services.
    • Special Child Welfare Allowance Program
    • Special Assistance Program – Medical equipment and supplies
    • Therapeutic and Professional Services
    • Provincial Home Support Program
    • Intervention Services
    • Residential Options (Cooperative Apartment Program, Alternative Family Care Home Program, Shared Living Arrangements, Individualized Living Arrangements, and Board and Lodging Supplement)
    • The Mental Health and Addictions Program is governed by the Mental Health and Addictions Division, which is responsible for planning, developing, implementing, and evaluating policies and programs related to mental health and addiction in the province.

    Here at Insurdinary, we have realized long ago that finding an affordable insurance company can be time-consuming and frustrating. We have built this platform to help Canadians and landed Canadian immigrants find the most viable solution for supplemental health insurance.

    Find more information and start your insurance company search on our website! Extend your Newfoundland and Labrador MCP health coverage today, just click here to get a quote!

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