April 25, 2012
Reform of the Interim Federal Health Program
Citizenship and Immigration Canada announced that the Interim Federal Health Program is being reformed to ensure fairness for Canadian taxpayers while emphasizing the need to protect refugee claimants and other who do not qualify for provincial or territorial health insurance plans.
With the current benefit coverage, the cost of the IFHP grew to $84.6 million in the 2010–2011 fiscal year. The Current IFHP provides basic health-care coverage similar to what is provided through a provincial or territorial health insurance plan, as well as coverage for supplemental health-care services, including pharmaceutical care, dentistry, vision care and mobility assistive devices.
The reformed program will end the coverage of supplemental health-care benefits. Medication and immunization may be provided in cases where there is a risk to public health or public safety. The program will provide health-care coverage for services and products of an urgent or essential nature for many IFHP beneficiaries.
After the changes are implemented, cost savings are projected to be about $100 million over the next five years.
This change will take effect on June 30, 2012, and will apply to all current beneficiaries, as well as those who apply after that date.