A complete guide to Manitoba Health coverage

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Do you know that as a resident of Manitoba, you are eligible for public health benefits that will cover certain medically necessary services?

The cost of medical care is rising everywhere following the Covid-19 pandemic, but it remains largely accessible in Canada thanks to its public healthcare system. Health care in Canada is organized at a provincial level, and it is provided by one’s home province. While we still highly recommend having a private insurance policy to make sure you are covered for medical conditions big or small, Manitoba Health will cover medical services like surgeries or diagnostic testing.

This guide will go over what the Manitoba Health plan covers, eligibility, how to apply and how to get your Manitoba Health card. 

What is the Manitoba Health?

The Manitoba Health plan is a universal healthcare plan for Manitoba residents that covers basic medically necessary services. 

Manitoba's health care system has a broad network of services and programs. Because it is publicly funded, you do not have to pay for many medical and hospital services. It is overseen by Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living.

The medical services themselves are delivered through local regional health authorities (RHAs), which are five agencies set up by the province to meet the needs of Manitobans. These include:

  • Interlake-Eastern RHA,
  • Northern Health Region,
  • Prairie Mountain Health,
  • Southern Health/Sante Sud and
  • Winnipeg Health Region

Before seeking medical care, it is important to know what is covered, what is not covered and how to make sure you have access to your Manitoba Health card and other necessary resources. 

If you are looking for more comprehensive coverage, you can quickly compare health insurance rates right here.

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What does Manitoba Health cover?

Manitoba Health will cover residents for certain medically necessary physician services. They will pay the physicians and clinics directly. This means that you do not have to pay out of pocket for these expenses. Some examples of basic medical services that are covered are:

  • Patients who are billed for insured services by physicians who practice outside the plan are entitled to reimbursement from Manitoba Health
  • Physicians' services
  • Surgery and anesthesia
  • X-ray and laboratory services in Manitoba approved facilities only when ordered by a physician

You may find yourself asking what physician’s services are actually covered. We have broken those down for you:

Covered in ManitobaDetails
Optometrists
  • Manitoba Health will cover one routine complete eye exam provided in a 2-year benefit period for patients under the age of 19 years and 65 years of age and over. If you have a medical condition requiring an eye exam and prescribed by a physician, that will be covered under the plan regardless of your age. Keep in mind that unless you fall into one of these categories, your eye exams will not be covered.
Chiropractors
  • Manitoba Health will pay for seven chiropractic visits per calendar year.
Dental Surgeons
  • Manitoba Health will insure certain dental procedures only when hospitalization is required.
Many hospital services:
  • Accommodation and meals at the standard level
  • Necessary nursing services
  • Laboratory, x-ray and diagnostic procedures
  • Medications administered in a hospital
  • Use of the operating room, care room and anesthesia
  • Routine surgical supplies
  • Occupational, speech and physiotherapy
  • Dietetic counselling

While Manitoba covers some hospital services, it is likely that you will require treatment outside of the scope of what they cover. A private health plan will protect you from large bills for those services. We explore what is not covered below.

What does the Manitoba health plan not cover?

While Manitoba health plan covers a variety of services, there are unfortunately many services they do not cover that a private health insurance plan would cover. Services not covered include the following:

  • personal care home benefits outside of Manitoba
  • health services performed at the request of a third party, such as examinations for employment, drivers' licences, insurance, travel, immigration or emigration
  • care and treatment covered by the Workers' Compensation Board, the Department of Veterans' Services or by other statutes
  • services that are not medically required
  • services such as examinations, laboratory tests, x-rays and other procedures related to uninsured services

There were certain services that were covered under the Manitoba health plan but effective April 1, 1996, the following are no longer covered:

  • Routine complete eye examinations for persons 19 years of age or older but under the age of 65
  • Chiropractic treatments as a result of a motor vehicle accident covered by Manitoba Public Insurance

Quickly compare Manitoba health insurance options now to see what options are available to you to cover gaps in the public offerings:

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Am I eligible for the Manitoba health plan?

In order to be to use benefits from the Manitoba health plan, you must meet a few requirements. 

To be eligible for Manitoba Health coverage you must:

  • Be a Canadian citizen or
  • Have immigration status as outlined in The Health Services Insurance Act:
  • Permanent Residents
  • Work Permit holders and their spouse/dependants (Permit validity periods apply)
  • Establish a permanent residence in Manitoba, and
  • Reside (physically) in Manitoba for six months in a calendar year

The following are people not eligible for coverage:

  • Tourists
  • Transients
  • Visitors
  • Domestic students temporarily absent from other provinces and territories in Canada to attend educational institutions in Manitoba

If you are a student attending university in Manitoba, you may be required to obtain private health insurance.

What are the Manitoba Health Regions?

There are different resources for different regions in the Province of Manitoba. See the chart below for a list of the Manitoba Health Regions for how to contact and find more information depending on the region you are in. 

How do I apply for a Manitoba health card?

You can apply for your Manitoba health card online by accessing their online Manitoba Health Registration Form or using the form below:

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Return your form to:

Manitoba Health
Insured Benefits Branch

300 Carlton Street
Winnipeg MB  R3B 3M9
CANADA

You can also apply in person or via email at:

  • In-person at the address above
  • Email: [email protected]

You will need to provide proof of legal status in Canada, as well as proof of residency in Manitoba. 

Note: the documents must be photocopies – do not send the originals. 

 Examples of supporting documentation are:

  • A valid Manitoba driver’s license
  • Your motor vehicle registration
  • A home or tenant insurance policy
  • A utility bill from the last 2 months

It typically takes between four to six weeks to process Manitoba health card applications. Applying as soon as you can get your documents together will help you receive health coverage as early as possible.

Once you complete the application to prove your residency in Manitoba, you will receive your health card which will come with your Personal Health Identification Number (PHIN). This will allow you to access healthcare throughout the province.  

How to get a replace a Manitoba health card?

If you lost your Manitoba health card or it was stolen or damaged, you must contact the Insured Benefits Branch immediately for a replacement. You may apply for the replacement using the form below or by filing the online eNotice of Change form.

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The Insured Benefits Branch may be reached during business hours Monday to Friday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm at the number below:

Phone Numbers:

  • Voice:  204-786-7101
  • Toll-Free:  1-800-392-1207
  • Fax:  204-783-2171
  • Deaf Access Line TTY/TDD: 204-774-8618

For residents within the province, but outside Winnipeg:
Call the Manitoba Relay Service at 711 or 1-800-855-0511 to reach the above number.

Am I covered by Manitoba Health when I’m out of the province?

Yes and no. 

If you are visiting another Canadian province or territory and need hospital or medical care, show your Manitoba Health card. In most cases, the doctor and hospital bills will be sent directly to Manitoba Health for processing.

If you travel outside of Canada, you will be responsible for the majority of medical bills you incur. That’s why it’s always a good idea to buy travel health insurance before you leave. Health care services in other countries, particularly the United States, can be significantly more expensive than in Manitoba.

If you are admitted on an emergency basis to a hospital outside of Canada, Manitoba Health will pay for the services you need based on established daily rates. If you are seen in a hospital outpatient or emergency department, coverage is limited to a maximum of $100 CDN per visit. Physician services are covered at the same rates paid to Manitoba doctors.

What is Shared Health Manitoba?

Shared Health leads the planning and coordinates the integration of patient-centred clinical and preventive health services across Manitoba.

Shared Health also delivers specific province-wide health services and supports centralized administrative and business functions for Manitoba health organizations.

The Shared Health site allows you to find access to services as well as find service.

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2 comments
Hugh gilchrist
on 2022-07-13

If I move to Saskatchewan and become a permanent resident how long is my Manitoba health care
extended to

Gaulthier Gaulthier
on 2022-07-14

Hi Hugh,
If you permanently move to another province, you will be covered by Manitoba Health for the reminder of the month in which you arrive in the new province, plus two extra months. After that, your coverage will end.

Have a nice day,
The HelloSafe team