Residency and Drug Policy Changes for Ontario Residents

Posted date : Jan 23, 1999.Back to list

Tampa, Florida: The Honourable Mike Harris, Premier of Ontario, announced two important changes involving Ontario residency and drug policy issues during his keynote address at Snowbird Extravaganza 1999 in Tampa.

Under the old residency regulation, Ontario residents were allowed to remain out of their province for up to 183 days without fear of losing OHIP coverage. However, the new residency rule allows for a 30-day "grace period" in excess of the 183 days - the grace period applies to travel in Canada, the U.S. and abroad.

During a press conference on January 21, 1999, Ontario Minister of Long- Term Care with Responsibility for Seniors, Cam Jackson stated that Ontario residents now have the freedom to remain out of province or country for up to seven months, and still maintain their OHIP coverage.

Mr. Harris also announced an amendment to the Ontario Drug Benefit Program. The program will now pay for a second, 100-day supply of medication prior to an extended trip.

Canadian Snowbird Association (CSA) President, Bob Jackson applauds this positive change. "Ontario travelers must be able to take a supply of medication sufficient for the duration of their trip. It’s just common sense. Under the old system, some Ontario residents were forced to go without necessary medications due to delays with shipping or U.S. Customs. This should never happen."

At the CSA’s Annual General Meeting, Cam Jackson praised the association for its efforts on behalf of all Ontario residents. The Minister stated that, "the CSA is the only Canadian organization which has consistently lobbied for these changes. It is because of their efforts – and theirs alone – that the residency and drug issues have been resolved in Ontario."

The Canadian Snowbird Association is Canada’s largest long-term travel association, with almost 100,000 members coast to coast.