Replace your red and white health card or pay for services
TIMMINS -- If you're still carrying a red and white Ontario health card, the government expects you to change it to a new photo health card by July 1.
Timmins and District Hospital has issued a reminder to the public about getting an updated health card:
"Residents who miss the deadline will not be denied healthcare, however, effective July 1, 2020, anyone with a red and white Ontario health card will need to pay up front for services at a doctor’s office or hospital."
CTV News has reached out to the hospital, but has not yet received further details on how that policy will work.
Timmins MPP Gilles Bisson encourages people to make the switch as soon as possible.
"Some people won't even know that they've got to change these heath cards, land themselves in the hospital and find themselves in bad situation having to pay the hospital bill," said Bisson.
The Timmins MPP says there could be delays if your name is currently different than on your birth certificate or another required document.
"You're going to have a hard time trying to renew it and we're already starting to see people who come in," said Bisson.
And, he says, name changing fees are required.
"We had one gentleman who was 86-years-old... he had to get a name change in order to get the names to match up to get a new health card, which cost about $140," said Bisson.
Bisson says the least the government could do is find a way in those cases to cover the costs.
If no changes are needed, a new photo health card is free.