Manitoba Health Care Coverage - Eligibility

Medical and hospital care coverage in Manitoba is publically funded and managed by the provincial government, but there are strict eligibility rules that non-Canadian visitors to Canada must understand. If visitors or temporary workers are not eligible, they must take out their own health insurance or medical professionals and hospitals will charge fees to those patients who are not entitled to Manitoba Health. Unfortunately, most people who are temporarily visiting, studying or working in Canada are not eligible.

The University of Manitoba hosts thousands of non-Canadians every year who will live in Winnipeg. Eligibility to Manitoba Health is dependent on multiple factors, depending on the purpose and length of the visit. Because circumstances vary so much, the U of M recommends that non-Canadians contact Manitoba Health directly.  Information on health care coverage through Manitoba Health can be found here:

Here is some general guidance for non-Canadians who may or may not be eligible for Manitoba Health, though there are exceptions to these rules in special circumstances - contact Manitoba Health directly:

Not covered by Manitoba Health – must take out private travel and health insurance while in Canada:

•    All Students enrolled on courses at the University of Manitoba
•    Students who have graduated and are waiting for their Post Graduate Work Permit to be      issued
•    Visiting students and researchers who have a visitor stamp in their passport (valid for 6         months)
•    Visitors who have a Visitor Record of less than one year in their passport (stamp +      expiry date)
•    Visiting professors with an initial work permit of less than 1 year
•    Postdoctoral Fellows with an initial work permit of less than 1 year
•    Research Award Recipients with a work permit of less than 1 year
•    Anybody here on a business visit – attending interviews, seminars or guest speakers
•    Temporary foreign workers whose work permit is less than a year because their passport      was expiring before the planned end-date of the visit. Work permits will not be issued      beyond the expiry date on the passport.
•    People on ‘Implied Status’ may not be eligible (contact Manitoba Health directly). Implied      Status may apply when a current work permit has expired and a new work permit for the      same job and employer has been applied for but the new work permit has not been      issued yet.

Probably covered by Manitoba Health – but responsible for obtaining a Manitoba Health Card:

•    Tenured or tenure track professors in possession of a Labour Market Opinion and work      permit
•    Research Associates in possession of a Labour Market Opinion and work permit of one      year +
•    Post-doctoral Fellows who have a work permit for one year or more
•    Visiting Professors who have a work permit for one year or more
•    Accompanying family members of the categories listed above, who hold a work permit or      visitor record that is valid for one year or more
•    Some people on Implied Status, such as someone who has applied to replace an           existing work permit for the same job and employer, may be eligible for a 90-day extension      of Manitoba Health upon application. Eligibility for Manitoba health usually expires with the      work permit.
•    Some people in possession of an open work permit for one year or more (spousal open      work permits or bridging open work permits). However, the rules are complicated and can      depend upon the status of the primary applicant in the family. Contact Manitoba Health.

Final note – any non-Canadian with a Letter of Offer to work at the University of Manitoba that indicates that they may be entitled to extended benefits must speak to their supervisor if they find out that they are not entitled to Manitoba Health. This is because it is a pre-requisite for non-Canadian workers to be eligible for Manitoba Health before their group benefits are payable through Great West Life.