Hundreds of thousands of Ontarians who still have an old red-and-white health card must get a new photo card by July 1.
Health Minister Christine Elliott's office confirmed this to Radio-Canada.
The province has been trying for more than 25 years to eliminate the old health card without a photo or signature, which is more vulnerable to fraud.
More than 300,000 of these cards are still in circulation, representing about 2% of all health cards in Ontario.
Minister Elliott says red and white card holders will receive a notice later this month asking them to get a new card, as well as monthly reminders if they don't.
A person who goes to the doctor or hospital with an old card after July 1 can receive the treatment, but will have to pay for it out of their own pocket. Patients can receive a refund later when they receive a new card.
If we want to be good stewards of taxpayers' money, we must put an end to this process [de transition]Minister Elliott said in May 2019.
A new photo health card is available for free at an Ontario health office.
Americans and other non-residents of the province could be in possession of red-and-white health cards, government authorities have warned in the past.
In 2013, the former Liberal government announced a $15 million investment to accelerate the transition to photocarding, a process that was scheduled to be completed in 2018.
At that point, around 800,000 red and white card holders had their addresses expired, while 144,000 of those old cards had no address linked to them.
With information from The Canadian Press
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