Quebec has recently announced the adoption of Bill 83, which will allow the children of parents with precarious migratory status to become eligible for the provincial health and prescription drug insurance plan. Quebec’s Health Insurance Act previously specified that individuals must be “domiciled” in the province to be insured; this meant children born in the province, whose parents were without permanent status, were not covered under Quebec’s free, universal health-care system.
During the pandemic, social inequalities have been intensified. Many migrant families with precarious status face poor living conditions, resulting in higher COVID-19 cases. Human rights organizations celebrate Bill 83 after campaigning to ensure all children in Quebec have access to healthcare.
Our desire is to improve in a significant and sustainable way the health of children who are on Quebec soil,Health Minister Christian Dubé, news conference in Quebec City
Who does Bill 83 affect?
The newly introduced Bill 83 allows dependent children can be covered under Quebec’s healthcare system if their parents are in the province on one of the following visas:
- Study visa
- Visa longer than six months
- Open work visa (not tied to specific job)
To be eligible, children must be able to demonstrate their intention to stay in the province for longer than six months within a year of registration. Although pregnant women are currently excluded from this bill, work is underway to ensure their coverage as well.
What changes will Bill 83 bring?
The new bill will ensure all qualifying children that usually live in Quebec will be eligible for health insurance coverage. The bill also eliminates a three month waiting period previously required for children to be covered.
The new provisions will come into effect this September.