Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Feds cut dental, vision, prescription coverage for refugees

  • Print

TAKING away dental, vision and prescription coverage for refugees means newcomers will have to go without or the folks who sponsored them will have to pick up the tab, says one of the biggest church groups that sponsors refugees in Canada.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada announced this week it's cutting supplemental health-care coverage for newcomers. "It's going to cost more if someone privately sponsored needs a prescription filled or dental work," said Brian Dyck, refugee assistance program co-ordinator for the Mennonite Central Committee in Manitoba.

"They will now have some of their interim federal health benefits cut off," said Dyck.

The federal government announced last week it was allowing an additional 1,000 privately sponsored refugees into Canada next year if they're referred by a visa office.

The new rules for health coverage announced Wednesday come into effect June 30.

"The announcements are coming fast and furious," Dyck said.

After June 30, government-assisted and privately sponsored refugees and refugee claimants will only be able to see a doctor, visit a hospital or get laboratory, diagnostic or ambulance service if it's deemed "urgent or essential," CIC said.

Medications and vaccines will be administered only if needed to prevent or treat a disease that is a risk to public health or a condition of public safety concern.

It means refugees will go without or their sponsors who support them for the first year in Canada will pay out of pocket, Dyck said.

After 12 months in Canada, the resettled refugees can apply for provincial health-care coverage and social assistance.

Social assistance in Manitoba covers supplemental health-care costs such as prescription drugs and dentistry, Dyck said.

A spokesman for the Manitoba government was not available to comment.

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said many Canadians don't have dental, vision or pharmaceutical coverage, so why should refugees?

"...We do not want to ask Canadians to pay for benefits for protected persons and refugee claimants that are more generous than what they are entitled to themselves," he said in a press release.

The interim federal health program cost $84.6 million in the 2010-2011 fiscal year.

After the supplemental coverage is cut, the federal government expects to save about $100 million over the next five years.

To see what's covered now and what's being cut:

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/refugees/outside/summary-ifhp.asp

carol.sanders@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 27, 2012 A8

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Jim Flaherty remembered at visitation as irreplaceable

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Perfect Day- Paul Buteux walks  his dog Cassie Tuesday on the Sagimay Trail in Assiniboine Forest enjoying a almost perfect  fall day in Winnipeg- Standup photo – September 27, 2011   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A gaggle of Canada geese goslings at Woodsworth Park in Winnipeg Monday- See Project Honk Day 05- May 07, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What are you most looking forward to this Easter weekend?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google