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    Changes to the Interim Federal Health Program

    Effective June 30, there will be changes to benefits covered by the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) as outlined on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website.

    The Alberta Medical Association (AMA) is working with the Canadian Medical Association and physician groups to identify the negative implications these changes will have on a disadvantaged patient population, and the longer-term effects on health care costs. The AMA will be discussing these concerns with the provincial health minister.

    Some notable changes are listed below:

    • Complete elimination of all dental, vision, ambulatory and pharmacy care.
    • Hospital services, care of doctors and nurses and laboratory, diagnostic or ambulance care are only covered if urgent or essential in nature.
    • Medications and vaccines will only be covered in the case of a public health or safety concern.

    The IFHP was originally created to provide temporary health coverage for refugee claimants and others under immigrant control. These changes come as a result of the direction set in the 2012 federal budget.

    For more information, please contact the program administrator, Medavie Blue Cross (1.888.614.1880). For information on how to process IFHP claims, please refer to the February 24, 2011 issue of MD Scope.