New health card features more information
Islanders with expired PEI Health cards will receive a new card beginning this week featuring more information to help them and their health care providers.
The new health cards now include the individual’s language of preference, home address, and a validation start date for medicare coverage. The back of the card will also include a red heart if the individual has indicated their intent to be an organ and tissue donor.
“Like the rest of the country, Prince Edward Island’s population is becoming more diverse with respect to newcomers and languages spoken,” says Health PEI’s Manager of Medicare Services Mark Kickham. “Having the individual’s language preference clearly indicated on the front of the card makes it easier for health care staff to ensure they provide services and information in a manner that is better understood.”
Islanders use their health card to access a variety of publically funded health services such as physician care, hospital services, medical tests, long-term care, home care, mental health and addiction services, and provincial drug programs. Community pharmacists also require the card to record medications in the PEI Drug Information System.
Adding the validation start date to the cards will ensure that there is no delay in processing applications for new residents, who must live in the province for three months before they can receive medicare coverage. Previously, Medicare Services staff would hold new applications until eligibility began. Applications for health cards can be processed as they are received and cards are mailed out in advance.
Including a home address on the card helps medicare staff and health care providers to better verify a user’s identity. It will also allow the new health card to be used as another form of government-issued identification to supplement the province’s identity card or driver licence, which also contains the individual’s home address.
“The PEI Health card is used by every Islander so it needs to be useful and easy to understand, whether you’re a newcomer or a lifelong resident,” Health and Wellness Minister Robert Henderson said. “With many innovative features, these new health cards will help ensure Islanders get the most efficient and effective service possible from their health-care system.”
The current orange PEI health card was introduced in 1995. While its design was updated last year, the personal information contained on the card was not expanded until now.
It is expected that the orange health card will be phased out over the next five years as the existing cards expire. Health PEI and other government and non-government organizations will continue to accept the orange health card as long as it is valid.
For more information, visit PEI Health Card.
Senior Communications Officer