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AHCIP Coverage Summary

Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan

Alberta’s provincial healthcare plan is referred to as AHCIP, which stands for Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan.

The following is a summary of AHCIP benefits and coverage.

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All residents of Alberta must register themselves and their dependents with AHCIP in order to qualify for benefits! Note that there are no premiums to be paid by residents.

Generally speaking any service that is deemed medically necessary is covered by AHCIP.

Expenses Covered by AHCIP

  • Services deemed medically necessary by a qualified physician (applies to all services listed below).
  • Medical examinations.
  • Standard hospital wards (semi-private and private rooms ONLY if medically required).
  • Private nursing care.
  • Eye examinations for seniors (aged 65 and up) and children aged 18 and under.
  • Laboratory and diagnostic procedures.
  • Any drugs administered in a hospital.
  • Oral and maxillofacial surgery.
  • Transportation from one medical facility to another.
  • Vasectomies (but not vasectomy reversal).
  • Bariatric surgery for very obese residents only if deemed necessary to the resident's health.
  • Psychiatrists (they are deemed "medical doctors").

Expenses Not Covered by AHCIP

  • Cosmetic surgery unless deemed medically necessary (possibly tummy tucks and breast reduction mammoplasty).
  • Prescription drugs obtained outside of a hospital or nursing home (however, there are specialty programs, see below for more information).
  • Eye exams for residents aged 19-64.
  • Routine dental treatment (e.g. cleanings, fillings and extractions).
  • Ambulance transportation (except between medical facilities).
  • Glasses and contact lenses.
  • Paramedical services such as massage therapists, physiotherapists, naturopaths and homeopaths.
  • Hearing aids.
  • Medical appliances such as prosthetics and wheelchairs.
  • Midwives.
  • Physiotherapy.
  • Counselling services by psychologists and mental health therapists.
  • Eye exams if aged 19 to 64.
  • Contact lenses and eye glasses.

Prescription Drug Coverage Programs

The following lists the specialty AHCIP prescription drug programs:

Outpatient Cancer Drug Benefit Program

Certain specific medications used to directly treat cancer are covered.

Specialized High Cost Drug Program

Some funding is available for drugs used in specialized procedures such as organ transplants and major heart surgery.

Drugs for Disease Control and Prevention

Full funding is provided for drugs necessary to treat TB (tuberculosis) and STDs (sexually transmitted diseases).

Retina Anti-Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Program for Intraocular Disease

As of March 2016 this is a new program that provides coverage for Avastin and Lucentis, prescription drugs used to slow down vision loss. Note that this is an experimental pilot project and is currently being evaluated for effectiveness and safety.

- for full details go to the Alberta government's health plan web site -

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Last updated March 2016