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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, which is rare).
  • Private nursing care (if requested by resident's attending doctor).
  • 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, if deemed necessary to the resident's health.
  • Psychiatrists (they are deemed "medical doctors").
  • Some durable medical equipment such as pacemakers, plates, pins, valve implants and prostheses for joints
  • Equipment and services provided to an outpatient that are deemed medically necessary

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.

Services that are Partially Covered

The following are partially covered by AHCIP:

  • Podiatry: some, although not all, podiatry services are covered up to a maximum of $250 per year. Contact the Alberta government for further details.
  • Dental/oral surgical services if deemed medically necessary.
  • Some optometry costs are covered if treatment or services are required as a result of certain medical conditions. Contact the Alberta government for further details.

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

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 being evaluated for effectiveness and safety.

Acid Reflux Medications

As of October 1, 2016, there is coverage for generic medications to control acid reflux.

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

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Last updated February 2017