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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/Services 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).
  • Medically necessary nursing services.
  • Eye examinations for seniors (aged 65 and up) and children aged 18 and under.
  • Laboratory and diagnostic procedures.
  • Medications that are administered in a hospital.
  • Oral and maxillofacial surgery.
  • Transportation from one medical facility to another.
  • Vasectomies (but not vasectomy reversal).
  • Bariatric surgery for obese residents, but only if they meet the requirements established by the Alberta Weight Wise program.
  • Psychiatrists.

Expenses Not Covered by AHCIP

  • Cosmetic surgery unless deemed medically necessary. Examples are vasectomy reversals, abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) and breast reductions (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 UNLESS deemed medically necessary.
  • Routine dental treatment (e.g. cleanings, fillings and extractions).
  • Ambulance transportation (except between medical facilities).
  • Vision care such as glasses, laser eye surgery and contact lenses.
  • Health services provided by people who are not physicians (e.g. massage therapists, chiropractors, acupuncturists, physiotherapists, naturopaths, nutritionists, psychologists, homeopaths and nurse practitioners.
  • Hearing aids.
  • Surgical and medical appliances, prosthetics, wheelchairs and other mobility devices.
  • Publicly funded services (e.g. funded by Alberta Health Services) performed outside of Alberta. For example, midwivery, physiotherapy, cancer and homecare services, etc.
  • Clinical psychologist services.
  • Contact lenses and eye glasses.
  • Semi-private and private hospital rooms UNLESS medically necessary.

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.
  • Some dental/oral surgical services if deemed medically necessary.
  • Some dental benefits for seniors with low to moderate incomes (see the Dental and Optical Assistance for Seniors Program).
  • 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).

Acid Reflux Medications

As of October 1, 2016, there is coverage for generic medications to control acid reflux (e.g. proton pump inhibitors).

Alberta Health Services

Provides medically necessary drugs administered in hospitals, nursing homes and auxiliary hospitals (no cost to residents).

Retina Anti-Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Program for Intraocular Disease

Provides drug coverage for patients with certain eye conditions to be treated with Avastin, Lucentis, or Eylea in order to prevent vision loss.

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

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Last updated April 2018