Government of Yukon



FOR RELEASE
December 16, 2013

Changes coming for Yukon health insurance

WHITEHORSE—Yukon residents will have more clarity on the territory’s universal health care insurance plan following amendments to the Health Care Insurance Plan Act passed last week in the Yukon Legislative Assembly.

“These amendments will help protect one of the finest and most comprehensive publicly-funded health care systems in Canada,” Minister of Health and Social Services Doug Graham said. “Once the amendments are in place, we can proceed with defining clear and concise regulations about who is legally entitled to Yukon’s health care services.”

Graham said there has been confusion over the years in a number of areas about who is legally entitled to publicly funded health services and at what point they were no longer entitled to have their health care coverage paid by the Yukon government.

Nearly 1,600 people provided online and written input during a July 15 to August 30 public participation period indicating their support and interest in the future of Yukon’s health-care system. The majority of respondents supported six months of temporary absence from Yukon as the limit for maintaining coverage.

The minister said new regulations will allow a temporary absence of longer than six months, only in specified situations:

  • Indefinite leave for students attending full-time studies both during and between school terms;
  • Indefinite leave, under special conditions, for apprentices, co-op students and mobile workers;
  • A 12-month leave for employment or business related activities with the potential for an extension; and,
  • A two-year leave for missionary, charity, or volunteer work.

The amendments will also enable the government to periodically confirm residency status.

The new regulations are expected to come into force some time in 2014 after public input.

Health and Social Services will inform Yukon citizens of the changes and their responsibilities before the amendments take effect.

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Contact:

Elaine Schiman
Cabinet Communications
867-633-7961
elaine.schiman@gov.yk.ca

Patricia Living
Communications, Health and Social Services
867-667-3673
patricia.living@gov.yk.ca


News Release #13-320