Your OHIP Card Could be Your Ticket to Better Health Support in Your Home, or in a Long-term Care Facility

Your OHIP Card

Statistics Canada, in 2012, told us that 792,000 Canadians who, because of aging, being ill or living with a disability, need support to live at home, are not receiving it – or are not receiving enough of it. You, or someone you care about, may be one of these Canadians who need support, and if you live in Ontario, your journey to a safer, healthier situation could begin with your Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) card.

Your OHIP Card is Your Ticket to a CCAC Assessment  

Your current OHIP card is all you need to apply for support from a Community Care Access Centres (CCACs) in Ontario. You do not need to be referred to a CCAC by a doctor or anyone else, you may refer yourself by making a phone call. You can find your local CCAC on a nifty map at this website: http://healthcareathome.ca/. 

What is a CCAC Assessment?

Your local CCAC will set up an appointment to access your needs, the goal being to determine what kind of care, and how much of it, you require. A typical CCAC assessment reviews factors like a potential client’s mood, memory, health issues, decision-making ability, existing social support and individual needs.

And after the assessment?

Upon completing a care assessment, the assessor will work with you to develop a care plan. Each plan is tailored to provide you, or your loved one, with the support needed to continue living in your current situation, if this is the best option.

Your CCAC provides free nursing care and other services that you pay for, or pay a co-pay for, like help with housework, help with transportation to doctor’s appointments and so on.

Perhaps your needs cannot be met in your current home?

It is possible that your CCAC care coordinator suggests moving into a long-term care home so that you can get the support you need to live well. If so, your care coordinator will take on the responsibility of applying for the help you need, including negotiating any existing waiting lists.  

Can a CCAC worker refuse a request for support?

A CCAC worker completes an assessment that identifies needs and the support that is available to meet them. It is possible that a CCAC worker does not agree with you, or with your loved ones, in the assessment of the situation, but you can ask for help in resolving this disagreement.

The Long-Term Care Action Line

You have the right to contact an independent complaints facilitator to act as a neutral party in resolving any differences between you and your CCAC care coordinator. Follow this link for information on how to contact this facilitator:  http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/public/contact/ccac/ltc_actionline.aspx

And if the facilitator agrees with the original assessment?

If your complaint remains unsolved after you speak with an independent complaints facilitator, you can appeal the CCAC’s decision by contacting the Health Services Appeal Board of Ontario at this link:  http://www.hsarb.on.ca/scripts/english/contact.asp

Be your own advocate for better health

An OHIP card gives you access to a variety of health services in Ontario, though it is up to you, or someone who cares about you, to make sure that you are visible within the system, that you are connecting to the organizations that can help you to better your quality of life.

If you live in Canada but not in Ontario?

For those readers who live outside of Canada’s most densely populated province, you can find the equivalent of the CCAC for your province at this link: http://www.southeasthealthline.ca/healthlibrary_docs/HealthcareAcrossCan....

 

Written by Lorna MacNeil

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