Ontario to Accomodate Seniors’ When Renewing Their Health Cards


Queen's Park - On January 13, 2011 the McGuinty Liberals announced that if you are 80-years-old or older, you'll be able to renew your Ontario Health Card by mail, versus having to visit a ServiceOntario location in person

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The government made the announcement below, but only for seniors 80 years of age and older, not for seniors commencing at the age of 65.  See the full story below, and the reason Ontarians should be able to renew their health cards via Canada Post (by mail) before the age of 80.

Ontario Offering Seniors A Simpler Way To Renew Health Cards

On January 13, 2012 the following announcement was made by the Ontario government through their newsroom:

McGuinty Government Making It Easier To Access Government Services

Ontario is now making it easier for seniors — age 80 and over — to renew their health cards from the comfort of their own homes.

The Province’s new mail-in renewal service for seniors age 80 and over allows them to apply for their new cards by completing and signing the back of their renewal notices and returning them to ServiceOntario in a pre-addressed envelope. This means they won’t have to wait in lines or make trips through winter weather to renew their health cards anymore — instead, they can spend more time doing the things that matter most to them while ensuring seamless access to health services.

Most seniors 80 years of age and older can renew their health card by mail and receive a photo and signature exempt health card. Complete and sign the form on the back of your renewal notice and return it to ServiceOntario in the pre-addressed envelope that is included with the notice.

When you see this sign, do you think it only applies to those who are 80-years-old and older, or could it apply to those 65-years-old and older?

Seniors who prefer to renew their health cards in person can still visit a ServiceOntario centre.

This mail-in renewal option is part of the McGuinty government’s commitment to put families first by making government services faster, friendlier and easier to access.

The Ontario Provincial government’s website states there are nearly 300 ServiceOntario centres across the province, 95 per cent of Ontarians are within 10 kilometres of an integrated ServiceOntario location and can access driver, vehicle and health card services under one roof.

McGuinty Government Defines Ontarians 80-Years-Old and Older as Seniors:

I always believed that anyone in their 60’s, especially of retirement age, at age 65, could be accurately referred to as seniors. I referred to the “The Seniors’ Policy Handbook”,  the term “seniors” in this handbook, refers to people aged 65 and over.

As the Ontario government has written “In Ontario, over the next 20 years, the number of people over age 65 will nearly double”.

Much of the legislation in Ontario, refers to people retiring and drawing a pension, at the age of 65.

The term “senior” starts much earlier than the age of 80 in Ontario.

Rather than only allowing Octogenarians (age 80 to 89) followed by Nonagenarians (age 90 to 99), Centenarians (age 100 to 109) and finally Supercentenarians (age 110 and older) to apply for their health card by mail (with a photo/signature exempt health card), Sexagenarians (age 60 to 69) and Septuagenarians (age 70 to 79) should be classified as seniors as well and be allowed to apply for the Health Card in the same manner.

Why aren’t Ontarians starting at the age of 65+ entitled to be treated to the same benefits of those 80-years and up?

The number of seniors aged 65 and over is projected to more than double from 1.8 million, or 13.9 per cent of population, in 2010 to 4.1 million, or 23.4 per cent, by 2036. The growth in the share and number of seniors will accelerate over the 2011–2031 period as baby boomers begin to turn age 65. After 2031, the growth in seniors will slow significantly.

According to the Ontario Population Projections Update, 2010–2036  the older age groups will experience the fastest growth. The number of people aged 75 and over is projected to rise from 865,000 in 2010 to almost 2.2 million by 2036. The 90+ group will more than triple in size, from 79,000 to 291,000.


McGuinty Government Refusing to Acknowledge Life Expectancy of Ontarians:

According to Statistics Canada (see chart below) the average life expectancy for Ontarians are as follows:

Male – 79-years-old

Female – 83-years-old

That being the case, why would the opportunity to send in your Health Card renewal by mail only begin at 80-years-of-age?  Most people will be dead, or close to dying,  based on the average life expectancy of  Ontarian males (79) and females (83).

The announcement that only those who have reached 80-years-of-age will be entitled to apply for their health card by mail, denies many Ontarians, between the ages of 65 and 79, the ability to comfortably perform this same transaction, while they still can.

Currently seniors’ aged 65 and older, represent 13.9% of Ontario’s total population and that age group (65+) is expected to grow to 23.4% of Ontario’s total population by 2036.


Statistics Canada has produced a report which reflects the life expectancy of men and women at birth, by sex and by province.


Life expectancy at birth, by sex, by province

Related tables:   Births and deaths”Births and deaths.

Life expectancy at birth, by sex, by province
1920 to 19225961
1930 to 19326062
1940 to 19426366
1950 to 19526671
1960 to 19626874
1970 to 19726976
1980 to 19827279
1990 to 19927581
2000 to 20027782
2006 to 2008
Newfoundland and Labrador7681
Prince Edward Island7883
Nova Scotia7782
New Brunswick7883
British Columbia7984
Source: Statistics Canada, CANSIM, table 102-0512 and Catalogue no. 84-537-XIE.
Last modified: 2011-09-27.


Renew a Photo Health Card

To maintain your current eligibility for health insurance coverage you must renew your photo health card prior to the expiry date indicated on your card.

Residents older than 15 ½ and younger than 80 years of age are required to visit a ServiceOntario centre in person to renew their health card. Please click on the Service Counter button for more information.

Residents under the age of 15 ½ or 80 years of age and older may be eligible to renew their health card by mail. Please click on the By Mail button for more information.

Find a Counter

Select to book an appointment online (opens in a new window) Appointment Booking Available at Some Locations (Opens in New Window)

Required Information:

You will need to go in person to your nearest ServiceOntario centre to renew your photo health card if:

1) You are older than 15 ½ and less than 80 years of age and you were mailed a notice to renew your photo health card;

2) Your child’s renewal notice advised that a parent/guardian must provide their own proof of residency and identity to support the renewal of their child’s health card. The child is not required to be present at this visit;

3) You are 80 years of age and older and would like to continue to receive a health card with your photo and signature on it, or your notice advised you to visit a ServiceOntario centre to renew in person.

1. Complete the renewal form on the back of your notice.
2. Provide three original documents, one from each list.
3. Go in person to your nearest ServiceOntario centre.

If you did not receive a notice click here to access the renewal form.

More information (Opens in a new window

Required Information:

Each customer’s renewal notice will advise if the mail-in process is an option for their renewal.

In most cases, children younger than 15½ years of age can have their health card renewed by their parent/guardian completing and signing the form on the back of the child’s renewal notice, and returning it to ServiceOntario in the pre-addressed envelope that is included with the notice.

TermAge (years, inclusive)
Denarian10 to 19
Vicenarian20 to 29
Tricenarian30 to 39
Quadragenarian40 to 49
Quinquagenarian50 to 59
Sexagenarian60 to 69
Septuagenarian70 to 79
Octogenarian80 to 89
Nonagenarian90 to 99
Centenarian100 to 109
Supercentenarian110 and older
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