Friday, July 30, 2010

Day 161: OHIP

Good golly, time sure flies. To anyone who actually checks this blog regularly, thanks for sticking around! Sorry it's been so long since I last posted.

This week we have been taking it (extremely) easy. Part of last week and the week before my Mother and Mother-in-law were visiting from Utah, so we took them to several major tourist attractions in the area.
Way too many photos to post here, but if you are a facebook friend, you've already seen them :)
We had lots of fun, and the house stayed nice and clean because Grandmas are so nice and want to help with dishes etc.

Today the kids and I went (for the third time) to the OHIP office to apply for our Ontario Health Insurance.

We actually applied while the Grandmas were here because Nick had the week off work.
He had no trouble with the application process and was able to be approved right then. I, on the other hand had no documentation verifying my residence (utility bill, cable bill, mailed bank statement etc. No big deal, since the utility bill is in my name) and for some reason the kids immigration documents were lacking some combination of numbers and letters that made it appear as though they entered Canada on their own, sans parents. They are such clever children.

The nice lady sent us on our way, admonishing me to gather more documentation and promising to call us when she figured out what to do about the children.

She actually did call within the day and assured us that the kids were fine, and as long as I had my proof of residence, I should be good also.

That was a Friday. The next Wednesday we went in, confident that we would be victorious. I handed over all the necessary documents and the lady began happily stamping, authorizing and signing her approval on our applications.

But wait!

Nice Lady - "Hold on. This is not an actual utility bill! This is just a notice from the utility company."
Me - "But it was mailed to me. That was what I was told. It had to be something mailed to me at my address."
Nice Lady - "Well, I'm going to need you to bring the actual bills. All your utility bills for each month you have lived here. And for the children I will need to see their report cards to verify they are enrolled in school."  She says as she viciously white-outs her stamps, authorizations and signatures.
Me - (in my head) Hey, no problem. This place is only 40 minutes from my house and I don't actually have a car to drive usually, and I probably threw all the paid bills away...and I wonder what I did with those report cards...
Me - (Out loud) OK, we'll do that. Thanks.

Nick is at Scout Camp this week, and I have the car. I dug up as many bills as I could (2) found the report cards, and for good measure, brought our lease agreement with my name on it, my gym membership agreement, and something from church with my name and address.

Armed with these documents (and a big red priority stamp on my application that puts me to the front of the line) we marched once again into Service Ontario, 10th floor of the Ellen Fairclough Building on King Street, Hamilton Ontario. I could find it in my sleep now.

For the third time, I handed over our documents.

It was a different lady this time. She looked at one bill, didn't care about the rest. Didn't ask for report cards. Didn't even look at the kids, where the other lady scrutinized each in turn, comparing immigration photos to passport photos to kids actual faces.

We were approved and out of there in 30 minutes (we even walked out past a nice old lady that came in ahead of us. She was still waiting. Yay priority stamp!)

Done and done.

Is it wrong to be excited for an emergency so we can use this magic?


  1. You were so much nicer than I might have been! I am glad you got it all sorted out.

    The grandmas look happy to be there. I am so glad you got a visit!

  2. You'll have to keep us posted on the ups and downs of the system. Tell somebody to break something.

  3. I'll bet you anything that you were a subject around the lunchroom so by the time you came back a third time they were prepared and decided to put you out of your misery. Well, it sounds nice in theory - I think a better explanation is that this time around you ended up with a 30 year government employee who wanted to go out for a smoke. Either way, welcome to the world of relatively free health care.

  4. What a pain. I'm with Kazz, impressed at your patience. I'm glad you drew an easier lot the third time around.

    Here's to hoping you DON'T ever need to use it. ;)

  5. Bureaucracy knows no boarders. This is almost the same story ("sorry you need to bring back...)I hear about drivers licenses here.