Health Benefits Card
Through Alberta Works, people eligible for Income Support, the Alberta Adult Health Benefit, and the Alberta Child Health Benefit receive a Health Benefits Card (Health Benefits) that provides coverage for themselves and/or their dependants, unless they receive coverage through the Government of Canada.
Through the Alberta Adult Health Benefit, a Health Benefits Card is also available to women during pregnancy and to households with high ongoing prescription drug needs, if their household income meets eligibility levels.
Health benefits include:
- prescription drugs and essential over the counter medications
- eye exams and glasses
- dental care
- emergency ambulance services
- essential diabetic supplies
Drug products which are covered are defined in two lists:
- The Drug Benefit List (DBL) defines benefits for all Alberta government programs.
- The Drug Benefit Supplement provides coverage otherwise not provided for in the DBL (for example, nutrition supplements to children and expectant mothers).
Dental and optical goods and services covered are defined by agreements between the Ministry and the applicable professional associations.
On average Income Support recipients receive about $223 a month in benefits through the use of their Health Benefits Card.
If you do not agree with a decision made about your health benefits, you can request a review of the decision by the Health Benefits Exception Committee. This committee ensures that decisions about health benefits are fair and equitable.
The Health Benefits Exception Committee will review requests for drugs, optical, dental, ambulance services or diabetic supplies that are not covered in the optical agreements, dental agreements or drug benefit lists.
The second page of the form provides more information about the review process and tells you where to submit your request.
If your request is for drugs or nutritional products that are not covered on the drug benefit lists, your doctor must provide a detailed medical rationale. The following form is to be completed by the doctor.
If your request is for optical services that are not covered in the optical agreements, please have your optical services provider complete the following form (this may be your ophthalmologist, optometrist, or optician):
- Print the Request for Optical Services form
Alberta Adult Health Benefit
The Alberta Adult Health Benefit provides coverage for prescription drugs, eye exams and glasses, dental care, essential diabetic supplies and emergency ambulance services to eligible clients leaving Income Support for work or because of an increase in Canada Pension Plan Disability benefits. Pregnant women and households with high ongoing prescription drug needs can also apply for this benefit.
Alberta Child Health Benefit
The Alberta Child Health Benefit plan pays for health services, such as eyeglasses, prescription drugs and dental care, that are not available through standard Alberta Health Care Insurance. The health plan is for children up to age 20 who live at home and are attending high school up to grade 12. There are no fees to sign up. The Alberta Child Health Benefit plan is for families with limited incomes. By signing up, parents can have peace of mind their children’s health will be cared for without worrying about the cost.