MSI - Health Cards

To register for a health card in Nova Scotia, you must contact the MSI Registration and Inquiry Department at 902-496-7008 or at 1-800-563-8880 (toll free within Canada), to start the application process. Blank applications are not provided.

Applications are assessed on an individual basis and proof of Citizenship or Immigration documentation is required*. Once the application is processed, health cards are issued for each family member. Health cards must be presented to health care providers before receiving insured health services.

A list of Acceptable Documents for Proof of Canadian Citizenship:

  • Canadian birth certificate
  • Valid Canadian passport (or one that has not been expired for more than five years)
  • Canadian citizenship card or certificate (both sides)
  • NEXUS card
  • ‘Registration of Birth Abroad’
  • Canadian military ID
  • RCMP ID card
  • Certificate of Indian Status Card

This is not a comprehensive list, as there are other documents that MSI may accept that may not be listed. You must contact the MSI Registration and Inquiry office if you are applying for a Health Card in Nova Scotia for the first time.

New Nova Scotia residents must provide proof of civic address (residence) for MSI Registration (effective April 25, 2023). This requirement does not apply to applicants under 19 years of age. A copy of one of the following documents is required:

  • Mortgage document
  • Rental/lease agreement (must be signed by the landlord and the tenant)
  • Utility bill – not older than 6 months (for example, phone, power, cable/satellite, water/sewer)
  • Insurance policy (home, tenant, auto)
  • Valid NS driver’s licence/photo ID
  • Valid NS motor vehicle registration
  • Child Tax benefit statement
  • Property tax bill - current year
  • Bank statement
  • Credit card statement
  • Income Assistance benefit statement
  • Employment confirmation (pay stub, letter from employer on company letterhead)
  • Notice of Assessment - most recent

You must contact the MSI Registration and Inquiry office if you are applying for a Health Card in Nova Scotia for the first time and are unable to provide at least one of the above documents for proof of residence.

Work and Study Permit holders are required to call MSI Resident Services directly to apply for a health card.

Insured services

Download MSI Insured Services brochure (PDF) for more information on insured services.

Renewing your Health Card

Your Nova Scotia Health Card has an expiry date. Three months before this date, you will receive a "Health Card Renewal" form which you must complete, sign and return to MSI. Once the form is received and no additional information is required, coverage will be renewed and a new card sent out with a new expiry date. Forms are available by downloading (PDF) or calling the MSI office.

The MSI Health Card Renewal form that Nova Scotia residents receive in the mail every 4 years has been recently updated.

Work and Study Permit Holders, Spouses and Dependants

Work and Study Permit Holders must call MSI for health card renewal. The Health Card Renewal form cannot be used by these permit holders and their dependants.


Lost, Stolen or Damaged Health Card

If your card is lost, stolen, or damaged call MSI directly at 902-496-7008 or 1-800-563-8880 (toll free in Canada). There is a $10 fee to replace a lost or stolen card.


Address Change

It is in your best interest to ensure that MSI has your most up-to-date contact information and mailing address. You can notify MSI of your change of address online, via the Government Online Services Website.


Other Changes

To report changes such as temporary absences, new address, birth, adoption, death, marriage, divorce, or legal separation, contact the MSI Registration and Inquiry office at 1-800-563-8880 (toll free within Canada)


Organ and Tissue Donation

All potential organ and tissue donors in Nova Scotia are registered with the Organ and Tissue Donor Registry maintained by MSI. You can register your decision to be a donor and donate all or some of your organs and tissues after death. If you don’t want to donate your organs and tissues you can opt out.

After you register, your donation decision is recorded in the Health Card Registry and displayed on the front of your Health Card.

Your Health Card shows if you consent to donate all organs and tissues (DONOR 1) or some organs and tissues (DONOR 2). Cards also show if you don’t consent to donate organs and tissues (OPT OUT).

The Health Card Registry keeps a record of your donation decision, including if you didn’t register a decision.

Before any transplant activities take place, health professionals check the registry to see if you registered a decision. Health professionals also meet with your family to review your recorded decision and to see if the family has additional information about your decision.

For more information regarding the Nova Scotia Organ and Tissue Donation Program go to Legacy of Life website. For information on how to register your donation decision or to opt out of organ and tissue donation please visit Organ and Tissue Donation web page.


Newborn Health Cards

New parents now have the option to activate their newborn's Nova Scotia Health Card number when they register their baby's birth. This service is available at electronic kiosks located in each of the regional hospitals and IWK. If a new parent consents to this service, the necessary information will be sent directly to Medavie Blue Cross on their behalf. The Health Card will be mailed out to the address provided within 10 business days.