Canadian children excluded by the Ramq
On July 9, 2020, the plaintiffs, represented by Trudel Johnston & Lespérance, filed an Application for authorization to institute a class action against the Attorney General of Quebec, who represents the Government of Quebec.
The purpose of the class action was to compensate minors who were denied access to RAMQ health insurance coverage because of their parents’ immigration status, as well as the parents or legal guardians of these children.
The plaintiffs alleged that the government’s practice of excluding these Canadian children was contrary to the Health Insurance Act and violated the fundamental rights of their daughter and similarly situated Canadian children.
The Superior Court concluded that it did not have jurisdiction to hear this class action and that the plaintiffs should instead apply to the Administrative Tribunal of Quebec.
On December 13, 2021, the Court of Appeal confirmed the Superior Court’s decision. The Court of Appeal concluded that the matter fell within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec to review eligibility for the plan.
On February 11, 2022, the plaintiffs sought leave to appeal these decisions to the Supreme Court of Canada. In a judgment dated June 16, 2022, the Supreme Court of Canada denied the plaintiffs’ application for leave to appeal.
The class action is therefore over.
In parallel with the class action case, there have been legislative developments. On June 10, 2021, Bill 83 on Medicare and Medicaid eligibility for children whose parents have precarious migration status was passed.
On September 22, 2021, the law entered into force. This means that all children are now eligible to the health and drug insurance plans as long as they are present in Quebec for more than 6 months per year, whether they were born there or not.