When Was That Exactly?

**This featured case is one example of the concerns people have brought to us. Names have been changed to protect the identity of the people involved.

Dexter and Desirée, who were both in their 90s, were returning to Saskatchewan after spending a couple of years in another province. They moved into a supportive housing facility, but soon realized that it did not meet their needs, so moved again a few weeks later to one that did. Since they were about three-quarters of the way through the month, the staff at the new facility suggested that they record Dexter and Desirée as moving in on the first of the following month.

In the meantime, the couple had completed application forms for a Saskatchewan health card. On the forms, they correctly noted their residency date as the day they returned to the province. Saskatchewan Health contacted them and asked for proof of occupancy. Dexter explained that, despite the date on their current rental agreement, they had actually arrived in the province on the date recorded on their forms. After further phone calls, Dexter and Desirée received a request to start over and complete new application forms.

A few months had now gone by and Dexter did not think it was fair that confusion over the move-in date would continue to delay their access to health benefits. He and Desirée had both been born in Saskatchewan and, apart from the last two years, had lived here all their lives.

With ongoing medical conditions to address and winter coming on, they wanted to make sure their health benefits were in place and they wanted to be able to get their flu shots. Dexter contacted our office.

After listening to Dexter’s account of the events, we contacted Saskatchewan Health to inquire about his situation and ask for expedited service. The manager we spoke with quickly realized that this application could and should be processed without delay. Dexter’s and Desirée’s health benefits were activated within 24 hours and their new health cards provided shortly thereafter.