Aftercare Benefits Initiative

The Aftercare Benefits Initiative (ABI) is a comprehensive health and dental benefits program for former youth in care. The program provides a broad range of benefit coverage, including prescription drug, dental, vision, extended health benefits, counselling, and life skills support services. Learn more about the program’s health benefits here.

Launched on July 31, 2014, ABI is administered by OACAS and is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services. Green Shield Canada provides the health and dental benefits and Shepell offers the counselling and life skills supports.

Are you a youth interested in enrolling? Check out the eligibility criteria and complete the application process if you qualify.

Have more questions? Review our set of frequently asked questions or contact the OACAS ABI team at abi@oacas.org.

There are two groups of eligible youth: 

  1. Former Crown wards or youth who were eligible to receive Continued Care and Support for Youth (CCSY) or Extended Care and Maintenance (ECM) and are between 21 and 25 years of age. This includes youth who:
  • had Crown ward status that expired at age 18;
  • were subject to a protection (formal) customary care agreement or a protection custody order at age 18; or
  • were eligible for support under the Renewed Youth Support (RYS) program.
  1. Youth who were adopted on or after June 1, 2016 and are between 18 and 25 years of age.

Youth eligible for coverage under another health plan (e.g. a plan provided by an employer, spouse, adoptive family, or university/college) are not eligible.

Youth attending college or university may apply for ABI if they choose to opt out of their school health benefit plan.

Youth receiving Ontario Works (OW) or the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) are only eligible for the counselling and life skills support services portion of the ABI plan.

Are you an eligible youth interested in enrolling? Review the application process before completing the online enrollment form.

Have more questions? Review our set of frequently asked questions or contact the OACAS ABI team at abi@oacas.org.

The Aftercare Benefits Initiative (ABI) provides comprehensive health benefits to former youth in care. The program’s benefits are delivered in two parts.

Through Green Shield Canada, plan members are covered for a wide range of benefits and services, including prescription drugs, dental care, vision care, medical items, as well as various professional services (e.g. massage therapy, physiotherapy, psychiatry).

Through Shepell, plan members have access to a variety of counselling and life skills support services, such as:

  • Relationship counselling
  • Financial services
  • Health and nutrition coaching
  • Career counselling
  • Legal services

Youth receiving Ontario Works (OW) or the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) are only eligible for the counselling and life skills support services portion of the ABI plan.

The full scope of ABI benefit coverage is outlined in the Benefit Plan Booklet.

Have more questions? Review our set of frequently asked questions or contact the OACAS ABI team at abi@oacas.org.

Don’t see your question here? Contact the OACAS ABI team by emailing abi@oacas.org or calling 1-800-718-1797 x2133.

What is the Aftercare Benefits Initiative (ABI)?

Who provides the benefits of ABI?

What does the plan cover?

 

Eligibility

Who is eligible for ABI?

Who is not eligible for ABI?

What if I’m studying and have benefits through my university/college?

I’m covered under the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) and/or Ontario Works (OW) for health coverage, but they do not offer counselling services. Can I access only the counselling portion of ABI?

Are my children covered under ABI?

Is my girlfriend/boyfriend or wife/husband covered under ABI?

What if I live out of province?

What if my situation changes and I become eligible for another benefit plan?

Are adopted youth eligible?

Enrolling

I’m eligible. How do I enroll?

I will be eligible but I’m not of age yet. When can I register?

How do I get my former status or adoption details verified?

What if I don’t have a permanent mailing address?

How do I update my contact information if it’s incorrect or has changed?

Accessing ABI

How do I access the benefits of ABI once I’m enrolled?

When can I begin using the benefits of ABI?

How do I access the counselling and life skills supports?

Can I sign up for direct deposit?

How can I access the Green Shield Canada plan member online services?

What if my service provider wants me to pay for services out of pocket?

How do I find a provider who will bill Green Shield Canada on my behalf?

What should I do if I already paid for a service out of pocket?

I need emergency care but my welcome package hasn’t arrived. What do I do?

I filled out the application form but haven’t received my welcome package in the mail. What do I do?

Are the services confidential?

Who do I contact if I have questions?

 

On May 7th, 2015, OACAS hosted a webinar for CAS workers and their community partners to learn more about ABI. The recording and presentation slides are available below.

Webinar slides | Webinar recording

Outreach Materials

The following materials were developed to assist Children’s Aid Societies and their community partners in promoting the Aftercare Benefits Initiative. Requests for printed copies should be emailed to abi@oacas.org. Please indicate the desired quantity and full mailing address where they should be shipped.

benefits brochure
postcard
poster

Have more questions? Review our set of frequently asked questions or contact the OACAS ABI team at abi@oacas.org.

 

Eligible youth must complete the online application form and provide verification of their former status.

Not sure if you qualify? Review the eligibility criteria before applying.

Verifications should be emailed by a former worker or CAS to abi@oacas.org and must include the youth’s name, date of birth, and confirmation of their former status.

Adopted youth must submit a copy of their adoption order by email to abi@oacas.org or by fax to 416-366-8317. If you do not have this document, contact the Ontario government to request a copy.

Once the application and verification have been received, the enrollment will be submitted to Green Shield Canada and Shepell, and an ABI welcome package will be mailed to the plan member.

Ready to enroll?

Apply Now

Have more questions? Review our set of frequently asked questions or contact the OACAS ABI team at abi@oacas.org.