Health insurance plans will no longer be required to send consumers a scan of their health insurance card if they choose not to, a change that will make it easier for people to get covered.
The move, announced Thursday by the Canadian health care agency, is the latest move to crack down on fraud.
Health plans, including the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, are required to check identification to verify that a consumer is eligible for coverage.
In some cases, people can avoid getting the scan by showing the card is fake, but some experts have argued that people could simply take the card out of their wallet and hide it in a safe place.
A report released Thursday by Canada’s insurance watchdog, the Canada Revenue Agency, found that a large number of people are still using fake health insurance cards.
The CRA said it received more than 4.5 million reports of fraudulent health insurance plans and used the data to calculate a national estimate of the number of frauds involving health plans and health care providers.
The agency said the estimated number of fraudulent insurance plans in Canada was estimated at over 1,100,000.
It said it identified more than 8,000 fraudsters who are responsible for more than $8.8 billion in fraudulent claims.