Overview of basic and extended health insurance
Basic health insurance overview
The BC Medical Services Plan (MSP) is the provincial government program that provides basic medical benefits.
Everyone living in British Columbia for more than six months is required to enrol in MSP (except students with existing coverage from another Canadian province or territory).
If you come to British Columbia without coverage under MSP or another provincial or territorial health plan and will be here for six months or longer, you should apply for MSP immediately upon your arrival. As there is a three-month waiting period before MSP coverage will start, you must ensure you have basic health insurance for those first three months in British Columbia. Canadian citizens or permanent residents are advised to join the Global Campus Health Plan during that three-month MSP waiting period.
- If you are a Status Indian, it is recommended that you also have your Status Card with you when accessing health or medical services, in addition to the health card (e.g., Care Card) from your home province or territory.
Canadian students from other provinces or territories can remain under their home province or territory health plan as long as they remain students.
If you are an international student or exchange student, you will be automatically enrolled in iMED, a temporary health insurance that provides you with basic coverage during the three-month waiting period for MSP.
Extended health insurance overview
All students are automatically enrolled in the AMS/GSS Health and Dental Plan when registering for classes (except exchange students paying tuition at their home university). Extended health insurance covers up to 80% of the cost of prescription medicine, dental care, vision care, and travel insurance.
All UBC students are required to have extended health insurance.
If you are an exchange student and you pay tuition at your home university, you are not automatically enrolled in the AMS/GSS Health and Dental Plan. You may, however, be eligible to apply once you arrive at UBC. It is important that you have extended health and dental coverage while you are in Canada. Visit the AMS/GSS Health and Dental Plan Office on campus for more information.
UBC recommends that all students, both domestic and international, have basic and extended health insurance for the duration of their studies.