Health insurance details for international students

All international students are required to have basic and extended health insurance for the duration of their studies at UBC, as health care in Canada can cost thousands of dollars per day if you do not have valid health insurance. Accompanying family members are also strongly recommended to have basic and extended health insurance.

Get started

  1. After you register for classes, check your fees on your UBC student account to see if you are covered by iMED and the AMS/GSS Health & Dental Plan (see fees above). Find out more under the “Health Care & Health Insurance” rubric on the right. If you think you should be covered, contact an International Student Advisor.

  2. As soon as you arrive in BC, apply for MSP for yourself and any family members who came with you as it will take several months to process. If you will be in BC for six months or less, you are not eligible so don't apply. If you already have MSP, you should opt out of iMED at David Cummings Insurance Services.

  3. Your iMED card will be sent to you via email. Be sure to download and print it right as soon as you receive it. If you do not receive your card, contact David Cummings Insurance Services.

  4. Pick up your AMS/GSS Health & Dental Plan card (Pay Direct Card) and information booklet at the Health & Dental Plan Office (NEST 3128) after classes begin.

Basic health insurance during first 3 months in Canada (iMED)

What you need

iMED temporarily, until you are eligible for MSP (or for the entirety of your studies if you are a one-term exchange student)

What it will cover

  • Doctor visits (for injury or illness)
  • Hospital visits

Coverage period

First three months from the month of arrival in Canada, or

Full term if you are a one-term exchange student.

Approximate cost

  • $180 for three months, or
  • $252 for one term exchange students, and
  • $9.36 for a direct billing fee.

The fee is charged to your student account.

Fees are subject to change.

How to enrol

You are automatically enrolled when registering for classes. 

Your iMED card will be sent to you within 2-3 weeks afterwards via email.

If you have family members, you are responsible for adding them to iMED.

More information

iMED information for international students

Basic health insurance after first 3 months in Canada (MSP)

What you need

BC Medical Services Plan (MSP) unless you are a one-term exchange student or you plan on staying in BC for less than six months.

What it will cover

  • Doctor visits
  • Hospital visits
  • Tests

Coverage period

As long as you remain enrolled and eligible for MSP.

Your MSP coverage expires when your primary immigration document expires, such as your study permit or post-graduation work permit. You are responsible for notifying Health Insurance BC about the extension of your stay in Canada before the expiry date on your BC Services Card in order to continue being covered by the MSP plan.

Approximate cost

Effective January 1, 2016:
MSP Monthly Rates:

  • $75.00 for an individual, or
  • $150.00 for a family of two or more.

You pay directly to MSP. Some employers may pay some or all of your MSP fees. Check with your employer for more information.

Fees are subject to change.

How to enrol

You must apply for MSP for yourself and any family members who come with you as soon as you arrive in British Columbia

Processing your MSP application can take several months. 

Once processed, you will receive an invoice from MSP with your BC Services Card/CareCard to pay and be covered.

More information

MSP information for international students

Extended health insurance

What you need

AMS/GSS Health and Dental Plan or similar extended health insurance from another source. The information below pertains to the AMS/GSS Health and Dental Plan.

What it will cover

  • Vision care
  • Dental care
  • Up to 80% of prescription drug costs
  • Travel health coverage (outside of home country)

Coverage period

Term one: For one year; September 1 to August 31

Term two: For 8 months; January 1 to August 31

How much will it cost

$232.49 per year.

The fee is charged to your student account.

Fees are subject to change.

How to enrol

You are automatically enrolled when registering for classes (except exchange students paying tuition at their home university).

If you have family members, you are responsible for adding them to AMS/GSS Health and Dental Plan.

More information

AMS/GSS Health and Dental Plan

Check your MSP expiry date

Your MSP coverage expires when your primary immigration document expires, such as your study permit or post-graduation work permit. You are responsible for notifying Health Insurance BC about the extension of your stay in Canada before the expiry date on your BC Services Card in order to continue being covered by the MSP plan.

Note for exchange students