Health Insurance

Overview

Basic health insurance

The BC Medical Services Plan (MSP) is a provincial government program which provides basic medical benefits. Study permit holders are charged a $75 healthcare coverage fee per month, while other eligible residents of British Columbia will have access to the provincial government health insurance free of charge.

Everyone living in British Columbia (BC) for more than 6 months is required to enrol in MSP, except for students with existing coverage from another Canadian province or territory.

If you arrive in British Columbia without coverage under MSP or another provincial or territorial health plan and will be here for 6 months or longer, you should apply for MSP online immediately upon your arrival. Follow the MSP application tutorial if you are an international student.

Since there is a 3-month waiting period before MSP coverage begins, you must ensure you have basic health insurance for those first 3 months in British Columbia. Canadian citizens or permanent residents are advised to purchase private temporary health insurance for coverage during that 3-month MSP waiting period, such as the Global Campus Health Plan. Most new-to-UBC international students registered for one or more on-campus courses are automatically covered by iMED health insurance for their first 3 months in Canada.

Extended health insurance

If you are a UBC student registered in classes, you are automatically enrolled in the AMS/GSS Health and Dental Plan. At the start of the academic year, you are automatically charged the AMS/GSS Health and Dental fee.

Extended health insurance covers some fees and services which are not covered by basic health insurance, such as up to 80% of the cost of eligible prescription medicine, dental care, vision care, psychologist visits, and travel insurance.

Exchange students

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. You will need to fill the AMS Fee Opt-in form and submit your request during the change of coverage period. If you wish to opt into the AMS/GSS Health and Dental Plan, you must opt into all other AMS fees. It is important that you have extended health and dental coverage while you are in Canada.

If you're covered by another plan

You can request to opt out of the AMS/GSS Health and Dental Plan if you have a separate extended health insurance plan which is equivalent to the coverage provided by the AMS/GSS Health and Dental Plan. BC MSP coverage alone is not an equivalent to the AMS/GSS Health and Dental Plan.

If you want to opt out, you must do so within the change of coverage period or within 3 weeks of your registration date, whichever is later.