|When to apply||Immediately after arriving in British Columbia|
|Cost||The application is free|
|Processing time||About 4 weeks; coverage begins after a waiting period (the balance of the month of arrival plus 2 months)|
Online or by paper; send to:
|Application form||Download the application form for enrolment|
International students: Copy of valid study permit OR work permit (eg. Post graduation or spouse/partner work permit)
Family members: Copy of visitor record or spouse/partner work permit
Additional documents may be needed
How to apply for your BC Medical Services Plan (MSP)
Tips for the process
Keep in mind:
- The easiest application method is to apply by paper/mail.
- Consider using a secure mailing method (such as Canada Post Xpresspost) to mail your request.
- You will receive a new BC Services Card (formally known as “BC CareCard”). Carry your card with you.
- Permanent residents and Canadian citizens may use their BC Services card as photo ID and their driver’s license. However, temporary BC residents (such as international students and workers) will typically be issued non-photo BC Services Cards. You can still apply for a separate BC driver’s license and/or BC photo ID if you wish by a separate application process.
Once your coverage begins
- MSP will send you an invoice in the mail every month. You need to start making payments after receiving the invoice.
- Remember to tell MSP if you change your address, change your name, leave BC permanently, or need to add/remove dependents to or from your coverage (e.g. you get married, divorced, have a common-law partner, or have children). See the Managing your MSP Account page.
- Remember to keep your MSP valid by renewing your MSP coverage each time you extend your temporary residency in Canada (for example, when you extend your study permit or get a post-graduation work permit). Be sure to read the “how having implied status affects your coverage” if this applies to you.
MSP coverage while traveling
If you’re leaving BC temporarily due to co-op placement or travel plans, you will continue being billed for your MSP payments.
You have 2 options:
- Put a hold on (“suspend”) your MSP account if you will be away for more than 6 months and do not want to maintain your MSP coverage.
- As a resident of BC, please read MSP’s website for details on suspending your coverage.
- If you are eligible, call MSP and ask to talk to an Enrolment Specialist to temporarily suspend your account without paying while you travel. Tell MSP your departure and return date. During the temporary hold you will not be covered and you will not be charged.
- After returning to BC, you must call to reactivate your MSP account.
- You can use the travel insurance included in your AMS/GSS Health and Dental Plan while paying for MSP when you are travel. Make sure you understand MSP’s residency requirements.
- Although MSP provides only limited coverage when you travel internationally, your AMS/GSS Health and Dental Plan does provide coverage. To use the travel insurance in your AMS/GSS Health and Dental Plan, you must also have basic insurance such as MSP or an equivalent.
- The AMS/GSS Health and Dental Plan does not cover travel to your home country.
- If you paid the MED/DENT fee (view your SSC financial summary) last September or January, you have the AMS/GSS Health and Dental Plan. This plan is valid until August 31.
- For more information, talk to the staff in the AMS/GSS Health and Dental Plan office or visit their website.