How to extend your BC Medical Services Plan (MSP)

Overview of process

When to apply Immediately after receiving your new immigration document (for example, a study permit extension or a Post-Graduation Work Permit) or after returning to British Columbia
Cost $75 per month for study permit holders
Processing time

1 to 2 months

Coverage begins once the MSP extension application has been processed

How to apply

Apply online (recommended) or by mail.

Review the UBC MSP Extension Guide (pdf) to prepare your MSP Extension online application.

Supporting documents

International students: Copy of valid study permit or work permit (such as Post-Graduation Work Permit or spouse/partner work permit)

Canadian students: Copy of proof of status (such as Canadian permanent resident card, record of landing, confirmation of permanent residence letter, Canadian passport, Canadian birth certificate, front and back of Canadian citizenship card, Certificate of Canadian citizenship, First Nations status card, or Métis status card)

Family members: Copy of visitor record, study permit, spouse/partner work permit, or passport stamp showing arrival date to Canada

Additional documents may be needed.

How having maintained status impacts your MSP coverage

You will have “maintained status" (formerly called "implied status") if all of the following applies to you:

  • You applied for a new immigration document, such as a study or work permit, before the old one expired.
  • You remain in Canada.
  • You won’t receive a new immigration document before your old one expires.

Since your BC MSP will end on the expiry date of your current immigration document, you must take action to get health insurance coverage before your MSP expires. Without valid health insurance, you will need to pay for any health services. Check how to get MSP temporary coverage.

If you were approved for MSP temporary coverage, apply to extend your MSP online with a copy of your new study or work permit.

If you were not approved for MSP temporary coverage, depending on the length of the gap in MSP coverage, you will either be able to get an extension of your MSP, or you will need to reapply for MSP. You must contact MSP by phone to confirm your eligibility, as it will depend on your individual circumstances.

If you will need to reapply for MSP and serve the 3-month MSP waiting period again, be sure to purchase temporary private health insurance, such as the Global Campus Health Plan, to cover you during the 3-month waiting period. If you are a part-time student, UBC employee, visiting instructor, postdoctoral fellow, or other non-student affiliate and need temporary hospital and medical coverage, contact David Cummings Insurance Services (DCIS) for information about "non-student" medical insurance plan options.

If you can extend your MSP and you hold a study permit, you will continue to be charged the monthly health-care coverage fee.

Tips for the process

The easiest way to apply is to submit an application online.

If you decide to submit a paper application by mail, consider using a secure mailing method such as Canada Post Xpresspost. You should also include a cover letter along with other supporting documents if requesting MSP temporary coverage—check the MSP Temporary Coverage Sample Letter (pdf).

International students

Temporary BC residents (such as international students and workers) will typically be issued a BC Services Card (formerly known as “BC CareCard”) without a photo. Carry your card with you as well as a digital or paper copy of your valid study permit or work permit.

You can also apply for a BC driver’s license and/or BC ID Card (which includes your photo) by submitting a separate application to the Insurance Corporation of BC (ICBC).

Get important information on MSP

Learn about how to maintain your MSP coverage, how to make payments, what happens if you will be outside of BC and more. 

See MSP details

If you have questions

Additional resources

Health and wellbeing resources

Whether you’re studying in or outside of Canada, there are support options available to you. Answer a few questions and find the resources specific to you. 

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International Student Guide

Find everything you need to know about life as an international student at UBC's Vancouver campus.

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