The Medical Services Plan is the public health insurance for Canadians, which international students can use too. This plan covers doctor visits, hospital visits, and medically required services. This post covers all students who should know about buying health insurance and the cost of student insurance for international students in Canada.
In this guide:
- Health Insurance for Students in Canada
- How to Set up Health Insurance
- What is iMED Program + Cost of Student Insurance
- Eligibility for Health Insurance in Canada
Health Insurance for Students in Canada
International students must have health insurance when they are studying in Canada. Health care in Canada may cost students thousands of dollars per month if they do not have valid health insurance!
In this country, you have primary and extended options for getting health insurance. Accompanying family members are strongly recommended to have both basic and extended schemes.
How to Set up Health Insurance
Suppose you started your program in September 2021 to August 2022 (2021/22 Winter Session to 2022 Summer Session) to have health insurance coverage. In that case, you must confirm your arrival date starting from 3 weeks before you travel.
Here is step-by-step guidance on health insurance and the cost of student insurance in Canada for international students:
Firstly Check Cost of Student Insurance
After registering for the course, log into your SSC (Student Services Centre) and select “Financial Summary” under Finances to check the cost of student insurance and related charges. Confirm charging for iMED coverage and AMS/GSS Health and Dental Plan charges. If you are charged, then you are covered.
Secondly, Confirm iMED Coverage Dates.
If you started the course between September 2021 and August 2022, you have to confirm the exact arriving time to be covered, starting from 3 weeks before arriving time. If you start your studies in September 2022 or after that, you should change your coverage dates.
Then Download and Print iMED Card.
They send your iMED card through email. When you receive the email, download the card and print it correctly to present it when arriving in Canada.
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Apply for the University MSP
As soon as arriving at your university, apply for MSP (Medical Services Plan)
for yourself and family members who accompany you.
Each time you prolong your study permit or receive a post-graduation Work Permit, you must extend your MSP to secure insurance coverage.
Download and Print AMS/GSS Health and Dental Plan Pay Direct Card
Your Pay Direct card provides your claim to be prepared when you fill a prescription. You may charge a lower cost of student insurance if you use this plan when you study in Canadian universities.
What is iMED Program + Cost of Student Insurance
The iMED is temporary private health insurance to cover international students while waiting to be eligible for the MSP. The Medical Services Plan has a three-month waiting period, so students have to get coverage during this time.
The time covers the following needs:
- Doctor visits,
- Hospital visits,
- Maternity coverage,
- Ambulance services,
- Pre-existing conditions,
- Diagnostic, x-ray, and laboratory services.
If you are an exchange student for one semester or a VIRS student, you will have iMED for the duration of your education in Canada.
If you have MSP or another Canadian territorial or provincial health plan or a third-party organization is funding your courses, you could qualify to opt out of iMED.
The iMED Coverage Period
After registering for the course, if the program started between September 2021 and August 2022, you would have received an email from DCIS (David Cummings Insurance Services) requesting confirmation of your arrival in Canada.
You have to confirm when you will travel with DCIS starting from 3 weeks before arriving in Canada so that your coverage time starts as soon as you arrive in Canada.
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- If your program starts in 2022/22 winter semester (September to December 2022), your coverage begins on August 1, 2022;
- If your program starts in 2022/23 winter semester (January to April 2023), your coverage begins on December 1, 2022;
- If you are an exchange student for one semester or a VIRS student, you have the iMED coverage for the duration of your course;
- If you arrive the month before or after your coverage starts, you can request to change coverage dates.
Cost of Student Insurance and iMED Fees
Effective 2021/22 winter semester, September 1, 2021:
- About $225 for three months,
- About $315 for one-term exchange students.
Effective 2022 summer semester, May 1, 2021:
- About $10 for a one-time direct billing fee.
These fees are charged to the SSC (Student Service Centre) account. Remember that the fees and cost of student insurance are subject to change.
Eligibility for Health Insurance in Canada
You are automatically registered in iMED as a new international university student when you enroll in classes. In your Student Services Centre account, check the Financial Summary page to make sure you were charged the fee and will be registered in the course.
If you are a returning university student, you are not qualified for iMED and can purchase private insurance, such as the GCHP (Global Campus Health Plan).
If you think you should have coverage for iMED but do not see the fees on your account, contact ISA (International Student Advising).
- If your program started between September 2021 and August 2022, you would have received an email from DCIS requesting approval of your arrival to Canada after you registered for classes. You must confirm your arrival date starting three weeks before you move. After verifying your arrival date, they send your iMED card through email. Make sure to print a copy for yourself.
- If your program begins September 2021 or later, they send you an iMED card via email. Make sure to print a copy of it for yourself.
- If you do not get your card, contact David Cummings Insurance Services.
- Verify that the iMED coverage time on your iMED card is correct. iMED coverage should begin from the month you move to Canada plus two months to cover the MSP waiting period or cover the whole duration of your studies program if you are a one-term exchange student or VIRS student.
- If you have any family members accompanying you, you have to add them to iMED too.
The approximate cost of student insurance in Canada starting from September 2021 is around $265 for one year, and starting from January 2022 is around: $177 for eight months. If the international students have any accompanying family members, they are also responsible for adding them to the plan. Read this article for more information.