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COVID-19 FAQ for International Students > 

2-3 Term Study Abroad

Note: Both Primary Insurance and Secondary Insurance are required.

This page is regularly reviewed and was last updated on July 19, 2022

PRIMARY INSURANCE

You have been automatically enrolled in a mandatory 4 month primary medical insurance plan through guard.me@SFU. 

You can opt out (cancel) of guard.me@SFU temporary medical insurance plan if you are studying outside of Canada or if you have one of the eligible plansMost exchange students are not eligible to opt out.

To opt out of guard.me@SFU, visit their website before the deadline

Staying in BC for 6 months or longer? 

Apply for BC Medical Services Plan (MSP). MSP should take effect late in your first term of exchange. As soon as you receive your BC Medical Services Plan, you may be eligible for a refund of the unused portion of your guard.me@SFU insurance if you have not made a claim and there is more than 1 month of coverage remaining when you apply. The partial refund will be applied to your SFU account.

guard.me@SFU

Cost: $281 for your first term at SFU*

Enrolment: Automatic (upon enrolment in classes) for your first term only

More Info: guard.me@SFU website

*prices are subject to change without notice

Common Questions:

What is guard.me@SFU?

guard.me@SFU is a short term primary medical insurance coverage. The goal of guard.me@SFU is to help transition you to Canada while you are waiting for your BC MSP. Since you are living in BC for more than 6 months, under the Medicare Protection Act, you must apply for BC Medical Services Plan upon arrival.

Your MSP will take effect after a 3 month waiting period (this includes the balance of the first month when you arrive in BC plus 2 additional months – for example, March 1, if you arrived sometime in December). SFU will not re-enroll you in the guard.me@SFU plan in any subsequent terms.

How do I get the policy/ certificate number?

You will receive a welcome email from guard.me@SFU at the beginning of semester. This email will include a link to log into your account to view your policy details. You can view and download your Healthcare Access Card (HAC) which is your proof of insurance and will have your name, student number, policy number, and policy start and end date. You can also log in via Guard.me@SFU website.

This card can be used for direct billing at some pharmacies, medical clinics, and dental offices. Make sure to keep this for future reference as you will need it for direct billing or to submit a claim.  If you have not received an email from guard.me@SFU, please contact them at customercare@guard.me.

How and when can I opt out of guard.me@SFU?

To opt-out of guard.me@SFU, visit their website. Click the appropriate category and follow the opt-out instructions. To see the opt out deadlines for guard.me@SFU click hereMost exchange students are not eligible to opt out.

Note: changes may not be reflected right away.

How can I make claims?

When visiting any of the SFU Health Clinics, print out a copy of your Healthcare Access Card (HAC) from guard.me@SFU website. The HAC is your proof of insurance containing your coverage information. They will collect a copy for each visit and will directly bill guard.me@SFU on your behalf. No additional claim is required. You can search Guard.me preferred clinics near your location here. These clinics will allow direct billing.

For clinics that do not allow direct billing, you will need to pay upfront for the visit. Keep copies of all your payment receipts. To submit a claim, please visit guard.me@SFU to create an online account and upload copies of your receipts.

I received my BC Services Card (MSP card) before the end of my first term. May I apply for a partial refund of the 4 month policy?

You may be eligible for a refund of the unused portion of your insurance if you have not made a claim and there is more than 1 month of coverage remaining when you apply through guard.me@SFU. Your application for a partial reimbursement must be received by guard.me@SFU before the last month of the term (that is, before April 1, August 1 and December 1). If approved, your partial refund will be applied to your SFU account.

If you are a TSSU member, in addition to the above, SFU HR will reimburse you a portion of the Guard.me@SFU fees you paid for the months while you waited for your MSP to become effective. For example, if your BC MSP becomes effective on November 1, SFU HR will reimburse you for September and October. This is a separate process from the cancellation of your Guard.me@SFU coverage. Please contact tssubens@sfu.ca for further questions.

BC Medical Services Plan (MSP)

Cost: $75 per month*

Enrolment: Need to apply

More Info: BC MSP website

*prices are subject to change without notice. If you have any dependent (e.g. spouse, common-law partner, and/or children) each study permit holder must pay the fee.

Common Questions:

What is the BC Medical Services Plan (MSP)?

Students staying in BC for 6 months or longer are required to enrol in the British Columbia Medical Services Plan under the Medicare Protection Act. There is a wait period of 2-3 months for new residents. In order to be covered during the wait period you may purchase a private medical insurance plan or please contact International Services for Students to learn about medical insurance options.

If you are a new international student at SFU, you will be automatically enrolled in guard.me@sfu plan for your first term while you wait for your BC MSP.

BC MSP provides primary medical coverage such as:

  • services provided by a doctor
  • X-rays, lab tests (as required by a doctor) 
  • emergency dental and oral surgery in hospital

How and when can I apply for MSP?

To apply for BC MSP, complete the MSP Application online at this website.

You may also complete the MSP Application Enrolment form by mail and mail it directly to BC MSP.

If you are eligible, you can apply as soon as you arrive in BC. Please note there is a wait period of 2-3 months for new residents before your coverage begins. If you are a new international student at SFU, you will be automatically enrolled in guard.me@sfu plan for your first term while you wait for your BC MSP. 

If you are a returning student travelling back to BC, in order to be covered during the wait period you may purchase a private medical insurance plan. Please contact International Services for Students about temporary medical insurance options to cover the MSP waiting period. 

How does BC MSP work?

Once enrolled, BC MSP will mail you a BC Services Card along with an invoice to pay. Payments may be made monthly or in advance. Payments are made directly to BC MSP, not through SFU.

When visiting a health clinic or hospital, you will be asked to show your BC Services Card as proof of enrolment. You will not be required to pay for the visit, they will bill BC MSP directly. 

SECONDARY INSURANCE

You will automatically be added to the Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS) Extended Health and Dental Plan (undergraduate students) or the Graduate Student Society (GSS) Extended Health and Dental Plan (graduate students), except if you begin at SFU in the summer term (May-start students can self-enroll for their first semester at SFU during the change-of-coverage period). 

You will receive information by email, including information on how you can opt out of Studentcare if you have proof of valid, equivalent secondary insurance.

If you want to opt out or make changes to this coverage, you must do so during the change-of-coverage period in your first term at SFU. Be careful not to confuse opting out of Studentcare with opting out of guard.me.

Do you already have an equivalent secondary insurance plan?

OPT OUT of the SFSS Health and Dental Plan (undergraduate) or OPT OUT of the GSS Health and Dental Plan (graduate).

SFSS Health and Dental Plan (undergraduate)

Cost: Pay to SFU

  • $254.36 (Enhanced Plan) or $197.52 (Basic Plan)* from Sept 1, 2021 - Aug 31, 2022
  • $169.58 (Enhanced Plan) or $131.68 (Basic Plan)* from Jan 1, 2022 - Aug 31, 2022
  • $84.79 (Enhanced Plan) from May 1, 2022 - Aug 31, 2022 for students eligible to enrol themselves*

Enrolment:

  • Automatic (except if entering in summer term)
  • May-start students can self-enrol for their first semester at SFU during the Change-of-Coverage Period.

More Info: SFSS Health and Dental Plan website

*prices are subject to change without notice. After your study abroad term.

Common Questions:

What is the SFSS Health and Dental Plan?

The undergraduate Simon Fraser Student Society Health and Dental Plan is in place to complement primary medical coverage (ie. MSP). Services not covered by primary coverage (ie. vision and dental care) are included in the SFSS plan. 

Eligible students are automatically covered by and billed for applicable portions of the student plan (except if entering in summer term). Note that Plan benefits are only accessible within Canada.

How and when can I opt out of the SFSS Health and Dental Plan?

To complete your opt out (for the first time you opt out, or if you didn't opt out last year), you will need to provide proof that you are covered by an equivalent extended health and/or dental plan during the Change of-Coverage Period.  

Please visit their website for more information. 

How can I make claims?

Use the claim forms on the SFSS Health and Dental website to complete your request. Original payment receipts must be mailed with the form(s).

Please allow up to two weeks for claims to be processed. 

For claim forms and more information, please visit the SFSS Health and Dental website

I would like to speak to a representative about my secondary medical insurance. Who should I contact?

You can reach a representative by calling the Care Centre at 236-427-8123, Mon. - Fri. from 9 am to 5 pm. Or you can visit Studentcare Care Office in-person which is located at the Student Union Building (SUB) 2301 on SFU Burnaby campus, Mon. - Fri. from 9 am to 5 pm.

What happens to my secondary medical insurance after my study abroad term?

Students beginning their term in the Fall and complete their studies in December, you can receive a 2/3 refund minus a $25 administration fee after they submit your opt-out request form and proof of non-registration (such as a letter of completion from SFU) during the January Change-of-Coverage Period.

Students beginning their term in the Spring cannot opt out mid-year. Your coverage will remain active until August 31st 2022.

GSS Health and Dental Plan (graduate)

Cost: Pay to SFU

  • $465* from Sept 1, 2021 - Aug 31, 2022
  • $310* from Jan 1, 2022 - Aug 31, 2022
  • $155* from May 1, 2022 - Aug 31, 2022 for students eligible to enrol themselves*

Enrolment: Automatic (except if entering in summer term). May-start students can self-enrol for their first semester at SFU during the Change-of-Coverage Period.

More Info: GSS Health and Dental Plan website

*prices are subject to change without notice

Common Questions:

What is the GSS Health and Dental Plan?

The Graduate Student Society (GSS) health and dental plan is in place to complement primary medical coverage (ie. BC MSP). Services not included by primary coverage (ie. vision and dental care) are included in the GSS plan.

Eligible students are automatically covered by and billed for applicable portions of the student plan (except if entering in summer term). Note that plan benefits are only accessible within Canada.

How and when can I opt out of the GSS Health and Dental Plan?

You may opt out of the GSS extended health plan if you have existing secondary coverage in BC. To opt out, you will be required to upload proof of coverage on the GSS Health and Dental website during the Change-of-Coverage Period. This will be during the first two weeks of each term. 

Please visit their website for more information. 

How can I make claims?

You can submit health and dental claim forms directly to the insurance company. You may also file claims online through the ihaveaplan mobile app. For more information, and to download the app, click here.

I would like to speak to a representative about my secondary medical insurance. Who should I contact?

You can reach a representative by calling the Care Centre at 236-427-8123, Mon. - Fri. from 9 am to 5 pm. Or you can visit Studentcare Care Office in-person which is located at the Student Union Building (SUB) 2301 on SFU Burnaby campus, Mon. - Fri. from 9 am to 5 pm.

What happens to my secondary medical insurance after my study abroad term?

Students beginning their term in the Fall and complete their studies in December, you can receive a 2/3 refund minus a $25 administration fee after they submit your opt-out request form and proof of non-registration (such as a letter of completion from SFU) during the January Change-of-Coverage Period.

Students beginning their term in the Spring cannot opt out mid-year. Your coverage will remain active until August 31st 2022.