All SFU international students must have medical insurance for the duration of their studies in Canada. SFU accepts ONE of the following basic medical insurance plans:
- Medical Services Plan of BC (MSP) public medical insurance
- guard.me Insurance temporary private insurance
All international students at SFU ELC must provide proof of their medical insurance during their studies.
What is MSP?
The Medical Services Plan of BC (MSP) is mandatory medical coverage for all British Columbia residents. If you will be living in B.C. for more than 6 months, you are legally required to register for MSP upon arrival. Once you register, there is a waiting period of two to three months. To ensure you are covered during this time, you must purchase a private medical insurance plan through guard.me.
BC MSP provides primary medical coverage such as:
- services provided by a doctor
- x-rays and lab tests (as required by a doctor)
- emergency dental and oral surgery in hospital
How does BC MSP work?
Upon enrollment in MSP, you will be mailed a BC Services Card along with an invoice. Payments may be made monthly or in advance 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 enrollment. This allows you to receive basic medical services free of charge. The health care provider will bill BC MSP directly.
What is guard.me insurance?
Guard.me provides short-term, primary medical insurance coverage. The goal of guard.me is to help transition you to Canada without having to worry about enrolling for B.C. medical insurance immediately.
When accessing medical services (such as visiting a doctor or hospital) with private insurance, you may need to pay upfront and then send your receipts to the insurance company for reimbursement.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I apply for MSP?
To apply for BC MSP, complete the MSP Application online. Or, you can download the application form and mail it directly to BC MSP.
Please note there is a waiting period of two to three months for newcomers. In order to be covered during the waiting period, you must purchase a private medical insurance plan through guard.me. You will not be charged for the waiting period.
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the waiting period has been suspended in order to ensure that all B.C. residents have access to BC MSP. Once you apply for MSP, your application will need about 21 days for processing before you receive your BC Services Card.
How much does BC MSP cost and how do I pay?
Effective January 1, 2020: $75/month for all study permit holders.
MSP will send regular invoices to the address on your application form. The current rate is $75/month. Payments may be made monthly or in advance directly to BC MSP, not through SFU. You can pay by credit card online, at your bank, or using other payment options noted on the back of your MSP invoice. You will be charged starting the month you receive your BC Services Card.
Does my BC Services Card cover prescriptions, vision care and dental care?
No. The BC Services Card is a basic medical insurance plan (which covers doctor and hospital visits). Prescription medication, vision care and dental care can be covered through an extended health plan.
If I go back to my home country for a short term, can I put my MSP account on hold?
If you are going to be out of town for more than 2 months, you must contact MSP by telephone at 604-683-7151 to make arrangements to hold the account.